Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Apr 26th, 2018, 11:06am
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   Fallen Flags
   General Fallen Flags Discussion
(Moderator: Henry)
   Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988  (Read 622 times)
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  IMG_0001_521x658.jpg - 53006 Bytes
« on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:11pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Back in the early 1960s, my parents rented a small house in Ocean City, NJ for our summer vacation.  Each day I could hear train horns blowing at several different times, yet the tall marsh grass and other homes behind ours prevented me from ever seeing anything.  I was too young to go off on my own.  Little did I realize just what I was missing.
In late August of 1981, we began renting in Avalon, NJ, but as we traveled the Garden State Parkway along the inland edge of Ocean City, I noticed a rail line beneath a bridge we crossed.  Looking down the line to the east, I could see a steel truss bridge sitting perpendicular to the tracks.  I figured it had to be an open "swing" or moveable bridge.  I later did my homework and realized I was seeing the Crook Horn movable bridge along the Ocean City branch of the former Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines.  On August 31st, 1988, I drove to Ocean City from Avalon and began to explore.  I'll share some of my trainless photos shortly, but first... the cover of the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society from 02/1993.  This photo by W.J. Coxey is the only picture I've ever found of action along this branchline.  I'm hoping by starting this thread, others who've vacationed in years past may have some pictures they'd be will to share of this now mostly torn up line.   -- Mark


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/IMG_0001_521x658.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00017-2_763x509.jpg - 44691 Bytes
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:25pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

I parked my car as close as I could to the Crook Horn bridge and walked in the two or so blocks it took to get this shot.  As the caption below the previous photo stated, train service ended on 08/13/1981 when the bridge's ring gear broke.  The bridge remained in the open position until it was removed during late 1992.  I wonder what happened to the other part of the semaphore?

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00017-2_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00023_763x509.jpg - 63322 Bytes
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:31pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

A closer view, looking west, north-west.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00023_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00019_763x509.jpg - 56742 Bytes
« Reply #3 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:35pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Looking north at the eastern docking point of the bridge.  Notice the rails coming in near the upper right of the photo.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00019_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2012, 11:32am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00018_763x509.jpg - 75826 Bytes
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:42pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Here's a close-up of the lower, center portion of the bridge.  Looks like part of the ring gear which broke and ended use of the bridge is visible just above the cement base.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00018_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00021_763x509.jpg - 78464 Bytes
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12th, 2011, 5:45pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Looking south-west at the entire eastern side of the Crook Horn bridge.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00021_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00029_763x509.jpg - 65672 Bytes
« Reply #6 on: Jan 13th, 2011, 12:02am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Here's one final distant shot of the Crook Horn bridge.  Though the Ocean City branch had been out of service for slightly over 7 years at the time I took these photos, most of the track on the eastern side of the bridge (and I believe western side as well) remained intact as evident here.  The moveable bridge had been built to span the Intercoastal Waterway.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00029_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2012, 11:37am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00027_763x509.jpg - 80630 Bytes
« Reply #7 on: Jan 13th, 2011, 12:13am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

From the bridge, the track proceeded east, then turned to the north and ran at one point down the middle of Haven Avenue in Ocean City.  Obviously a few of the local residents decided to try and beautify the rusting rails which separated the two sides of their street by planting a few flower beds along the former ROW.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00027_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00034_763x509.jpg - 46636 Bytes
« Reply #8 on: Jan 13th, 2011, 12:28am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

One of the more interesting structures the trains used to pass along Haven Avenue was this art deco style building which read "Ocean City Branch, Abbotts Alderney Dairies Inc."

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00034_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  DSC00031_763x509.jpg - 51040 Bytes
« Reply #9 on: Jan 13th, 2011, 12:46am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

In my final post of this thread, the former Ocean City train station serves as the local bus station, a block or two south of the city's big blue water tower.  Mostly hidden in the distant grass was a right-hand turnout.  I'm assuming it was placed at the end of the line to allow for the arrival of more than one car/train at a time.
The Crook Horn bridge was dismantled over 18 years ago and some of the track had finally been removed the last time I passed through Ocean City several years ago.  I'd be very interested in knowing whether any sections of track still remain along Haven Avenue and, as stated in my first post, am hoping some of you railfans who had vacationed in Ocean City prior to end of rail service in mid-1981 will share stories and any pictures you may have of this former PRSL branchline.  Thanks for anything you can contribute.  -- Mark


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/DSC00031_763x509.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
Flemington Flyer
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 3198
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #10 on: Jan 13th, 2011, 4:49pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Mark -
 
Once again, thanks for sharing your photos. As a Jersey native (but not a Jersey Shore vacationer - I know, weird, right?) I really enjoy these shots, anything to do with Jersey history is the best!
 
Ralph


Logged

One down, one to go.......
glennk419
Railfan
Posts: 199
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  CrookHorn_1b.jpg - 48503 Bytes
« Reply #11 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 8:53am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

This picture was taken in July 1982. The home signal smashboard was still hanging on by a thread at that point, I assume mother nature eventually finished the job. I spent many summers in OC and have fond memories of the RDC's. The first train out in the morning served as my alarm clock and I too lament the removal of the bridge and abandonment of the branch.  


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/CrookHorn_1b.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged

Glenn
Rdgrail
Chaser
Posts: 92
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #12 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 11:10am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Whats broken on the gear wheel thingy? Like why can't they replace it?

