The charter for the Swedesboro Railroad was secured
from the New Jersey legislature
of the Clarksboro Railroad Station
the rail line had its beginning in 1854, when it was incorporated with a capitalization
of $175,000. The Swedesboro Railroad through what is now East Greenwich Township
was officially opened for service between Woodbury and Swedesboro during the year
were four stations, with buildings in the township, i.e., Mt.
Royal, Clarksboro, Mickleton
and Tomlin Stations.
was however the main station in East Greenwich. Connections were made at Woodbury
with the Camden and Woodbury Railroad and at Swedesboro with the Salem Railroad.
Passenger service operated through East Greenwich from its inception in 1869 until
the conclusion of passenger service on December 31, 1950. Freight service continues.
Passenger service was for the most part handled by steam trains and in the last
years by gas electric rail cars.
railroad in East Greenwich passed through the hands of several owners from the
original Swedesboro Railroad. Late in 1869, the Swedesboro Railroad and the Salem
Railroad were needed to the West Jersey Railroad (later West Jersey and Seashore
Railroad), which was in turn bought into the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1930.
In 1933 the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad merged with Southern
New Jersey operations to form the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines, which was
itself absorbed into Penn-Central in 1966. From the ashes of the Penn Central
evolved Conrail in 1973, which now includes the rail line through East Greenwich
in the permanent Conrail System. Since Contrail, the badly deteriorated railbed
and tracks have been upgraded to Federal Railroad Administration standards. [In
1981 there was consideration being given to restore passenger service to certain
rail lines in Gloucester County.]
Messick recounted that Scott and Sam Greene operated sweet potato packing houses
near the site of the Clarksboro Station and during the 1920's and 1930's they
shipped upwards of three carloads a week of sweet potatoes during the season.
A similar type sweet potato packing-shipping operation also existed near Mickleton.
The building is still in use and is presently occupied by the Mione Soap Co. Other
commodities that at one time were handled by the railroad in East Greenwich were
coal, lumber, building materials, feed grains, and farm machinery. There has not
been in recent years, much railroad freight destined to the township, however
the heaviest and largest rail shipments ever arrived into the township during
September of 1974. These shipments were the gas turbine engine, net weight 304,000
lbs. and electric generator net weight 345,000 lbs. which were loaded at Clarksboro
for transshipments to the Atlantic Electric, Mickleton generator station.
the archives of the former Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore lines came information
on passenger excursion trains that occasionally operated during the summer into
Mt. Royal. There, groups detrained for picnics in the Mt. Royal cove area, until
the untimely demise of the cove area in the mid 1930's.
the years now gone, the passenger trains serving East Greenwich also carried United
States mail, Railway Express, and milk and cream shipments in large cans. In addition
to his railroad duties, the railroad station agent handled freight, Railway Express,
milk and cream shipments and Western Union telegraph service. In the earlier times,
Western Union was the medium whereby news of the outside world first reached the
township. The railroad station and the station agent were without question, one
of the central locations of community life and activity during the railroad years.
President came to this area by train during the election campaign of 1912. William
H. Taft, President, a Republican was being opposed by Woodrow Wilson, Democrat
and Theodore Roosevelt who had been President as a Republican but had founded
the Progressive Party in August 1912.
any readers have a photograph or knowledge of a photograph of the Mount Royal,
Mickleton or Tomlin Station railroad depots/stations please
information was abstracted from the 1981 Centennial Booklet,
section was written by Fred Winkler)
Farms, and a Railroad (South Jersey Heritage: A Social, Economic and Cultural
History - R. Craig Koedel)
of Area Elk Railroads
Jersey and New Jersey Railroad History Links
Railroad Historical Society, Inc.
South Jersey Rails
of the Jersey Shore - Historical Societies (list)
JERSEY - America's Railroad Playground
of Rail Service in Cape May NJ