Wilmington, Delaware

The Brandywine Industrial Track


GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

The abandoned track in Brandywine State Park just before the crossing of Van Buren Avenue. Photo by Joe Sharretts.

This track was put in place in about 1882, and started in Landlith, DE, switching off the main PRR line there. There was about a mile of street track at that point, after which it broke off from the streets and went through Brandywine State Park, finally ending at some local mills at Augustine Cut-off in Wilmington, DE, at 3.14 miles total length. It was used until Conrail abandoned the line in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Most of the street track was simply paved over. The section in Brandywine State Park is still intact except for grade crossings and about 1/4 mile of track that was removed for a hiking trail.

See also the The Kentmere Branch.

Thanks to Joe Sharretts for contributing information about this route.

This track use to go further up to the old mills at the foot of Rockford park. I would like to know if there is a diagram of that track,

Jim Shilling
Wilmongton, DE


This line dates back to the 1850's and served Dupont Powder Mills and a few other Firms along the way. It eventually was operated by Pennsy till 1967. The Reading lines came in on the back end of this line from the wilmington & Northern branch with a double track connection that went by the A.I. Dupont middle school. A lot of rail cars were exchanged between the two railroads here. The Reading had a full time crew out of Beech Street yard with a 0-4-0 Cameback in the 1930's just to move all the cars to trains going to Coatsville etc....

New Castle , DE


Pennsy moved cars from Edgemoor yard to Bancroft Mills on a regular scedule. The consist usually was a few tank cars and box cars with three coal cars for the steam house to power plant etc...on the back end of trains were cars heading to Coatsville on the Reading. The Reading Lines had a double below grade connection track from the Wilmington & Northern branch that went past A.I Dupont Middle school and came out across the Brandywine river from Dupont Experimental station. There was a quarry near there were all the stones for the 1902 Pennsy Viaduct came from and was still in operation in the 1930's. Reading hauled many stone and sand out of there in gondola cars. There was a stiff grade out of there to the W&N branch junction and was a slow chug for the 0-4-0 Camelback switchers to get out of there. They cut the trains in thirds of 5 cars each and went up the hill to the double siding to drop the cars and went back down light on the siding for more cars etc...after about three cuts like this they had a full train for Coatsville PA...When a out going train to Coatsville left Wilmington they would stop north of the junction and hump the Cabbose past the switch and then the switch crew would push out the train to be picked up from the back of the cut of cars coupled to the front of the 0-4-0 Camelback Switcher. It would push the cars out from the back as the train coupled to the cabbose of out going train, then head south on the W&N to the whole train was clear of the switch, The 0-4-0 would then uncouple and head back and clear the junction and blow it's wistle as a signal of being clear. They had a real high distictive pitched whistle normally not found on trains. The out going train to Coatsville would then back up and couple to the out going train to Coatsville. This usually happend about 2 times a day.

New Castle , DE


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/t23

Do you have any pictures or information about The Brandywine Industrial Track? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.