Roadtrip to 2014, to none other than…Delaware! (Part III)


Delaware Coast Line #4054 at Gravel Hill, DE on January 17, 2014 — Photo by Doug Miller

Let’s venture east out of Georgetown, DE towards Lewes and Frankford.

Georgetown (and to the east)

A customer on the edge of Georgetown is Schangrin Gas.  it supplies propane for heating.  At the bottom of the photo below, you can see two staircases along the spur that can be used to unload LPG tank cars (just below the three trucks lined up in a row).


Further east of Georgetown, the Delaware Coast Line (DCL) serves a large aggregate operation.  Let’s visit the operation at Gravel Hill.

The picture at the very top of the post is DCL #4054 at Gravel Hill.  Gravel Hill Yard is a large Delaware Department of Transportation facility.  The DCL brings in aggregates for DOT projects.



Aerial of Delaware DOT (Gravel Hill Yard) facility. The green dot at top is the location depicted in the photo just above.  The green dot to the right depicts location of below photo.



The DCL heading east encounters next Allen’s Harbeson Processing Facility.  This plant processes poultry for shipment all around the world.


It is not clear if rail shipments are currently taking place, but there is a large spur as indicated by the green dots.  If modelled, this could be an opportunity to spot refrigerator cars.


Nassau and Lewes

At the end of the line is Nassau and Lewes.  This is Atlantic Cement.  It is listed as a customer for the DCL.



This is Atlantic Cement from the air.  It looks like rail cars are unloaded to the left from time to time.

At the end of the line in Lewes is one last shipper, SPI Pharma.  It is a pharmaceutical company.  However, to get to the end of the line, the DCL has to cross a very interesting bridge.  The location of the bridge is depicted below with a green dot (to the left).  The green dot to the right shows the location of SPI Pharma.  The blue-green area at the top of the photo is Delaware Bay.


The bridge is a hand-cranked swing bridge.  The DCL crews have to get out and manually open and close the bridge!

DCLR 4054 Lewes DE Aug 13 2013 Bruce Aldred

DCLR #4054 Lewes DE August 13, 2013 –photo by Bruce Aldred

Here are a couple of videos showing the operation.

2012 video

2013 video

You have to love this, in 2014!  It is great!


Above is an aerial photo of SPI Pharma.  Three tank cars and a covered hopper are spotted along the top of the picture.  It is next to beautiful Henlopen State Park.


Tanks cars spotted at SPI Parma in Lewes, October 2013 –photo by C. Hunt

Lewes is a great town. It has a very rich history and a very active historical society–The Lewes Historical Society.  Lewes is being considered for inclusion as a part of the National Park Service’s First State Monument.  Among many other historic stories to be shared there, it is the equivalent of Jamestown for the Dutch colonists.  The establishment of this Dutch settlement had profound impacts along the eastern shore of what would become the United States.


The last stop for our sampling of rail-served businesses in Delaware is the Mountaire mill in Frankford.  Frankford is south of Lewes on the Norfolk Southern.  I like this mill because it is an interesting structure and there is a historic structure nearby,




Again, some selective downsizing would be in order, but it could generate a lot of covered hopper action on a layout.

This concludes the portion of the series on shippers.  Next time, we will look at some rolling stock that would typically service some of the businesses we have visited.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s