Mysterious ‘ghost tracks’ appear on Jersey beach — their story
LOWER TOWNSHIP — The storms that battered New Jersey through early March have quite literally unearthed an unusual piece of the state's history.
As the storms have cleared, the "ghost tracks" of Higbee Beach have emerged, as strong winds and waves washed away the sand that kept them buried. According to NJ.com, this stretch of tracks is more intact and level than a segment that appeared on the beach last summer.
The ghost tracks were once part of a rail line that was used for sand mining and a munitions testing facility during World War I.
According to a Weird NJ report published in the Asbury Park Press last year, the tracks date back to 1905, and were never used for a passenger line.
"Large cranes were employed in the operation to scoop the sand off the beach along the surf line and place it into the boxcars that a small locomotive would pulled right up to the waterfront on the tracks," the report says. "In its heyday, the company transported thousands of tons of sand per year. The Cape May Sand Company mined the fine quartz sand along the shoreline and shipped it for use in glass making or building projects."
According to the report, Cape May stopped the company from shipping sand off the beach in 1936.
Photographer Werner Tedesco, who has photographed segments of the "ghost tracks" before, used lights to similate the appearance of a train coming down the long-abandoned route. See his images, provided to New Jersey 101.5, above and below.
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