Main Line, Pa
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DREXEL LODGE PARK, 4140 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square , PA 19073
HOURS: Mon. - Wed.: Closed -
Thursday: Closed -
Friday: Closed -
Saturday: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
CALL: (610) 975-0290
In the late 1800's, a railroad line was planned to run from southwest Philadelphia through Delaware County to Newtown Square, and then on to West Chester and then Downingtown. After various financial difficulties, construction was begun in 1893, and trains were running by 1894, though nothing was ever built beyond Newtown Square. The line was conceived as both a passenger and freight line. Shortly after the line was built, trolley service began from Upper Darby up West Chester Pike to West Chester. The railroad could not compete with the trolley line and so passenger services was discontinued in 1908.
The freight railroad took milk and farm products from the Pennsylvania Hospital Farm in to the city. A freight station and lumber yard were built on the west side of Rt. 252 across from what is now TD Bank . The line continued to run to Newtown Square until 1963, when service was abandoned. A fire at the lumber yard in the 80's destroyed most of the remaining buildings. All that was left of the railroad operations was an old abandoned freight station.
A new owner bought the property in the late 1990's and planned to demolish the old freight station. The Newtown Square Historical Society raised the money to have the freight station picked up and moved to its current location at the Drexel Lodge property. Several Society members, principally Sam Coco and Jack Grant, conceived of a new use for the freight station as the center of a local railroad museum, and began fundraising efforts to stabilize and restore the freight station, and acquired additional materials to be used for the museum project. In 2001, the railroad museum became a stand alone non-profit corporation charged with operating the railroad museum.
Today the railroad museum has several engines and passenger cars around the renovated freight station building, which houses a wonderful collection of railroad memorabilia from the Newtown Square branch railroad. It is a wonderful experience for children and adults.