Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines (PRSL)

The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines was formed in 1933 as a result of a partnership between the West Jersey and Seashore (WJ&S) and the Atlantic City Railroad (ACRR), the ACRR being a Reading subsidiary and the WJ&S being a PRR subsidiary. Both railroads operated next to each other in South Jersey. So close that one stretch of track ran parallel to each other. There was much competition between these two railroads as they tried to beat each other to their destinations.

Photo: Cliff Brunker

The railroads were so competitive, that both railroads continuously broke speed records,and at one time, were said to be the fastest trains in the world. The two railroads later decided to consolidate operations in south jersey because of the loss of profits as a result of roads being built next to the rail lines, and created the prsl. The railroad was dubbed “the steel speedway to the shore”. The two predecessors WJ&S(PRR) and the ACRR(RDG) both owned a percentage of the PRSL, the PRR owning two-thirds, and the RDG owning one-third. Most of the steam engines the PRSL used were from the parent railroads, however, they purchased their own diesel engines. These diesel locomotives consisted of Baldwin S-8, S12, and AS-16. They also purchased 10 EMD GP38 locomotives. They also placed an order for 12 Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs). These cars had many modern features, including a stainless steel exterior. The cars were powered by twin Detroit diesel engines.

Photographer unknown

Major junctions and interlockings around the PRSL were Vernon tower, this is where the bridge line(the line going over the
Delair bridge to Philadelphia) and the line from Broadway in Camden met.
Another junction was Tuckahoe. This is where trains headed to Cape May, Ocean City, Wildwood, and other destinations met. In the later years of the PRSL, their would be a two cars set of RDCs, where one car was going to Ocean City and one to Cape May, at Tuckahoe, they would split and go to their separate destinations. The PRSL was headquartered in Camden, NJ and its largest yard, Pavonia, was also located in Camden (now owned by Conrail).



In 1976, the PRSL became one of the many railroads absorbed into Conrail. Service to the shore points continued into 1981, when they were terminated due to low ridership.