Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation Company

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Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation Company
The main line of the Camden and Amboy in 1869
LocaleNew Jersey
Dates of operation1830 (1830)–1872 (1872)
SuccessorUnited New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company
Track gauge4 ft 10 in (1,473 mm)
Track length99.71 miles (160.47 km)

The Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation Company, usually shortened to the Camden and Amboy Railroad, was a railway company in the United States. It was incorporated in 1830 and opened its first line in 1832, making it one of the oldest railroads in North America. It was consolidated with two other railroads in 1872 to form the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company (a forerunner of the Pennsylvania Railroad). Part of the company's original main line between Camden, New Jersey, and South Amboy, New Jersey, is used by the River Line.


The state of New Jersey chartered both the Camden and Amboy and the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company on February 4, 1830. Both companies were to develop a connection between New York City and Philadelphia.[1] The two companies, though remaining independent, agreed to cooperate and became known as the "Joint Companies." The Camden and Amboy was the first railroad to use wooden railroad ties and T-section rails.[2] The company completed a line between Bordentown, New Jersey, on the Delaware River, and South Amboy, New Jersey, in December 1832. The line was further extended south from Bordentown to Camden, New Jersey, across the Delaware from Philadelphia, in September 1834.[3] In the absence of a bridge over the Delaware, passengers bound for Philadelphia transferred to boats at Bordentown or Camden.[2]

The Protection Act, passed in 1832, "prohibit[ed] any other railroad from building within three miles of the Camden & Amboy's termini."[4] This did not preclude the New Jersey Rail Road and Transportation Company from building a line between Jersey City, New Jersey, and New Brunswick, New Jersey. The line was fully opened in 1837.[5][6] Meanwhile, the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad, a Pennsylvania company, was building a line between its two namesake cities. In 1836, the Philadelphia and Trenton agreed to cooperate with the Joint Companies.[7] The Camden and Amboy linked these projects together by building from Bordentown to Trenton (1838), and then Trenton to New Brunswick (1839).[3]

The Camden and Amboy built three other short branches: the Princeton Branch, serving Princeton, New Jersey; the Kingston Branch, serving Kingston, New Jersey; and the Florence Branch, serving Florence, New Jersey.[3]

The New Jersey Rail Road, Camden and Amboy Railroad, and Delaware and Raritan Canal Company moved to a closer association in 1867 when they created a joint board of directors. This was known as the "United Companies", although all three companies continued to be independent.[8] A formal consolidation into the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company followed in 1872; the Pennsylvania Railroad leased the new company from the outset.[9]

See also[edit]



  • Churella, Albert J. (2013). The Pennsylvania Railroad: Volume I, Building an Empire, 1846–1917. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-4348-2. OCLC 759594295.
  • Coverdale & Colpitts (1946). The Pennsylvania Railroad Company: The Corporate, Financial and Construction History of Lines Owned, Operated and Controlled To December 31, 1945. Volume II: Lines East of Pittsburgh. Philadelphia: Allen, Lane & Scott. OCLC 13172415.
  • Freeman, Leslie E., Jr. (May 1953). "The New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company". The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin (88): 100–159. JSTOR 43520074.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)