Friday, September 14, 2018

Some Railroad-Related Pictures at Delaware Park

B&O culvert over Mill Creek
I admit to not knowing the full story behind the birth of Delaware Park and the selection of its site. But whether it was intentional or not, its proximity to not one, but two major railroad lines had to be at the very least a piece of good fortune. The property was literally bordered by the Pennsylvania Railroad (now the Amtrak line) on the south and the Baltimore & Ohio (now the CSX line) on the north. While passenger service was discontinued years ago by the B&O and the PRR (although it was revived by SEPTA in 2000), remnants and memories do still remain of previous era -- if you know where to look. And lucky for us, former Stanton resident, history lover, and friend of the blog Ray Albanese does know just where to look.

Over the summer, Ray returned to some of his old stomping grounds and took some amazing pictures, which I can't thank him enough for sharing with us. I posted these pictures recently over on the blog's Facebook page, and a number of interesting discussions arose from them. But for those who can't or don't access Facebook, I wanted to post the pictures here as well. Instead of trying to weave them all into some sort of semi-coherent post, I'll just show the pictures and include some sort of description with them.

We'll start with the picture that started all of this -- the photo above of the B&O culvert over Mill Creek. This is the site that initially sent Ray out. He had seen the pictures here of the several other B&O culverts, and knew there was another one on the Delaware Park property. This view is looking north.

Interior of the culvert, looking south

B&O culvert over Mill Creek, looking south

Above are two more views of the culvert, one of the interior and one of the north side, looking south. The footbridge can be seen in the distance. Also seen on the left side of the bottom picture is the intake for the B&O's  pump house. As Tommy Gears tells us, the railroad used it to pump water up to a pan under the tracks. The steam locomotives would have a scoop underneath to scoop the water up.

Intake for the B&O pump house, visible in the background

Stairs down the shaft

Interior of the pump house

Terra cotta pipe

Seriously. Trees will grow anywhere

Now we move away from the culvert and pump house (which are northeast of the race track) to the section of track next to it. As previously mentioned, the B&O had a stop at DE Park for many years. These pictures are all from the area around the stop, between the race track and what I'm told is the Kirkwood lot.

Concrete ticket booth

Pathway under the tracks, built with the park in 1937
Steps from the tracks down to the pedestrian underpass

Pedestrian bridge over the tracks

Pedestrian bridge. Normally closed, but used occasionally when the under
 path is flooded and to access the second floor of the casino 
Ironically enough, although I've lived a majority of my life with a couple miles of Delaware Park, I've only ever actually visited it a handful of times. I never knew that the sites pictured above were even there. I want to send many thanks again to Ray Albanese for getting out there and bringing these to our attention. And I don't want to put any undue pressure on him, but he did mention possibly getting out again for some more shots in the fall or early winter, when the trees and underbrush clear out. So stay tuned...

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