RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
GPS Coordinates: 40.148078, -74.716215 (at the light rail station)
Access by train/transit:
NJT's Riverline Light Rail system.
Bordentown is a fun place to visit. If you come by train, everything is within easy walking distance.
So once you're here, what is there to see?
You have a marker dedicated to the first railroad of the United States, the Camden & Amboy Rwy. It's up the hill from the station in the "downtown" area. The station itself is quite an attraction by itself due to the artwork they have chosen - some pretty cool stuff. Around the parking lot area, you have a number of other historical things, such as a marker to the railroad's facility that used to be here at the wye, and the ripped up leg of the wye.
Signals are all color
light, and over in the
downtown area on the
branch line is a rare
single aspect approach
If you're noticing the lack of an overhead catenary, that is because the light rail system uses DMU (in European parlance), Diesel multiple units.
Thanks to Denver Todd for his help with my railfan guides and suggesting welcome changes to help all ya'll.
Bordentown is fortunate that it is in the middle of a LOT of highways, and many of them are interstates. This also makes it complicated too, for there is no one way that is the best way to get here.
Making it even more complicated is the fact that the designers of our interstate highway, in their infinite wisdom, use the New Jersey Turnpike as only PART of the I-95 corridor, which is "above" Trenton.
From the NE, as in New York City or beyond, come down I-95, the Jersey Turnpike, and take exit 7, then go north on US206 about a mile, then a RIGHT onto Crosswicks St, and then another right, because New Jersey doesn't like left turns off of major roads! The graphic below illustrates the mess their no left turn policy creates :-)
Coming in the from the west as in the Pennsylvania Turnpike? Follow the signs for I-276, which takes you around the north side of Philadelphia, and is called the New Jersey Turnpike Extension (it's a toll road). Take the exit for US130, and go north to Bordentown.
From the Scranton or Bingo NY area, you can come in via I-476, taking I-276 east when you hit it in the Plymouth Meeting area.
Coming up from the south - DC/Baltimore? Come up I-95, but at the split just below Wilmington, I would stay to my right so I can come up the Jersey Turnpike, taking exit 7 as mentioned above. You can also opt for travelling up the "parallel" I-295 after crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is free, but it wanders around a lot more than the turnpike, especially when it runs into I-76 just south of Camden NJ.
1 Bordentown Light Rail Station
2 Camden & Amboy RR Historical Marker
The Camden & Amboy Rwy was the United States' first railroad to be granted a charter in 1830, and the first railroad in 1815 to be given a legislative act authorizing construction of a rail road. It ran from Camden NJ northward to South Amboy NJ.
Like many very early railroads, the Camden and Amboy used stone sleepers to lay their rail on. I have more info on sleepers here.
The picture of the sleepers came from: http://amhistory.si.edu/onthemove/collection/object_1162.html
3 Old Wye
4 Historical Markers
The markers are placed off the corner of the parking lot, in the blue circle below.
5 Coal Tipple
The yellow arrow in the aerial view above points to the old structure, barely visible during the summer.
1 Interlocking Signal
SB signal adjacent to the Bordentown light rail station.
South of the station, the CSX tracks merge into a single track for the interlocking, and the continuation north. This signal controls the southbound movements thru the interlocking.
2 Approach Signal
For SB freights approaching the interlocking, there is this fixed approach signal, viewable from the Farnsworth overpass.
FYI: Other examples of Fixed Approach Signals
Here is an example of an approach signal that never changes, B&O CPL style. Located in south Baltimore adjacent to the Westport light rail station, the building was torn down about 8 years ago, and the signal has probably been replaced as part of the Carrolls interlocking CPL replacement that happened in 2012.
This was Baltimore's last semaphore signal, on the approach to a swing bridge crossing the Back River going into Gray's Yard on the CSX, former B&O, it was the only signal on the B&O that was never converted to a CPL.... It disappeared in 2006.
A fixed approach semaphore signal in Saginaw MI, more info and pictures here
3 Interlocking Signal
This dwarf colorlight signal controls movements from the branch onto the CSX/light rail mainline. We're looking south towards Camden.
4 Intermediate Signals
Set of NB signals at Dultys Lane.
5 Intermediate Signals
Set of SB signals at Neck Road.
This is not a comprehensive list, and there a lot of trunking frequencies in use, too much stuff to go into here.......
There's a small CSX yard south of Neck
Ave. The yard office is on the north end of the yard off of Neck Ave.
Every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names. Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations. I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area. Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature. While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
Last Modified 12-Jul-2016