Wilmington & Western Railroad
1601 Railroad Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19808
(302) 998-1930

In continuous operation for more than 125 years, the Wilmington & Western (W&W) originally offered freight and passenger service over twenty miles of track from downtown Wilmington to Landenberg, Pennsylvania. Much of the track ran through Red Clay Valley, the namesake of the non-profit organization that owns and operates the railroad today. In the 19th century the Valley was bustling with farms, small villages, and water-powered mills.

At the turn of the century the railroad flourished with business from passengers traveling to a new resort at Brandywine Springs. Soon, however, the resort fell before the Great Depression, and the Pennsylvania Railroad discontinued its connecting service to Landenberg. Combined with the demolition of a large trestle bridge and the growth of residential development after WW II, these turns reduced the W&W to its current length, ending at Hockessin, Delaware.

Historic Red Clay Valley, Inc. and its members saved the railroad from extinction. Today the Wilmington & Western provides a scenic, entertaining, and enlightening trip back into time and through the beautiful countryside of Red Clay Valley. The antique coaches, pulled behind either a steam or diesel locomotive, pass over several wooden trestles, through rock cuts, and past one of Delaware's few remaining covered bridges. The destination is either Mt. Cuba, with a beautiful picnic grove, or Hockessin. Regular round trips take one to two hours.

Throughout its operating season, W&W features a large number of special events. Each is a lot of fun and many are educational. A few are outlined here:

  • Civil War Skirmish: the train travels with "troops" to the site of a skirmish between Union and Confederate forces. Troops talk to passengers about the battle and the War.
  • Paul Revere Limited: passengers travel on the Paul Revere, a unique self-propelled car that is normally used only for charters.
  • Track Car Day: members of the North American Rail Car Operators Association have track cars on line at the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove.

Special trips are featured on various holidays. There is a Wild West Robbery Train. Trains to History are especially for children. Many other special rides can be enjoyed, as well as the regularly scheduled excursions, or the popular Epicurean Express specials, with fine dining.Groups (25 or more) can enjoy a hayride on a flatcar, followed by a campfire back at the station. A Caboose can be rented, or, for large groups, an entire train (up to 270 seats) can be chartered.

Hours: Operates from March through December (plus January and February for charters and some special excursions). Call for current schedule.
Admission: Fares depend on length of trip, special features of ride, etc. Dinner Trains are also available (about $70 per adult, $30 per child). Call for details.
Adults $14.00 - $18.00
Seniors 60+ $13.00 - $17.00
Children 2-12 $12.00 - $16.00
Children under 2 FREE.
The prices shown here are representative, reflecting the price range for most excursions. Special features and attractions may increase cost. Visit the official website linked above for detailed information on current train schedules and prices.
Groups: Charters are available. Call for details.
Group Reservations: At least 4 weeks in advance for groups. Individuals should also reserve special trains.
Lunch: Local restaurants. Picnic area available. Catering available for groups.
Handicapped Access: Partial. Call.
Directions: I-95 South to Rt. 141 North to Rt. 2 West to Rt. 41 North. Turn right at Greenbank Park. Station is at bottom of hill on right.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.