Camden - Atlantic RR Depot
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member LowellHouseGuy
N 39° 19.256 W 074° 30.696
18S E 542099 N 4352505
Quick Description: A Depot for tourist coming to Atlantic City, now it is next to Lucy the Margate Elephant.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 6/1/2006 12:26:10 PM
Waymark Code: WME19
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member LowellHouseGuy
Views: 99

Long Description:
There has been plenty of change in the Atlantic City railroad scene over the past century.
Even the four properties on the Monopoly board - the Pennsylvania, Reading, B&O and Short Line railroads - are history.
Today, the only trains running to the resort belong to NJ Transit. All traces of the huge train station with manicured gardens, marshaling yards and roundhouse are gone.
"The railroad was Atlantic City," Macrie said. "In the beginning, there was no way in or out but the trains."
Railroading in Atlantic City started in the mid-1850s when the Camden & Atlantic Railroad was built, said Art McCauley, a member of the South Jersey Railroad Museum in Tuckahoe. That line became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Several years later, the Philadelphia & Atlantic City Railroad was built as a rival, McCauley said. That became part of the Reading Railroad.Error processing SSI file
"Then the competition began," said Paul Schopp, a historian and member of the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. "And the competition was fierce."
On the run through the marshes into town, the Pennsylvania and Reading tracks were side by side, with trains speeding in and out of town.
"In the stretch from Winslow Junction to Absecon, the two railroads ran within sight of each other," said McCauley, 70, a retired Baptist minister. "There were stories of the Reading and `Pennsy' trains racing to Atlantic City."
The "Pennsy" ran trains with names like "Sea Breeze" and "Fisherman's Special," while the Reading ran trains like the "Boardwalk Flyer."
The Baltimore & Ohio did not have direct access into Atlantic City but ran trains on the Reading's rails, said Schopp, 51, of Riverton.
By the 1920s, competition from automobiles started the decline of the well-known trains.
The Pennsylvania and Reading lines in South Jersey merged in 1933, creating the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines.
By the 1960s, service into Atlantic City no longer catered to vacationers coming from New York and Philadelphia. It was reduced to diesel-powered commuter runs.
The final railroad property on the Monopoly board, the Short Line, is believed by historians to be one of the city's two electric railroads, called the Shore Fast Line, said Schopp.
Shore Fast Line ran trolley service between Atlantic City, Ocean City and the mainland. In Atlantic City, the line ran up Atlantic Avenue to Virginia Avenue, where the line terminated across the boardwalk from Steel Pier.
The line went out of business in the late 1940s. By the end of 1955, all trolleys in Atlantic City were switched to buses, and the overhead wire, rails and streetcars were scrapped.
In the early 1980s, train service to Atlantic City and other shore points ended.
But by the end of the decade, NJ Transit and Amtrak spent millions to refurbish the line.
Amtrak pulled out of Atlantic City after about six years, but NJ Transit service from Philadelphia remains, largely catering to casino workers.
The grand Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines station, at Arkansas and Arctic avenues, featured expansive lawns, flower gardens and huge stone pillars.
It was turned into a bus depot but was torn down in the 1990s.
Much of the railroad yards were removed when the Atlantic City Expressway was built in the 1960s.
Through much of the decade, the railroads ran special trains to conventions and "Pony Express" specials to the racetrack in Atlantic City, Macrie said. The specials were pulled by two or three locomotives and had 12 to 15 cars, much longer than the everyday trains by that period.
Richard Yard, past president of the South Jersey Railroad Museum, has fond memories of steam locomotives and trolleys. He remembers wicker seats on the streetcars that could be moved to face the right direction.
"The steam engines were loud," said Yard, 67, who grew up in Atlantic City. "I remember them coming into town morning, noon and night."
Marker Name: Camden - Atlantic

Marker Type: Local? Unofficial

Marker text:
Camden - Atlantic c 1881 R.R. Depot

Dedication Date: 09/14/1904

City: Margate

County: Atlantic

Web Link: [Web Link]

Group responsible for placement: Not listed

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