Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Point Pleasant Beach Train

Generations of families recall the little beach train that for almost 5 decades made the trip from Jenkinson's Pavilion to the boardwalk pier at the end of Broadway. 
Tradition states that Orlo Jenkinson Sr bought the train after seeing one operate in Brighton England.  At one time there were three shiny locomotives that pulled seven, two seat cars each and a pair of them always ran in seven-minute intervals often passing each other at 20 MPH.

By the mid 1990's the new owners of Jenkinson's lost interest in the train and the Zitarosa family purchased the train running it as a labor of love. Part were impossible to locate so locomotive parts were pirated from each other and by the end one locomotive could barely run at 5 MPH on a single set of tracks. The family struggled to find a buyer as they dealt with the constant deterioration of the tracks caused by the sand and heat. In the end they gave up the good fight and the old beach train became a Jersey Shore memory.


  1. This is a fond childhood memory of mine. Anything vintage PPB is. Thank you, Emil

  2. i loved that train

  3. My earliest memory of seeing the ocean always puzzled me because I could remember stepping over and along railroad tracks as I walked to the waves one winter in the late 1950's. You just answered what has been a mystery to me for many years - my father had a distant relative that lived in Pt. Pleasant, and I guess what I remember is this!

  4. Thank you for posting this. it brings back fond childhood memories. I rode it with my grandfather MANY times between the early 1950's and around 1960, then took my daughters on it when they were small in the 1980s. sad to have lost it.

  5. 1961 was my last turn on the Beach Train. Thereafter, my family vacationed on Long Beach Island for a few years, then we quit the Jersey Shore for good.

    It must have been grandpa. He died in January of 1961, and Point Pleasant Beach was not the same. My grandparents and the rest of Mom's side of the family (The Lange Gang) took a few cottages near the Beach.

    I remember the cool evenings on the teach train, the cotton candy at Jenkinson's, the Monkey Cage by the inlet and Beach Badges. Thanks.

  6. Hi- I loved that train! I lived at the Jersey Shore for 11 years (3-14)and have so MANY WONDERFUL memories!

    We did bring our first son on the train in 1983... but never did bring second son on the train.

    IWe live at the top of NJ, in the mountains now and so only go back for vacations.

    I very much look forward to reading your blog! :)

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