West Chester Railroad (1831–1903)

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The West Chester Railroad was chartered in 1831 and began operation in 1832. The railroad line ran from West Chester, Pennsylvania, for 9 miles (14 km) to Malvern, Pennsylvania, where it connected with the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. Service was originally provided with horse-drawn cars.[1][2]

The rail line originally terminated in West Chester near the corner of East Chestnut and North Matlack Streets.[3] The first permanent station was built in 1846 and the line was rebuilt in the late 1840s to support steam locomotives.[1] The line was later routed to terminate at the East Market Street station of the West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad (WC&P).[citation needed]

The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took over the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in 1857, and began leasing the West Chester Railroad in 1859,[2] and completed an acquisition of the West Chester in 1903. The PRR re-routed the northern end of the line to a connection with the main line at Frazer in 1880, and subsequently the line was known as the "Frazer Branch." The PRR ended passenger service on the Frazer Branch in 1932, while service continued on the WC&P line (known until then as the "Media Branch," and later as the "West Chester Branch") until 1986.[1] The Frazer branch tracks were removed in the early 1960s.[4]

The currently-operating West Chester Railroad is a tourist railroad which runs trains between West Chester and Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, on the Media/West Chester Branch.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jones, James A. "A Brief History of Transportation in West Chester". Accessed 2010-01-02.
  2. ^ a b Poor, Henry V. (1860). History of the Railroads and Canals of the United States of America 1. New York: John H. Schultz & Co. p. 512. 
  3. ^ Jones, James A. "Walking Tour of West Chester's Railroad Corridor." Accessed 2011-01-02.
  4. ^ Jones, James A. "Railroad and Stations in Chester County." Accessed 2011-01-02.
  5. ^ West Chester Rail Road History