Our trip began with a tour Amtrak’s Wilmington repair shop. We were transported by a very comfortable charter coach. This facility is highlighted by its 1903 engine repair facility, originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. We saw a number of Amtrak electric engines, as well as a number of different non-revenue diesels. There were also a few MARC engines on hand that are maintained under contract. We were allowed to take pictures inside and out and were told about the various maintenance processes that occur in the shop.
Our group then went to the Wilmington & Western Railroad. Due to some mechanical issues they were unable to run the train. A quick-thinking maneuver by one of the attendees brought us to Media and Philadelphia where we rode SEPTA’s Red Arrow 101 line. Another group had chartered Car 101, which has been recently wrapped to resemble the way the original cars looked 100 years ago when they were delivered. We were even able to add a dinner stop at the famous Mastoris Diner in Bordentown, N.J., always a crowd pleaser. Special thanks to Sid Keyles, Andrew Grahl and Coach Tours for all of their help.
Join us for a joint ERA/NYRRE trip to Wilmington, Delaware to make two interesting rail stops. Our first stop will be Amtrak’s Wilmington Shops where Amtrak personnel will give us a tour of the facility which handles many of Amtrak’s electric engines. We last visited these shops in May 2008 and were treated to a fascinating visit filled with many wonderful photo opportunities.
Following a lunch stop, our second stop will be the Wilmington & Western Railroad, north of downtown Wilmington. This Railroad was originally chartered in 1867 and officially opened for freight and passenger service in 1872. The line was shortened considerably in the late 1950s and in the mid-1970s the line’s new owner, The Chessie System, determined that the line had become a financial burden and filed for abandonment. The first revenue tourist train ran in November 2000 and we do not believe the ERA has ever visited it. At 2:30 PM, our group will take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride up the Red Clay Valley to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where we will enjoy a 30-minute layover to have a picnic snack (with your own snacks) or simply admire the natural surroundings. It appears the railroad will be using diesel rather than steam motive power for this run.
Our chartered Coach Tours bus will leave promptly at 8:00 am from the east side of 8th Avenue, just south of West 41st Street and across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. There will be an additional pickup at 8:45 am at the bus stop area in front of the NJ Transit/Amtrak Metropark Station. (Parking is available at $5.00 for 16 hours in the garage at the station.) It is expected that the bus will return home before 7:00 PM, so there will not be a dinner stop.
The ticket price is only $85 for this trip ($84 for seniors 60 and older). The ticket price includes round-trip charter bus transportation (including driver gratuity) and Wilmington & Western Railroad fare. Other expenses, such as meals, are not included. Please write your email address legibly on the order form (PDF download below) so we can notify you if there are any changes in the arrangements detailed above.
For further updates and information concerning this trip, please e-mail Sid Keyles at [email protected] or call him at 201-684-9408. This trip operates rain or shine.