South Jersey Rails 1890
*The details behind the map pages covering 1890 through 1894 for the lines from Richland to Sea Isle City and Ocean City (through Tuckahoe and Petersburg) are complex and muddled. The Philadelphia and Seashore Railway COmpany established trackage between Winslow Junction and Sea Isle City as early as 1890, but poor construction and inter-company conflict apparently prevented regular passenger service from operating until 1894.
First the West Jersey Railroad would not let the Philadelphia and Seashore connect its tracks in Richland. Then, in 1892, after the P. & S.S. entered bankruptcy, the W.J. R.R. acquired the right-of-way and incorporated two subsidiaries to rebuild and operate the line: the Winslow and Richland Railroad and the Richland and Petersburg Railroad. Subsequently, the Atlantic City Railroad prevented the W.J. R.R. from crossing A.C. R.R. to gain access to Winslow Junction. As a result, the W.J. R.R. sold the track to the South Jersey Railroad. The corporate sparring observed here represents a larger conflict, through proxies, between the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, which controlled the Atlantic City Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Railroad, owner of the West Jersey Railroad. This round of the greater struggle between the two Philadelphia-based railroads culminated in a classic "frog war" at Woodbine in 1894.
Although regular passenger service between Richland and Tuckahoe began operating during the summer of 1892, the West Jersey Railroad only provided a coach or combine attached to freight cars to accommodate the meager ridership. When the South Jersey Railroad acquired the line from the West Jersey Railroad, the S.J. R.R. instituted through service between Winslow Junction and Sea Isle City in July 1893.
Many thanks to the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society for granting permission to use the base map, and to Paul W. Schopp for providing detailed information, advice and encouragement.
Last updated: 2005 Seventh Month, 21st.