Newark, DE to Pomeroy, PA

The Pomeroy Branch

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This trestle on the Pomeroy Branch was removed long ago. This is located in White Clay Creek Park. Photo by Joe Sharretts.

The Pennsylvania RR Pomeroy Branch was built in 1869 as the Newark & Pomeroy RR. The surviving sections succeeded through the Pennsylvania RR, Penn Central, and then Conrail. The line extended from Pomeroy, PA, on the main between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, to Buck Run, Doe Run, Chatham, Avondale (were it intersected the PRR Octoraro Branch), then to Landenburg (where it intersected the B & O Landenburg Branch), then into Delaware to Newark, Davis, Porters, Raybolt and finally to Delaware City on the Delaware River. The Branch intersected all the major lines coming SW out of Wilmington, DE. The only remaining active portions are from Davis to Porters to Raybolt, and this section is used to serve industries in the area.

The section from Pomeroy, PA, to the Delaware state line was abandoned in 1937. The section from the Delaware state line to Newark was abandoned in 1939. Some remaining trackage in Newark, DE, that was serving local customers was abandoned and pulled up in 1984.

Thanks to Joe Sharretts for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 11273 Date: 7/11/1936 Section: 1
App. of Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington RR Co. and Pennsylvania RR Co., lesee, for permission to abandon a portion of its Pomeroy Branch in Chestern County, Pa. to New Castle County, Delaware, a distance of 3.44 miles.
Length: 3.44 miles Citation: 217 ICC 291  
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 12117 Date: 7/20/1938 Section: 1
App. of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad Company, Lessor, and The Pennsylvania RR Co., Lessee, for abandonment by the former of that portion of its Pomeroy Branch extending, from a point north of Newark Centre to Thompson, a distance of approximately 3 miles all in New Castle County, Delaware and abandonment of operation by the Pennsylvania RR Co. as Lessee.
Length: 3 miles Citation: 228 ICC 775  
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
Docket Number: 14068 Date: 12/24/1942 Section: 1
Application of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad Company and The Pennsylvania Railroad Company for authority to abandon by the former of those portions of its Pomeroy Branch between Chatham and Avondale, 2.72 miles and between Avondale and Landenberg, 3.75 miles all in Chester County, Pa. and abandonment of operations thereover by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
Length: 6.47 miles Citation: 254 ICC 820  

The line from Pomeroy to Chatham was in place and active into the 1960s to service a quarry there. South of Chatham it was gone long befor the 1960s.

Richard Kiester
Culpeper, VA
4/13/2010

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They're converting this into a bicycle trail. Just do a google search. I'll upload some photos later, if you like.

Joel Schwaber
Newark, DE
1/12/2012

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Joe, Have you ever walked the lines in Landenburg? There is still alot of evidence of ROW there.

Christian Bentley
Kirkwood, DE
1/20/2012

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I do a lot of Mt Biking in the White Clay State Park and I have run into a number of segments along White Clay Creek. It is to bad that this old Fail line could not be turned into a great Rails to Trail from Pomeroy Pa to Newark De

Jon Osborn
wilmington , DE
6/25/2012

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When growing up in Havertown, Delaware County, Pa, our grandmother lived in Pomeroy and we spent summertime with her. PRR main line was right in front of her house and we had a good view of the town. This included the yard and Y that was the north end of the branch line. These days were in the 1940s and the "Pompeedoodle" line was well in use. Trains would go down the line almost daily and many times some would return with loads of manure from the mushroom growing region and these cars would sit in the yard over the weekend. As far as I know, the line was still operating into the 1950s before being shut down.

Wilson Zercher
Santa Maria, Ca, CA
7/15/2012

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The northern end of the route as shown, as a straight shot from Pomeroy to W. Glenrose Rd., is inaccurate. An old topographical map shows it continued to snake its way along Buck Run in that area. The route has been rail-trailed from the Amtrak junction in Newark to where the bridge over N. College Av. was. After a short gap, it continues to Hopkins Rd. I'd love to see the whole thing converted to a trail, but that's not likely. I'm sure, where it passes though some very wealthy areas in Chester County, it has revereted to private owners who would move heaven and earth to prevent that.

