Wilmington and Western Railroad

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Wilmington and Western Railroad
WW Logo rollover.png
Reporting mark WWRC
Locale New Castle County, Delaware, USA
Dates of operation 1872-1877, 1966-present–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

Marshallton, Delaware

Wilmington and Western Railroad
Wilmington and Western Railroad is located in Delaware
Wilmington and Western Railroad
Location 2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware
Coordinates 39°44′17″N 75°37′58″W / 39.73806°N 75.63278°W / 39.73806; -75.63278Coordinates: 39°44′17″N 75°37′58″W / 39.73806°N 75.63278°W / 39.73806; -75.63278
Area 73 acres (30 ha)
Built 1867 (1867)
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 80000932[1]
Added to NRHP September 8, 1980

The Wilmington and Western Railroad (reporting mark WWRC) is a freight and heritage railroad in northern Delaware, operating over a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) branch between Wilmington and Hockessin. The 10.2-mile (16.4 km) railroad operates both steam and diesel locomotives. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a national historic district in 1980.[1]


W&W #98 and #58 get ready to pull a double header

The Delaware and Chester County Railroad was incorporated in February 1867 to build from Wilmington in the direction of Parkesburg or Atglen, Pennsylvania,[2] and was renamed the Wilmington and Western Railroad in March 1869,[3] opening the line to Landenberg in 1872.[4] A foreclosure sale in April 1877 produced the Delaware Western Railroad, which was incorporated in June 1877 and merged into the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad, a B&O subsidiary, in February 1883.[3]

The B&O cut back the line to Southwood in the early 1940s and to Hockessin in the late 1950s. Historic Red Clay Valley, Inc. began operating steam tourist trains on weekends in 1966, reusing the old W&W name, and in August 1982 the W&W bought the branch from the B&O.[4][5]

In 1999, the rains of Hurricane Floyd caused considerable damage to the railroad. Two trestles were entirely destroyed by the flooding of Red Clay Creek, which also caused track washouts and damaged several other trestles. The two destroyed bridges were replaced by steel trestles, but the other timber trestles were simply repaired.

In 2003, Tropical Storm Henri struck the valley and produced an even more catastrophic flood. While the two steel bridges (and an iron trestle at Ashland) survived the flood, the remaining bridges were swept away or irreparably damaged. Despite the damage caused by these storms, the Wilmington and Western continued to operate on the remaining track, and replaced all of the destroyed bridges with steel trestles. The line officially reopened into Hockessin on June 30, 2007.


Wilmington and Western Railroad
Delaware Route 41
Red Clay Creek
Delaware Route 82, Yorklyn
Red Clay Creek, Ashland
Red Clay Creek
Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove
Red Clay Creek
Mount Cuba
Red Clay Creek
Red Clay Creek
Delaware Route 48
Red Clay Creek
Delaware Route 34
Red Clay Creek
Red Clay Creek
Delaware Route 41
Delaware Route 2
Marshallton Yard
Delaware Route 62
Landenberg Junction--Philadelphia Subdivision
W&W #114 waits for passengers at Brandywine Springs Park
Diesel motor car

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ An Act to incorporate the Delaware and Chester County Railroad Company, passed February 5, 1867
  3. ^ a b Interstate Commerce Commission, 42 Val. Rep. 1 (1933): Valuation Docket No. 1068, The Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road Company and its Leased Lines
  4. ^ a b Wilmington & Western Railroad: History, accessed February 2009
  5. ^ John C. Rumm (1978). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Wilmington and Western Railroad" (PDF). National Park Service.  and accompanying 11 photos

External links[edit]