RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
West - CSX's Wilsmere Yard and the Wilmington & Western RR
The Wilmington and Western is Delaware's only tourist railroad, and does operate steam. They also run special event trains throughout the year. For more information, check out their website at: http://www.wwrr.com/default.aspx
CSX's Wilsmere Yard, a former B&O yard, is located nearby (kinda) off Kirkwood Highway. Good shots of anything in the yard is pretty difficult except from Centerville Rd, which is at the western throat of the yard. The yard office is right off the road. You can also get shots of SB (or more correctly, WB) trains at the end of B&O Lane, if the track is not obscured by something sitting on the yard tracks. The tracks coming at you here veer off to the left on a gentle curve, afternoon sun is much better here.
Elsmere Junction is located just east of the yard. There used to be a crossover here, but it was removed back in the 60's or 70's. A branch heading to the south from here is little used if at all, and interchanges with Amtrak down by their (now) MOW yard.
The track heading north from this interchange is the East Penn RR. Their website is here: http://www.eastpennrr.com/ It is interesting to note that they still refer to this line as the Octararo line. They also have a number of good shots of their trains on their homepage.
As far as signals go, there aren't many in the area. Elsmere Junction lost all of it's signals when they took out the crossover, altho one CPL stood "alone" in the middle of the lumber yard for years until the B&O finally removed it :-). If it is still there, there are two CPL's on a bracket post to the east of the yard, and singles to the west by Newport and Gap Pike.
Delaware 141 is right off I-95 on the south-west side of Wilmington. Because of where it junctions I-95, it can be difficult to exit there. This is because 141 intersects I-95 where I-295 and I-495 all come together.
So if you're northbound on 95, you can easily get off NB on 141 at exit 5.
Likewise if your SB on I-95, take exit 3. If you coming around Wilmington from the north via I-495, follow the signs for I-95 south to Baltimore, and take the now famous exit 5.
If you are coming down from New Jersey via the NJT and I-295, things get fun for ya'll. This is because the SB exit is off to your right as you enter I-95, and there is no way for you to get over and make the NB or SB exits. So you have two choices, one is to get off at exit 4, take Churchmans Road and almost as soon as you get on that road, take the first exit to head north on Stanton-Christiana Rd (DE4). After you cross the NEC, it will split into two one-way streets going thru the town center, and then come back together on the other side as West Newport Pike. Take this over to 141 and then head north.
Ya'll from NJ way can also take I-295 to I-95 north and get off in downtown Wilmington at exit 6, again, just after going over Amtrak's NEC, and then loop back west (a left turn) via Maryland Ave. Shortly after crossing the tracks adjacent to a park on the right, take a right onto N Dupont Rd. , and this will take up to Elsmere Junction.
1 Wilmington & Western RR
2 Wilsmere Yard
3 Elsmere Junction
The green line is the crossover track that's been removed, and the last CPL standing from this interchange was in the middle of the lumber yard at the green circle.
4 East Penn RR
Picture from the East Penn RR website
Last Modified 08-Oct-2013