The Dulaney Railroad: Delaware's First Abandoned Railroad

Within the State of Delaware, the first railroad built south of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal was also the first railroad abandoned within the state, known as the Dulaney Railroad. 

Rough trace of the Right of Way from our Abandoned Railroads map.

Walter Dulaney owned land in western Delaware about six miles west of present-day Clayton. The area was eventually known as "Dulaney Manor" or simply "Dulaney". 

The land at the time was heavily timbered, and to clear land for farming, in addition to making money from the timber industry, a railroad was constructed from Dulaney east to a point on the Smyrna River known as  Brick Store Landing, where the timber could be shipped.

Image: Delaware DOT. Note the Dulaney RR in the central part of the state.

Operation began in 1849, using wooden rails for the roughly 10-mile distance, and ended just one year later. Using a single horse for power, it was not a common-carrier railroad, and built for and used exclusively by the Dulaney family. The right of way generally followed present-day Clayton-Delaney Rd and Brick Store Landing Rd. 

By virtue of its 1850 abandonment, it marks the first abandoned railroad in Delaware, although as it was not a common carrier operation, the first chartered railroad abandoned in the state belongs to the New Castle & Frenchtown Railroad, which was abandoned west of Bear, DE in 1859. 

Links to cited works in this blog - 
History of Delaware : 1609-1888: Local history

Thanks as always for reading!


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