November 9th and 10th, 2013, the 3rd Annual Bordentown Heritage Railroad Days festival will commemorate the 182nd anniversary of the first public running of the “John Bull” locomotive and the successful start of commercial rail service in New  Jersey.


Bordentown Railroad Days weekend features free model train displays at two locations, documentary movie and play space for children. 


In the second week November, 1831, most of New Jersey’s legislators, foreign royalty, and many other distinguished visitors came to Bordentown, New Jersey. They made history as they spent the day taking the first public test rides and celebrating the latest innovation in transportation technology, a steam powered train on a rail road. 


This was a major turning point for NJ and American development. The Camden & Amboy Railroad started construction and operations in Bordentown and was the state’s first successful commercial railroad. Bordentown’s history has been linked with railroads from the first public runs of the “John Bull” locomotive, the early days of Camden & Amboy and Pennsylvania Railroad through the present NJ Transit RiverLine and Conrail freight line.


“Everyone is invited to celebrate the dawn of railroad travel in New Jersey by enjoying model train displays and activities at two locations in Bordentown City on this historic weekend”, said Dr. Michael Skelly, Executive Director of nonprofit Bordentown Heritage.  






FREE model train displays will be open to the public 10 am to 4 pm Saturday, November 9th, and 12 to 4 pm Sunday, November 10th, 2013. See model trains operating in realistically detailed scenery at the N scale NTRAK display by New Jersey Southern (NJS) at Christ Church of Bordentown (ccbtown.com) at 130 Prince Street, Bordentown.  Catch the holiday spirit with large whimsical G gauge trains and decorations on display by South Eastern Pennsylvania Garden Railroad Society (SEPGRS) at First Presbyterian Church of Bordentown at 420 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown.




Children, young engineers, and families can touch and play with “Thomas” trains and wooden track at the “Imagination Station” children’s play area at Christ Church, 130 Prince Street, Bordentown, NJ.




New this year, Bordentown Heritage Railroad Days has two shows each day of NJ Transit’s documentary “History of the Camden & Amboy”.  This 30 minute video will be shown at 2 pm and 3 pm, Saturday, November 9th and 2 pm and 3 pm Sunday, November 10th, at Christ Church, 130 Prince Street, Bordentown, NJ. The show was produced for NJ Transit by Bordentown’s RiverView Studios in 2006.



Bordentown Heritage Railroad Days 2013 is being held at two locations this year.

Christ Church Bordentown is located at 130 Prince Street, Bordentown, New Jersey.

Bordentown Railroad Days 2013 Map and Directions

First Presbyterian Church of Bordentown is located at 420 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown, New Jersey.

Bordentown Railroad Days 2013 Map and Directions



“Bordentown Railroad Days combines fun with authentic history. Visitors can enjoy the trains, restaurants, shops, and our town filled with historic gems”, Dr. Skelly said. Visitors to Bordentown will be able to visit on their own the Pennsylvania Railroad monument to the “John Bull” locomotive at Farnsworth Avenue and Railroad Avenue (near Farnsworth House restaurant). Also see 1830’s Camden & Amboy stone arch and stone walls visible from Prince Street and Railroad Avenue (near Christ Church). Historic markers, stone “sleeper” and iron spike are on display at the Bordentown NJ Transit RiverLine station parking lot (entrance near end of Park Street). 


The right of way/ground that the train ran on November, 1831 is now part of a NJ and National Historic District. The original, “John Bull” steam locomotive, assembled and operated in Bordentown, New Jersey in 1831 is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.




Bordentown Heritage Railroad Days is made possible by donations by visitors at the door; hosting by Christ Church of Bordentown and First Presbyterian Church of Bordentown; and volunteer modelers and crews of New Jersey Southern (NJS), and South Eastern Pennsylvania Garden Railroad Society (SEPGRS).