Sussex is the southern most county of Delaware. It is rich with a railroad heritage dating back to the early 1850’s. Railroads were constructed to provide expanded markets to farmers and to open the smaller towns to improved passenger service. Lewes, Delaware had a major menhaden fishing industry which too benefited from the expanded transportation opportunities provided by the railroad.
The existence of a rail line through Lewes was pivotal during World War ll as the United States Army sought strategic locations to establish observation posts at the mouth to the Delaware Bay.
Originally completed in 1878 the railroad was decommissioned and dismantled in 2018. In 2019 a group of concerned citizens formed the Lewes Junction Railroad & Bridge Association, a non profit 501(c)(3) to preserve the historic hand crank railroad swing bridge over the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and interpret the rich railroad history of the region for future generations. The organization’s mission statement can be found here.
The LJR&BA has some exciting plans for interpretive displays of railroad rolling stock on a preserved section of track in downtown Lewes. A very unique “steam“ locomotive has been identified and secured along with a caboose that operated on the line during the last run of the Delaware Coastline Railroad in 2017. Our organization is young and looks to the community, historians, preservationist and railfans to help with our mission and goals.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like to donate a little of your time and talents we’d love to hear from you.
The mission of The Lewes Junction Railroad & Bridge Association is to preserve, display and interpret the historical significance of the railroad to Lewes and Eastern Sussex County, Delaware, in an authentic and appealing setting for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Board of Directors
- Randy Voith, President
- Rich Applebaum
- Andrea Brock
- Gerry Kaplan
- David Ludlow
- Robert Kennedy
- Cathy Tatman
- Tracy Mulveny
- Steve Thienel