An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines


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The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines (PRSL) was a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Company in southern New Jersey. The PRSL was formed in 1932-3 from the Pennsylvania subsidiary lines the West Jersey and Seashore and the Reading subsidiary the Atlantic City Railroad. On 1 July 1926, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge opened. It was originally called Delaware River Bridge, and spanned the Delaware River, connecting Philadelphia and Camden.[1] Car, truck and bus usage increased, cutting into railroad profits. Also, there was much competition from duplicate rail lines in Soutjhern New Jersey. These factors forced the Pennsy and the Reading to combine these lines to form the PRSL. The Pennsy was 2/3 owner and the Reading was 1/3 owner. The primary lines were from Philadelphia to Atlantic City and from Philadelphia to Cape May, however many branch lines existed. The passenger traffic was mostly commuter and or resort oriented. Service was strong up to and through the ww2 period. But the post-war rise of the automobile and the Atlantic City Expressway not only caused people to abandon the railroad for their cars,
LI
Pennsylvania-Reading
Seashore Lines
Philadelphia-Cape May
June 17, 1944
but also to abandon Atlantic City for more exotic vacation destinations. By the late 1960s, the surviving former Camden and Atlantic Main Line was reduced to a commuter service funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDoT) running trains of Budd RDC railcars operating from a small terminals at Lindenwold PATCO station and Atlantic City.. On 1 April 1976 Conrail took over the PRSL . Currently remains of the PRSL are being operated by PATCO, NJT and several short lines.
History of the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines

Pennsylvania Rai;road susidiaries
The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S)

1898 - Effective May 4, 1896 the Pennsylvania Railroad consolidated all of it railroads and several smaller properties in Southern New Jersey into The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad (WJ&S).
Predecessors of the WJ&S
1852 - The Camden and Atlantic Railroad was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on March 19, 1852. The line was built from Camden, New Jersey to Atlantic City, New Jersey, via Berlin, New Jersey.
1854 - In June the C&A was completed except for the Drawbridge over the thorofare outside of Atlantic City . Regular passenger service started on July 4.
1883 - The Pennsylvania Railroad gaining control of the C&A through its subsidiary West Jersey Railroad on January 1, 1883.
1853 - The West Jersey Railroad was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on February 5, 1853. To build a line from Camden, New Jersey to Cape May, New Jersey. The line was then built with the backing of the Camden and Amboy from Camden, New Jersey to Glassboro NJ. The first 8.2 miles of the line used the abandoned right-of-way built by The Camden and Woodbury Railroad
1863 - The WJRR was completed in 1863. In that year the West Jersey Railroad directors decided to build a line to Bridgeton NJ, and later build the line from Glassboro to Millville and Cape May.
1859 - The Millville and Glassboro Railroad from Glassboro to Millville was built by a group of Millville businessmen independently of the West Jersey Railroad. It was incorporated in March 1859.
1860 - The M&G was completed in October, 1860 .
