Lancaster to Downington

The New Holland Branch

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(Forwarded from the East Brandywine & Waynesburg Railroad)

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The northern end of the Struble Rail-Trail is found near Lyndel, PA. Photo by Joe Sharretts, January 2011.

This abandoned railway started out in 1854 as the East Brandywine Railroad, with the intent to connect the farms and villages along the rural portions of the Brandywine River with the lucrative markets within larger cities. The railroad would provide freight and passengers along the Brandywine River a connection to the Pennsylvania Railroad at Downington. The first half of the line opened westward from Downington to Waynesburg, and expanded further west as service along the route increased. Ultimately it reached "Conestoga Junction", just east of Lancaster, PA.

Changing hands many times, from the East Brandywine and Waynesburg Railroad, to the Downington and Lancaster Railroad, the line finally came under the control of the PRR in 1903, and was renamed the Holland Branch. Within the next few decades, service along the line began to decline as the automobile started making its presence known. Passenger service ceased in 1930; freight service ended in the 1960s, with the eastern majority of the line finally being abandoned by Penn Central in 1972.

Stations along the line, from east to west, are: Downingtown, East Downingtown, Dowlin, Dorlan, Reed 'n Road, Lyndell, Cornog, Springton, Glen Moore, Barneston, Wyebrook, Lewis Mills, Cupola, Forrest, Daupmann, Suplee, Buchanons Road, Honey Brook (formerly Waynesburg), Churchtown Road, Boartown, Cedar Lane, East Earl (western end of abandonment), New Holland, Groffdale, Bareville, Leola, Hellers Church, Hartman, Greenfield, and Conestoga Junction at former PRR mainline.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 19080 Date: 10/5/1955 Section: 1(18)
App. for permission to abandon and remove a portion of its New Holland Branch extending westerly from Milepost 9.2649, west of Glen Moore, to Milepost 17.3087, east of Honey Brook, all within Chester County, Pennsylvania, 8.08 miles.
Length: 8.08 miles Citation: 295 ICC 812  
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 22343 Date: 11/9/1962 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon a line of railroad extending northerly from Cornog, to the terminus of the branch at Glen Moore, Chester County, Pennsylvania, a distance of 1.89 mi.
Length: 1.89 miles Citation:  

The second photograph is of the Dorlan Paper Mill. If I recall correctly that the paper mill and the stone quarry at Cornog were the last two customers north of Downingtown at the time Hurricane Agnes. I know the paper mill used to get cars regularly even by '71 since I hopped the train a couple times in my younger days as it came up the Brandywine.

RK
Warrenton, VA
6/4/2011

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i noticed alot of abandoned rail on this line.is it still there?please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/25/2013

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New Holland Branch

https://www.facebook.com/gregory.pawelski.9/media_set?set=a.613115355474756.1073741897.100003288929249&type=3

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
8/24/2014

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The PRR freight station that was in across the street from the Honey Brook Fire Company was moved across Route 10 and is now the boro building.

Steven Plank
Narvon, PA
1/7/2015

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The PRR freight station that was in across the street from the Honey Brook Fire Company was moved across Route 10 and is now the boro building.

Steven Plank
Narvon, PA
1/7/2015

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My parents bought what used to be the Glenmoore train station on the corner of Fairview Road and Rt. 282 in 1976. It had already been converted to a duplex by then but it was fairly dilapidated. We lived in one side while renovating it and then lived in the other side while renovating and rented the other side out. One day a stranger stopped by and gave us a picture of our old house. It was taken in 1939 and it showed a locomotive chugging right through our front yard. There were no tracks in our yard when we lived there but there were tons of railroad ties along the Brandywine in the woods and we would play on them for hours and hours, especially on the old trestle bridge even further in the woods. The house also sat right smack on the Brandywine, literally a foot from it. We lived there for only 3 years but I have saved and cherished that photo for 40 years because I loved that house. What a really cool place to grow up.

Michael DePietropaolo
Glenmoore, PA
5/26/2018

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Michael,is the trestle you talked about in your article still there in the woods?I didn't see it on satellite view.

george oakley
reading, PA
6/2/2018

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The Glenmoore Station was located on Park Lane off Creek Road (Route 282). The building Michael is referring to was a cigar store and home of Owen "Duck" Dampman, where he was born and lived. The New Holland Branch literally went by the front porch and the rear is a couple of feet from the creek. After the track was taken out they elevated Fairview Road and re-aligned the creek. I have Then and Now photos of the location on my PRR New Holland Branch FB Album. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=648592665260358&set=a.613115355474756.1073741897.100003288929249&type=3&theater

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
6/2/2018

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Ha! How funny, we were always told it was the train station but I have seen other pics of the Glen Moore train station such as the ones you have posted and cigar store makes more sense. Thank you for clearing that up. I could never figure out where they would sell the tickets in the place!

I have the same pic you have, the one with the train rolling right through the front porch. Amazing!!

The caption on my copy says:

You can imagine Ma Crachett's surprise when this fan-laden special rolled right through her front porch. Place is Glen Moore, Pa, on Pennsy's New Holland Branch. Year is 1939 and lead engine is G-5s 5713.

On the back on my pic someone scrawled in pen:

The Foremans lived here in 1900

Barton & Ida

George

Bess

Earl

Elmira

Russell

Owen

Ed

Michael Depietropaolo
Glenmoore, PA
6/2/2018

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Hi George, I'm fairly positive they cleared the remains of the bridge out and developed the area. I think they removed a lot of the railroad ties along the Brandywine too.

Michael DePietropaolo
Glenmoore, PA
6/2/2018

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/h3r

Do you have any pictures or information about The New Holland Branch? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.