Page 78 - The Hunt - Fall 2019
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  In other words, many people want to experience the stories told behind the private collections of railroad memorabilia. And fortunately, there’s plenty to ride and see in the Brandywine region and nearby areas, especially during late fall foliage season. Delaware’s in-house railroad is
the Wilmington & Western, which plies the route along Red Clay Creek between its station in Greenbank (near the intersection of Newport Pike and Kirkwood Highway) and Hockessin.
Using both steam and diesel locomotives, W&W has several scheduled and special-event rides along 10 miles of track that switch back and forth across the old mill stream, through forest and along
stretches cut through solid rock. The route was first run in 1872, when the line carried goods between the port of Wilmington and Landenberg, Pa.
Today, regular 90-minute trips run between the station and Mount Cuba, Del. The longer route to Hockessin is two and a half hours.
New this year is the Hockessin Merchant Express, which begins with an on-board continental breakfast and allows two hours of browsing the shops. About an hour away, near Lancaster, Pa., is the Strasburg
Rail Road. While not as long or as scenic as the W&W, there’s still much to recommend, including a great backstory. Chartered in 1832, the Strasburg line is the oldest continuously operating railroad in the western hemisphere.
A recent ride on the Strasburg rails proved quite enjoyable— especially with seats in the parlor car, which has great views, plush chairs, and a bar with snacks, beer, wine and cocktails (a well-made Manhattan at 11 a.m. cannot be argued with). On the way out, the first-class parlor car (No. 88) is the last one on the train (sorry, no caboose). Then the engine switches on the way back for close-up shots of steam flow back over the train.
The Strasburg excursions are popular, so reservations are recommended. The crowd is a mix of older folks visiting Amish Country and younger families introducing their children to rail travel “the way it used to be.” Once off the train, there are shops to visit and a café in the complex.
                                           Interested in a tour?
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     76 THE HUNT MAGAZINE fall 2019

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