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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