1869 - The M&G was leased to the West Jersey Railroad. The Millville & Glassboro Railroad started to build a line from Millville to Cape May NJ but soon ran out of money.
1863 - The Cape May and Millville Railroad - A group of Cape May County investors was granted its charter by the state of New Jersey on March 9, 1863 for the Cape May & Millville Railroad.
1867 - CM&M was completed.
1869 - CM&M leased to the West Jersey Railroad.
1856 - The Salem Railroad was incorporated on March 14, 1856. It was built from Pittstown (Elmer) NJ to Salem NJ.
1863 - SRR was completed in 1863.
1868 - SRR1leased to the West Jersey Railroad.
1867 - The Swedesboro Railroad was built from Woodbury to Swedesboro 10.8 miles by the West Jersey Railroad.
1869 - SWRR and was completed in October 1869.
1882 - The Woodstown and Swedesboro Railroad On January 21, 1882 the West Jersey Railroad after being asked by agricultural interests of Woodstown to build a railroad from the end of the Swedesboro Railroad to place called Riddleton Junction on the Salem Railroad
1883 - W&S completed in February 1883 ,this gave the West Jersey Railroad two different routes into Salem NJ.
1887 - The Maurice River Railroad was built by the West Jersey Railroad to get a share of the lucrative Delaware Bay oyster business. Incorporated on June 17, 1887 to build a railroad 9.76 miles long from Maunmuakin NJ on the West Jersey Railroad main line to the town of Maurice River. It waas completed on November 1, 1887.
1879 - The West Jersey and Atlantic Railroad - In 1879 The Pennsylvania Railroad directed the West Jersey Railroad to build a Railroad from Newfield to Atlantic City by way of Mays Landing.
1879 - WJ&A was incorporated on November 6, 1879.
1880 - WJ&A was completed on June 16, 188o and leased to the West Jersey Railroad. The line was abandoned from Newfield NJ to Mays Landing on December 31, 1958, and from Mays Landing to McKee City NJ on August 18, 1966. In 2003 a portion of the line from Egg Harbor NJ to Mays Landing was converted into a rail-trail as part of the Atlantic County Bikeway.
1880 - The Philadelphia Marlton and Medford Railroad was incorporated in January 1880.
1881 - The PM&M was completed from Haddonfield NJ. to Medford NJ by July 1881.
1885 - In January it was operated by the Camden and Atlantic Later a part of the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad when it was operated as the Medford Branch till its abandonent on November 2, 1931.
1873 - The Delaware River Railroad was incorporated on 20 February 1873 as the Delaware Shore Railroad to build a railroad from Woodbury to Penns Grove,
1876 - The DSR was opened in July 1876.
1879 - The DSR declared bankruptcy on January 1879 and incorporated as the Delaware River Railroad.
1900 - The West Jersey & Seashore Railroad bought the Delaware River Railroad in 1900.
1898 - Effective May 4, 1896 the Pennsylvania Railroad consolidated all of it railroads and several smaller properties in Southern New Jersey into The West Jersey and Seashore Railroad.
Electrification of the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad
1906 - The Pennsylvania Railroad, owner of WJ&S electrified with 600v DC from Camden, New Jersey to Atlantic City , via Newfield, and to Millville. A combination of third rail and overhead catenary systems were used depending on safety needs. Wooden MU coaches were used.
1909 - Steel ended MU coaches begin to appear.
19112 - All steel MU cars appear on WJ&S.
1931 - When WJ&S became part of PRSL electrified service was cut back to the Millville commuter run.
1948 - All wooden MU cars taken out of service.

