Shifting sands reveal nearly century-old railroad tracks in Cape May County [photos]


    An early November coastal storm uncovered a rusty relic on a Cape May County beach. 

    About 100 feet of railroad tracks surfaced on Sunset Beach along the Delaware Bay in Lower Township, N.J. after being buried by sand decades ago. 

    The tracks comprising the Cape May Point Branch of the Atlantic City Royal Route were used to transport sand from a Cape May Sand Company plant in the early 1900s, according to local historian W. George Cook. 

    Years later, officials in Cape May stopped the company from shipping sand off the beach at Cape May Point, fearing that it was the reason why the swimming beach was disappearing, Cook said. 

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    But that wasn’t the case, he said.

    “The stopping of the railroad shipment did not change the natural movement of sand that moved away from the beaches from Sewell Point to Cape May Point,” said Cook. “Nature changes things just like this one storm that exposed the trestle track work.”

    The wood pilings connected to a trestle are likely buried under the exposed railroad tracks, the historian added.

    The discovery has become a tourist attraction, generating a flurry of off-season activity, according to postings on the Facebook group, Cape May Good Times.

    “Cape May County is filled with so much history,” Maureen Kelly-Smith wrote in the group. “I love living here.”

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