New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad
Linking the Delaware River to the Chesapeake Bay
New Castle has a long history as a national transportation link. In the 1820s a turnpike connected ships on the Delaware River with ships on the Chesapeake Bay. However, the turnpike was in poor condition. Progressive town leaders saw possibilities in a new technology.
They formed a company called the New Castle and Frenchtown Turnpike and Rail Road Company and, in 1830, began laying track between New Castle and Frenchtown, Maryland, 16½ miles away. They ordered a locomotive from railroad pioneer Robert Stephenson in England and, on September 10, 1832, started full steam operations, one of the first such operations in the nation. The new venture functioned well, but, eventually, other railroads bypassed New Castle.
You can still see remains of the old railroad around town in the form of re-used granite blocks that once supported the rails.
Conjectural image by Hugh Ryan, Jr.
Erected by New Castle Community Partnership and New Castle Common.
Location. 39° 39.489′ N, 75° 33.783′ W. Marker is in New Castle, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is at the intersection of Delaware Street and The Strand, on the right when traveling south on Delaware Street. Touch for map. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Landing Place of William Penn (within shouting distance of this marker); Gunning Bedford House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Delaware Street Wharf Reconstruction (about 400 feet away); Packet Alley (about 500 feet away); The Welcome Society of Pennsylvania (about 600 feet away); Presbyterian Church (about 600 feet away); New Castle Common (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Castle.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 8, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.