Reading Company susidiaries
The Atlantic City Railroad

Effective 1 April 1889 the Philadelphia and Reading Railway consolidated all of it railroads in Southern New Jersey into The Atlantic City Railroad (ACRR)
Predecessors of the ACRR
1873 - The Camden, Gloucester & Mt Ephraim Railway Incorporated on 17 June 1873, by a group from Gloucester City which wanted a rail line to link the busy passenger ferry landing at Kaighnís Point in Camden to the Gloucester City industrial area 3.9 miles away , then from that point another 1.3 miles to Mount Ephraim Borough. A 3-foot gauge was required, as much of the right of way used existing city streets with sharp curves.
1874 - Work began in January, 1874, The line from Kaighnís Point to Gloucester City opened on 14 February 1874. 1876 - The line to Mount Ephraim Borough opened in May 1876. 1884 - Te Philadelphia and Reading Railway acquired the CG&ME.
1885 -- The P&R reworked the track to standard gauge.
1875 - The Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway- During 1875 four of the Camden and Atlantic Board of Directors left, led by Samual Richards who was a officer of the C&A for 24 years, to build a second railroad from Camden, New Jersey to Atlantic City NJ, by way of Clementon NJ.
1876 - The P&AC is Incorporated on 24 March 1876 . A gauge of 3 foot 6 inches was selected because narrow gauge was successful at the time and saved in lower operating cost.
1877 - Work began in April 1877 and was completed in 90 days and the 54.67 miles line was opened on 12 July.
1878 - The P&AC slipped into bankruptcy.
1883 - The P&AC was acquired by the CNJ and the Philadelphia and Reading Railway on 20 September 1883. And the name was modified to Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railroad.
1884 - P&AC became standard gauge on 5 October, 1884.
1885 - The P&R Railway acquired full control of the P&AV on 4 December 1885.
1871 - The Williamstown Railroad was chartered on 13 March 1871 by the owners of one glassworks in Williamstown to build a line from Atco to Williamstown, And later to Glassboro NJ.
1873 - The 9.5 mile WRR was completed.
1874 - The WRR slipped bankruptcy in November.
1881 - The WRR had graded a line to Glassboro NJ but the rail was only laid 1.7 miles to Robanna NJ.
1883 The WRR was acquired by the CNJ and the P&R on 6 October 1883 at foreclosure sale and the name was modified to Williamstown & Delaware River Railroad effective 7 December 1883.
1883 - The <> Williamstown and Delaware River Railroad track was laid to Glassboro. Now the line was 15.73 miles long. Also in 1883 a branch 1.20 miles long was built in Glassboro NJ as the Glassboro Railroad to the Whitney Brotherís glass works.
1885 - The P&R acquired full control of the W&DR on 4 December 1885.
1887 A new extension of the W&DR was built to Mullica Hill NJ.
1901 - The Atlantic City Railroad was reincorporated on 14 June, 1901 as a merger with other railroads.
Camden County Railroad 1889 - The Camden County Railroad was incorporated on 17 September, 1889 with the purpose of extending the ACRR's Gloucester Branch ex Camden, Gloucester & Mt Ephraim Railway between Mount Ephraim Borough and Spring Mills, home of the Bateman Manufacturing Company where two plants were in use constructing farm equipment.
1890-91 - As of 31 December, 1890, 5 miles of railroad were completed south of Mt. Ephraim. The remaining 2.19 miles were finished on 10 May, 1891. The Cape May, Delaware Bay and Sewll's Point Railroad ran from Sunset Beach in Cape May around the Point to South Cape May into Cape May City, out to Sewellís Point back around to Schellengerís landing.
The Ocean City Railroad Ocean City Junction to Ocean City
The Seacoast Railroad Winslow Junction to Tuckahoe, Sea Isle City and Cape May.
1930's - The ACRR acquired other railroads in the 30's----
The Stone Harbor Railroad
Acquired in April 1932, the SHRR ran from Cape May Court House to Stone Harbor; it was merged with the PRSL in 1936.
The Wildwood and Delaware Bay Short Line Railroad
Acquired in July 1930, the W&DBSLRR ran from Wildwood Junction to Wildwood; it was merged with the ACRR (by then PRSL) in 1934.

Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines
926 - Prior to the formation of the PRSL the Benjamin Franklin Bridge was completed across the Delaware River from Philadelphia to Camden opening up auto and truck traffic and reducing the traffic on New Jersey railroads. This led to the Pennsylvania and the Reading Company consolidation of southern New Jersey lines into the PRSL.
1932 - On 2 November 1932, the Pennsylvania Railroad and Reading Company joined their Southern New Jersey Railroad lines into one company, The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines which the Pennsylvania Railroad had a 2/3 ownership, And the Reading Company had a 1/3 ownership.
1933 - On 15 July 1933 the Atlantic City Railroad leased the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad and changed its name to Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines.
1932 - The PRSL used WJ&S (Pennsylvania) steam locomotives, (E3 and E6 4-4-2's for most passenger service on the Philadelphia to Atlantic City and Cape May runs and H series 2-8-0's for freight). The Millville branch used steel MU cars for commuter service.
1932-45 - PRSL relatively successful with extensive passenger and freight service in southern New Jersey.
post 1945 - Increased auto and truck traffic, and completion of the Atlantic City Expressway reduces PRSL volume.
late 1960s, The surviving PRSL former Camden and Atlantic Main Line was reduced to a commuter service funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDoT) running trains of Budd RDC railcars operating from a small terminals at Lindenwold PATCO station and Atlantic City.
1976 - On 1 April 1976 Conrail took over the P-RSL.

Current successors to PRSL
PATCO Speedline (DRPA)
Conrail Shared Assets Operations (CSAO)
Southern Railroad of New Jersey (SRNJ)
New Jersey Transit Rail Operations (NJT)
Winchester and Western Railroad (WW)
Cape May Seashore Lines (CMSL)
SMS Rail Service (SLRS)[4]
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guides- Various editions
http://www.thebluecomet.com/PRSL.html
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Copyright © Richard Parks, June 22, 2009,revised Sept.28,2011