By Joe Holden

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — A recent coastal storm churned up the waters and shifted around the sand down the shore. But it also helped uncover a piece of history, and it’s not the first time.

On a breezy, mild day along the Delaware Bay, Higbee Beach is just a little busier than usual. Just up from Cape May Point, the place is bustling with history — weather-beaten reminders from World War I slowly fading with time, disappearing from the constant roll of waves.

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Late last week, word spread that “ghost tracks” had reappeared on the beach.

Harry Bellangy, president and historian with the Greater Cape May Historical Society, met Eyewitness News along the shore.

“You never know when it’s going to happen,” Bellangy said. “It’s a random occurrence depending on what a specific storm does.”

Usually a powerful storm?

“Powerful storm, lots of wave action and there’s erosion,” Bellangy said.

A powerful storm will move the sand around, and shift things on the bottom of the bay, revealing century-old rail lines.

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But on this afternoon — and almost near low tide — still no tracks.

“A watched tide never goes out, or something like that,” Bellangy said. “This is where we’re at.”

Eyewitness News awaited for a couple of hours along the Delaware Bay and then, they appeared — those elusive ghost tracks.

The mysterious, mangled, bent and weathered cast iron lines revealed themselves and a small crowd was here for it.

“The fact that all the sudden they appear, and everybody goes, ‘oh well, what are they from?” Bellangy said.

The lines were used for sand collection for local glass manufacturing and for munitions operations during World War I by Bethlehem Steel.

Bellangy admits for most it’s a one-time draw.

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But like the shifting sands pushed around by full-moon influenced tides, the tracks won’t be here forever — with a certain slow fade into history.