PEMBERTON STATION MUSEUM & RAIL TRAIL

It being technically spring I ventured from my cave to the annual Pinelands Short Course at Burlington County College.  The programs were worthwhile but the afternoon choice was fun.  It was a tour of the Pemberton Station Museum and Rail Trail at Pemberton, NJ.  Here’s a photo of it taken probably around the turn of the century.   The last passenger service here was in 1969 and freight service probably stopped around 1980.  The station is of interest to me because the trains for Tuckerton and later directly to Long Beach Island, starting at Camden and continuing through Mount Holly, ran thru here to Whiting’s and thence southeast.  The junction also saw trains from Camden to Highstown and northeast New Jersey

The station building and surrounding area are being restored by the Pemberton Township Historic Trust funded by contributions and supported by Pemberton Township.  I’m told that Burlington County is going to take over the property and incorporate it within their excellent park system. 

Within the station there is a small railroadiana giftshop and an excellent museum of  railroading artifacts from lanterns to schedules to right of way maps to telegraph keys to engine bells and …..

What little rail remains is seen below along with some of their freight cars and a caboose.  They also own a GE 44 ton switcher that worked the yards at the Roebling steel works in its earlier years.  Elsewhere on the grounds can be seen the ash pit and foundation stones for a turntable.  I’m told that they had seven tracks in the yard area during the station’s prime of life.  With impressive optimism the volunteers see all of this restored in the future.

The right-of-way for the old Camden & Burlington County Railway leads west towards Mount Holly from the station yard and has been cleared to Birmingham as a pleasant pedestrian trail which crosses the north branch of Rancocas Creek.

Among the rolling stock is this bunk and office car for crews that performed maintenance-of-way.  This was created from an old wooden box car in 1943 because with the war on, steel couldn’t be spared. 

Another example of period railroad structures is this switchman’s shanty, barely enough to keep him out of the rain and wind in between occasional switch throwing activities.

It was an informative and pleasant afternoon, including a tractor-drawn cart ride along the right-of-way trail.  This included several stops to examine relics that they’ve uncovered in the clearing process.  They’ll be offering these rides on weekends in season, including a halloween hayride and a December Santa ride.  To keep track of what they’re doing visit their web site by clicking here.

2 Responses to “PEMBERTON STATION MUSEUM & RAIL TRAIL”

  1. Mike Pillows Says:

    Hey Ralph… great post. Growing up is this area I have visited this site often but probably not often enough. My favorite time is fall, when I ride my bike down this trail all the way to Mt.Holly. The road stops just up from the fire station! Thanks for the memories.

  2. Ralph Berglund Says:

    Thanks, Mike. I’m glad it meant something to you.


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