History Review

History of the Seaford Railroad Station

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  • The first railroad station in Seaford was built in 1856.  This station was located just behind where the existing station is now. 
  • The cost to build the original station was $1,458.12. 
  • In 1857, an additional $1,700.13 was spent on the station.  An 1858 Annual Stockholders Report for the Delaware Railroad shows that this money was spent on the station, but doesn’t list how it was used.  It was most likely used for improvements of some kind to the station. 
  • The original station was destroyed by fire in the early 1900’s. 
  • A new station was built from 1902 – 1903.  This is the station that is still used today.  The cost to build the present station is unknown.
  • The railroad to Seaford opened on December 1, 1856.  The first  train came to Seaford on December 11, 1856.  This train was full of stockholders and invited guests from Philadelphia and Wilmington, who came to celebrate the opening of the railroad.  They were greeted by thousands of people here in Seaford on a very cold winter day.  The railroad was named the Delaware Railroad, and it started in New Castle, DE.  The Delaware Railroad ended on the north bank of the Nanticoke River, in Seaford, when it opened in 1856. 
  • In 1860, the railroad was extended to Delmar, DE. 
  • In 1869, it was extended to Cambridge, MD.
  • At one time, there were three railroad stations in Seaford.  They were the present Seaford Station, the Cambridge & Seaford Station, and the Ross Station. 
  • The Cambridge & Seaford Station was originally used as a freight house in the Seaford yard located near the Nanticoke River.  When the tracks were extended to Cambridge in 1869, it was later used as their station. 
  • The Ross Station was located on the Ross Plantation.  Governor William Ross was one of the many people responsible for the building of the Delaware Railroad to Seaford. He knew that the railroad would help the area prosper and he also knew that it would help him get his livestock and produce from his plantation to other markets to sell.
  • Steam trains were used on the Delaware Railroad from 1856 until about 1957. 
  • Diesel trains came to Seaford in the 1940’s during WWII. 
  • Both steam and diesel trains were used from the 1940’s to 1957. 
  • Before the railroad came to Seaford, people used horse and wagon and sailing ships for transportation.  Steam ships were used later.
  • Originally, the Delaware Railroad was used for passenger, freight, and mail service.  Passenger service was discontinued in 1965. 
  • The freight trains were used to carry local produce, goods and seafood.  These included tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, holly, oysters, clams, wood, and livestock.  Today, the railroad is used mainly to haul local grain, chemicals, liquid propane, coal, wood, and supplies for the Invista plant.
  • The Seaford Railroad Station is one of the few old stations still in operation on the eastern shore.  It is located on New Street on the Nanticoke River in Seaford.  It currently operates under the Norfolk Southern Railroad.