RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
The Wilmington guide is broken up to the following
Homepage - You're on it
East side - Amtrak Wilmington Shops and NS's Edgemoor Yard
West side - CSX's Wilsmere Yard and the Wilmington & Western RR
South side - Mostly local switching
Newark DE area
Wilmington Delaware is the home to a number of interesting items for the railfan.
It is located on the Northeast Corridor for one. Both Amtrak and Septa stop here. Septa goes one more stop to the south in Newark.
CSX runs to the west side of Wilmington, where Wilsmere Yard is located. Just slightly east of there is Elsmere Junction, where a branch line heads south to interchange with the "Pennsy"... it's not used a whole lot if at all.
Heading north from Elsmere Junction is the old Octararo Railroad line (1977-1994), which then became the Delaware Valley Railway (1994-1999, a subsidiary of RailAmerica) when the Octararo ceased operations. After them, came the Brandywine Valley RR (1999-2005), the East Penn Railways (2005-2007), and then the East Penn RR (2007-present).
Branching off from Amtrak on the south side of Wilmington is the Norfolk Southern, swinging around the east side of Wilmington on the old Pennsy freight line to Edgemoor Yard, which is next to Amtrak's Wilmington Shops. You can get good pictures of trains coming and going over the Christina River off Christiana St at the wye. Under the Pennsy, the bridge was No. (3) 3.77, and the interlocking was called Bridge. The track leading off the south side of the wye heads down into the DelMarVa peninsula on the New Castle Secondary.
The RDG also had three crossings to the west of the river crossing in the old days. One at Bridge, the next one west was Lane Interlocking, and then Ward Interlocking.
Not far off the left side of the map is the Wilmington and Western RR. Take DE2 (Kirkwood Highway) to DE41 (Newport Gap Pike) and head north a short ways, about 1000 feet. Greenbank Station will be on your right. More info at: http://www.wwrr.com/default.aspx
The Amtrak station in Wilmington is kind of unique, being that the track is elevated for a good portion of it's trek through downtown Wilmington. It's also a very picturesque station, but the north side of it is almost impossible to get good pictures of.
The only other station I know of in the area is along the NEC to the south in Newark. It's a good spot for pictures.
Here are a couple of Wilmington oriented web pages I
have come across:
http://www.cityofnewarkde.us/index.aspx?NID=192 Info on the Newark Depot
http://therailroadtourist.com/Delaware.html the Railroad Tourist's site for Delaware
http://www.american-rails.com/delaware-railroads.html Likewise, a site by American Rails about Delaware with a Facebook link
As far as signals go, Amtrak is still using modified Pennsy PL signals for the most part, of which many call the signals PCL's, or position color light. Many in the Wilmington area have LED's in them instead of the traditional incandescent light bulbs.
Norfolk Southern has replaced most, if not all of the old Pennsy PL signals with colorlight signals.
CSX still has some CPL signals around, but most of them have been changed over to colorlights too. Up in Philadelphia, there are still many CPL's left.
Wilmington has one claim to fame for signals that probably no-one has..... they use pedestal signals on the northbound tracks coming out of the station, on an overhead signal bridge. The pedestal signals have also been seen to use some LED replacements. Pedestal signals can be found all over the place, especially down in Newark.
Philadelphia is about 25 miles to the north on I-95... they got plenty of stuff. Baltimore is about 65 miles south on the same highway, and again, bunches of stuff.
Wilmington is convenient to I-95 running north and south through the middle of Wilmington on it's way between Philly and Baltimore.
If you're coming down from the east coast of New Jersey or New York, the New Jersey Turnpike make it easy, crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge and taking I-295 to 95 and then into Wilmington.
I-76 and I-476 are also good feeders from central PA or central NY via I-81 at Scranton.
Last Modified 08-Oct-2013