Logged

Nick
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #13 on: Feb 25th, 2011, 2:01pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

glennk419: Thanks for sharing your 1982 picture.  I was starting to think no other railfans ever vacationed in Ocean City, NJ!     Your picture shows things as they looked just 11 months after the line was abandoned.  Did you ever take any other pictures along the line at that time?  I know it remained fairly intact for several years following the abandonment.  Also, am I correct in assuming that you -- like I -- never photographed any trains moving along the line?  When you think of all the cameras that would have been taken along on summer vacations at the shore, certainly some railfan(s) must have recorded those RDCs on film.  Come on guys... share what you got hidden away in your photo albums or slide boxes in the back of your closets!
Rdgrail: Per the first post (the caption under the B&W photo), the bridge's ring gear broke and the cost of the repair wasn't justified.  I'm no engineer, but I would assume the ring gear was attached to the concrete block upon which the bridge sat.  If I'm correct, the bridge would have had to be lifted from that support to gain access to the ring gear... and by the 1980s, Americans were too used to jumping in their cars to head to the shore.  Ridership was probably down to next to nothing by then and the railroad was most likely thrilled to be able to abandon the line.  As also stated earlier... there's nothing left to repair.  The bridge was dismantled and removed in the fall of 1992.  --Mark


« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2011, 2:09pm by A-townbranchfan » Logged
glennk419
Railfan
Posts: 199
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #14 on: Feb 28th, 2011, 11:37am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Hi Mark,  
 
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from when the trains were running, only memories. I do remember there being some shelters at the 24th and 14th Street "stations", one of them even had a locally applied sign that read "Society Hill East" ( I think it was 24th Street). I also remember the bridge tender at Crook Horn as not being the friendliest guy in town, at least not to a teenager.  
 
A couple sources that I have found for pictuires of the PRSL in operation are the the Blue Comet website http://www.thebluecomet.com/PRSL.html and also on eBay where there are usually numerous offerings.


« Last Edit: Feb 28th, 2011, 11:39am by glennk419 » Logged

Glenn
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  prslOceanCity_752x491.jpg - 43497 Bytes
« Reply #15 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 12:53am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Thanks so much for that Blue Comet link.  I've borrowed a picture from that site to post here... only because it shows a picture of the station in Ocean City taken very close to the spot where I stood to take my shot after the line was abandoned (see reply #9).  Interesting to see how much nicer the station looked once it was converted to the O.C. bus depot.  Of course, seeing that RDC car sitting in the distance makes this picture much more interesting than mine.  Thanks again for the information.
Anybody else out there with pictures they took of the Ocean City branch while on summer vacation prior to the August 1981 abandonement?  If so, please share some of what you have.   --Mark


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/prslOceanCity_752x491.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2012, 11:47am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #16 on: Aug 11th, 2012, 12:42pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

While looking at other railroad videos today on YouTube, a link popped up for the PRSL.  I watched it and was very happy to see at the end of the film, a segment showing a steam-powered train crossing the Crook Horn movable bridge.  It also includes a very short clip of the bridge turning with some lucky boy riding along for the fun of it.  Go to YouTube and type in: PRSL 1947 to 58
The segment showing the bridge starts at count 8:48 and runs to 9:22.  Enjoy!
Still hoping somebody else out there has something to add to this thread... especially after watching films of this great old seashore branch in action!  -- Mark


« Last Edit: Aug 11th, 2012, 12:53pm by A-townbranchfan » Logged
viaskowhegan
TRAINing
Posts: 1
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  OC_RDC_Arrival_9th_Street_7_16_1981.jpg - 77844 Bytes
« Reply #17 on: Aug 29th, 2012, 6:09pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Thanks to all who have posted these great pictures.
 
I too vacationed in OC in the 70's as a child.  I have vivid memories of walking out to the tracks at 49th street with my brother and dad after dinner, watching the Crookhorn bridge close, and seeing the RDC headlight emerge under the GSP bridge.
 
Then after the 51st stop, the Budd car would roar by us northbound and flatten our pennies on the track.
 
Unfortunately I do not have any pictures until the 90s after everything was abandoned.
 
However, I have attached one shot I found many years ago on the net.  I believe the photographer was the late Gerry Andrews?    
 
If the date is accurate (07/16/81) then this is one of last pictures taken on the island before the 08/13/81 ring gear break and end of service.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/OC_RDC_Arrival_9th_Street_7_16_1981.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
 
« Reply #18 on: Aug 30th, 2012, 11:23am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

viaskowhegan: Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful south-facing view of the Ocean City station complete with one of the final Budd cars to travel the line, obviously photographed shortly after its arrival (northbound headlight still illuminated).  I also thank you for sharing your memories of the line/bridge.  If any of the photos you took post-abandonment show any parts of the line I didn't photograph, please feel free to add them to this thread.
Anybody else out there with photos or memories?  Please share anything you have.  -- Mark


« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2012, 11:31am by A-townbranchfan » Logged
A-townbranchfan
Historian
View Profile  

Posts: 670
Re: Ocean City, NJ branch and Crook Horn moveable bridge, 1988
  lrg-776-octrestle4_867x650.jpg - 82004 Bytes
« Reply #19 on: Sep 5th, 2012, 10:46pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Ran a Google search on Crook Horn and came up with two other pictures of the former Ocean City branch and swing bridge I thought I'd borrow and bring to this site for those interested.
In this first picture, the photographer shot the trestle which stood on the western side of the Crook Horn bridge (previously located on the far side of the shrubs/trees covering the track.  The picture was taken facing east with Ocean City visible in the background.  According to his notes, this trestle had been severely damaged by a fire after the abandonment of the line.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/ffgeneral/lrg-776-octrestle4_867x650.jpg
Click Image to Resize

Logged
Pages: 1 2  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »