Page 12 - January 19, 2021
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{ 12 }  SNJ Today  |  JANUARY 19, 2022                                                                                                                                                                                                                       JANUARY 19, 2022  |  SNJToday.com   { 13 }
             TRACK HISTORY                                 Continued from cover  Holiday and Themed
                                                                                 Excursions
     of farms, forests, culture and history” and   purchased the rail line, the Atlantic City
     that the village was once served by two   Railroad, which had economically backed   The Santa Express is just one
     major railroads.                     the P&SR endeavor, contested the sale   of several themed excursion trains
        The Santa Express travels on what   and, Wentzel writes in 1993, “promptly
     was the second rail line established in   severed the rail connection at Winslow   that are offered throughout the year
                                                                                 by the Cape May Seashores Line.
     Richland and one that carried passen-  Junction and refused permission to have   Others include Valentine’s Express,
     gers to shore towns below Atlantic City.   a crossing installed thus denying the   St. Patrick’s Express and an upcom-
     According to an article by Don Wentzel   [West Jersey Railroad] access to Camden   ing theme based on the Harry Potter
     in a 2000 issue of South Jersey Magazine,   via the Camden & Atlantic Railroad.”   book and film series.  —V.F.
     “the first railroad to reach Richland was   West Jersey trains were now able to run                                               photo provided
     the West Jersey & Atlantic,” which was   only between Folsom and Petersburg.
     organized in 1879 and began construction   The result can be seen in a reproduc-  “In June of 1933,” the santa-express.  passed through Richland was on October
     in Newfield with the goal of connecting   tion of an 1892 Statement of Earnings and                           2, 1981.”
     with the West Jersey Railroad’s tracks to   Expenses, reproduced in South Jersey   com website explains, “the Pennsylvania   The absence of passenger trains in
                                                                              Railroad and the Reading Company
     Camden and a new rail line to Atlantic   Magazine, of the Winslow & Richland   merged their southern New Jersey oper-  Richland, however, was temporary.
     City.                                and Richland & Petersburg Railroads.   ations to form the Pennsylvania-Reading   According to santa-express.com, “On
        The line opened the following year   The former netted a profit of $2,056.34   Seashore Lines (PRSL).” Passenger   October 8, 2005, Cape May Seashore
     and, during the 20th century, would   while the latter’s profit was $5,239.64.                                Lines inaugurated regularly scheduled
     include stops in Newfield, Forest Grove,   By 1896, however, the West Jersey   service to and from Richland ended on   excursion service between Richland
                                                                              September 28, 1935. After 1976, Conrail
     Minotola and Buena before reaching   Railroad line became part of a merger   took over the Pennsylvania-Reading   Village and Tuckahoe Village, mark-
     Richland, where it would continue its   with other railroads throughout the   Seashore Lines and “the last time that   ing the first time that a passenger train
     run to Atlantic City with stops in Mizpah,   South Jersey region that created the   a regularly scheduled passenger train   stopped in Richland Village in 70 years.”
     Mays Landing, McKee City, Pleasantville   West Jersey and Seashore line.                                        Today’s Richland passenger station
     and other towns.                                                                                              and watchman’s shanty can be found
        Wentzel notes that “the second rail-                                                                       in the same locations as the original
     road entered Richland in 1890. The                                                                            structures of bygone years. According to
     Winslow & Richland and Richland &                                                                             santa-express.com, the first watchman’s
     Petersburg, built by the Philadelphia                                                                         shanty was removed in the 1930s and the
     & Seashore Railway Company (P&SR),                                                                            passenger station in the mid-1960s.
     offered only sporadic service, going bank-                                                                      For anyone looking for a true relic
     rupt two years later [and] discontinuing                                                                      from the early era of the Richland train
     service.” By the time it was put up for                                                                       station, santa-express.com tells us that
     sale in February 1892, Wentzel reports in                                                                     “the only remnant of the Pennsylvania
     a 1993 South Jersey Magazine article, “the                                                                    Railroad’s line through Richland is one
     railroad reached Sea Isle City,” making it                                                                    (of the original two) concrete bridge
     a more lucrative situation.                                                                                   abutment that carried the Pennsylvania’s
        An early timetable of trains running                                                                       double track electrified line over the
     on this line, reproduced in the pages of                                                                      Reading Company’s double track line.
     South Jersey Magazine, reveal that pas-                                                                       This structure is situated a short distance
     sengers traveling on a standard train                                                                         north of the present Richland Village
     from Philadelphia at 8 a.m. would arrive                                                                      passenger station.”
     in Winslow Junction nearly an hour                                                                              The Cape May Seashore Lines, estab-
     and a half later. From there, they could                                                                      lished by Tony Macrie in 1984, also offers
     expect a 20-minute journey with stops at                                                                      passengers in the Tuckahoe region a
     Folsom, Newtonville and Pancoast before                                                                       round-trip excursion train to Richland,
     entering Richland. The train would con-                                                                       which begins its journey at the historical
     tinue its run to Tuckahoe, with stops that                                                                    Tuckahoe Station.
     included “Landis Avenue” and Estelle,                                                                           The town of Tuckahoe, according
     before arriving in Sea Isle City by 11 a.m.                                                                   to William McMahon’s South Jersey
        It’s interesting to note that an express                                                                   Towns, is “on the Cape May County side
     train on the same run from Philadelphia                                                                       of the Tuckahoe River” and was once
     would stop at only four of the 12 locations                                                                   known as “Head of the River.” The term
     between the City of Brotherly Love and                                                                        “Tuckahoe,” McMahon explains, is “a
     Tuckahoe: Camden, Folsom, Richland                                                                            Lenni-Lenape name meaning “where the
     and Doughty. After Tuckahoe, only two                                                                         deer are shy.”
     of the six regular stops to Sea Isle City                                                                       We’ll take a look at the Tuckahoe
     weren’t part of the express route.                                                                            Station and its history when this series
        When the West Jersey Railroad took
     advantage of P&SR’s bankruptcy and                                                                            continues. n
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