• Cape May Seashore Lines Railfan Day - Saturday May 22nd.

  • Discussion relating to the PRSL
Discussion relating to the PRSL

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by JJMDiMunno
Well, today was CMSL's Railfan Day, co-sponsored by several different organizations (sorry, I do not remember the list, if your group sponsored this event in any way, please feel free to reply and mention yourselves by name).

In any case, here's a writeup on today's events:

The trip began about 15 minutes late, with a departure from Cape May Courthouse at around 11:00AM instead of 10:45AM. No big deal there, schedules aren't too important in my book on a railfan trip. Rusty rail condition was present along most of the line due to relative inactivity since December...and so we had to stop to flag most of the crossings. Surprisingly, this didn't push us that much behind schedule, and we were still only about 15 minutes behind schedule when we arrived at Cold Spring to pick up our remaining passengers. While picking up additional people, I captured the following photograph at "BD" tower, the old tower controlling Woodbine Junction:

http://members.aol.com/jjmdimunno/CNJ15 ... Spring.jpg

We departed from Cold Spring around 11:45AM, and headed south towards the Canal Bridge. Here, some delays were encountered...there was a massive amount of boat traffic today on the Canal, and boat traffic gets priority over railroad movements. It was about a 15 minute wait before we got the 241 at Canal to head south, and we arrived at Cape May City around 12:15PM. Immediatly following our arrival in Cape May, it was determimed that we could not fit on #1 track (the platform track) between the road crossing and the end of track. Therefore, the train was moved just north of the road crossing so as to allow vehicle traffic to pass. The following image was captured at that location using a historic house as a prop (this one is my favorite digital image of the day):


Scheduled time for departure from Cape May City to head north to our other photo runbys was 1:00PM. We left on time heading north, and got as far as the approach signal to the bridge. Then we stopped for about 1/2 hour...people were just starting to really wonder exactly how much boat traffic we needed to wait for, when we were informed that a boat of some sort had actually struck the bridge, knocking several active electrical wires as well as a metal rod attached to the side of the bridge into the water. In other words, the bridge wasn't changing position any time soon. Since it wasn't possible to run north of the Canal Bridge for any runbys, one was performed about half way between CANAL and the wye / point branch junction. The image below was captured there:


The train returned to Cape May City at around 2:00PM. With the train stranded south of the bridge, it was determined after some thought and time that we would be bussed across the canal to Cold Spring, where everyone would board RDC M407 to head back to the cars at Cape May Courthouse. It was around 3:45PM when our bus arrived at Cold Spring. The photographic image below was captured at the station there, in reality the most historically accurate image of the day:


We left Cold SPring around 4:30PM, after the second busload of people arrived from the Cape. After it's arrival back at Cape May Courthouse, the RDC deadheaded south to Rio Grande, as does CMSL equipment each day after it's use. I had some business to attend to in Wildwood after today's railfan trip was complete, so I proceeded south to Route 47 after shooting the deadhead move at Main Street (not recorded digitally, chrome and B&W only)...and heard CMSL talking about some sort of move they needed to make. Curious, I made a right instead of a left onto 47 to check the status of the yard, and found the entire consist from earlier in the day (the consist stranded in Cape May) on the main at Rio Grande...all except the CNJ GP7 which was still at Cape May City apparently. Apparently the bridge had been sufficiently repaired to allow movement over it, but I assumed only deadheading, and only at a strongly restricted speed. That bridge will probably need to be inspected thoroughly before they'd allow a passenger movement over it. It sounded to me like there was a move planned for sometime soon after that with M407 heading south to Cape May to work with the GP7 for some reason (not sure about this), but I couldn't wait around...so I don't know what happened there.

And that pretty much sums up today's events. Although we only had 1 photo runby, the day went relatively well with nice weather (not as warm at the shore as it was up north today)...and I was very happy with the one runby we did have. It would have made my day if the air conditioning in the URHS cars worked right today, but it wasn't meant to be. Those things hold heat very well, ya know...

Besides the Duke and myself, were any other fellow SJRA members present today? I know the WJ-NRHS luncheon was today, which kept most if not all of the NRHS folks away (except me)...but anyone else there today? There were actually more people that attended the Woodbine event last month than the event today...that thanks mostly to the NRHS presence there I think.

Look for another one of these Railfan Day events relatively soon...next time around, let's see if we can manage to keep the people who got their boating license out of a cracker-jack box out of the waters of the Cape May Canal...

That's all, take care everyone.

Mike DiMunno
www.SJRail.com: All about South Jersey Railroads!