Carl Schrass
Talleyville, DE
10/9/2012

[Thanks Carl, I've corrected the northern end of the route.  —Greg Harrison]

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Joe,

I just bought a property with the Pomeroy Newark RR running through it. Where is the best source of history and pictures of the RR? By the way there is a beautiful wooden truss bridge for foot traffic on the property. The property is on Springdell Rd. Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!

Jon

Jonathan Ireland
Coatesville, PA
12/29/2012

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Jon,

I've given some presentations on the Pomeroy & Newark locally over the last few years, and I know several of the people who have been researching it. The New Garden Historical Commission Website http://mercury.ccil.org/~nghc/index.htm has a nice history written by Ben Marsden.

If you're interested in more information, drop me a line at choess@stwing.org; I can also point you at the few printed sources that exist.

Yours,

Chris

Chris Hoess
Stanton, DE
1/13/2013

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Jon,

I can walk you through the right of way from Pomeroy to Chatham. South of Chatham is is some what of a mystery to me until Landenburg. Are you the owner of the property that has the covered bridge over Buck Run?

Tim McFeely
Kirkwood , PA
1/24/2013

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Tim,

Would love the help. No, my bridge is near Doe Run Station House on the northeast corner of Springdell & Chapel Rds. in Coatesville (Unionville) not far from the Whip Tavern.

Thank you,

Jon

Jon Ireland
Coatesville, PA
1/24/2013

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i noticed 2 abandoned bridges on the rail line.are they still there?please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/27/2013

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The Pomeroy Branch

https://www.facebook.com/gregory.pawelski.9/media_set?set=a.546719915447634.1073741871.100003288929249&type=3

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
5/10/2014

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Walked the old ROW from Clonmel-Upland to Chatham Rd last Saturday night. Much is "gone" but there are one set of abutments and one small overpass just south of Sharitz Rd. This is all very private property but very pretty.

Stoney
Chester County, PA
6/1/2015

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I don't know why but I looked on the map at that wooden trestle on timacula rd.Never thought to actually look at it.Does anybody know if that bridge is still standing?Any information would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.

george oakley
reading, PA
11/3/2015

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George, I was at the trestle last year (as well as thirty years ago) and it is still there, minus the part above the road. Check out my url address to my FB Pomeroy Album.

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
11/3/2015

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Thanks greg for responding.I was wondering because it is amazing that wooden trestles last like they do.I will check out your FB Pomeroy Album.

george oakley
reaading, PA
11/3/2015

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Just, out of curiosity, drove down East Highland Road this afternoon. Got as far as the girder bridge, before the No Trespassing signs became too big not to miss! I was also not dressed to scramble in the briars for a picture. Seems to be easier to get there from Timacula Road, which I will do Thursday.

Tim McFeely
Christiana, PA
11/3/2015

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Tim,are you talking about the girder bridge on buck run?Seems like it's closer to Timacula rd.If you can get pictures let me know where you post them so I can see them.Thanks.

george oakley
reading, PA
11/4/2015

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Inside my Pomeroy FB Album, I have a 1985 photo of the Beaver Dam Flag Stop. I'm told that this is the Garrett, Co., C.S. & Son (Garrett Paper Co.) Mill at Beaver Dam. By 1921, it had become General Paper Co., Inc., "successors to Marley Mill Corporation." The mill manufactured wallpaper under Garrett and Marley, and included "crepe toweling and specialties" under General Paper. By 1929, General Paper had become a subsidiary of Bedford Pulp and Paper, a Virginia company. General Paper continued to operate at this site, making paper towels in the 1950s, and was actively shipping over the railroad at the formation of Conrail. It appears to have operated through the end of service on the branch. The mill has now been demolished, and the millsite seems to have been transformed into a private estate. At one period there were eight paper mills on Buck Run within a distance of five miles.

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
11/4/2015

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