Document Collection - DRAFT

The Stop at Daylesford

by Roger D. Thorne and Mike Bertram

Original Alignment and Straightening

Daylesford, 1918 plan
A 1918 Pennsylvania Railroad plan showing the original track alignment in yellow, and the re-engineered track in green. The roads are those of 1918.

The following map shows the reason for the curves in the original tract, it was following the contours to eliminate climb.

Civil War map
Civil War era map

Witmer’s 1873 map shows the straightened track (this must be the planned alignment since the map is dated before the work began)1:

Daylesford, 1873

Daylesford Station

The first move to convert the Daylesford area from a rural to a residential community was initiated by William J. Latta in 1889 when he purchased 2 farms in the area totaling 168 acres in size. He split the farms into over 100 tracts and sold 3 of them to the Pennsylvania Railroad for Daylesford station (see The Development of Daylesford).

This is the description of Daylesford from a Pennsylvania Railroad brochure of 1894:


Distance, 18.6 miles. 26 trains each way on week-days; 18 on Sundays. Running time, express 44 minutes, accommodation 51 minutes. Fare, 56 cents; 2-day excursion rate, 93 cents. Family tickets, $18.80; quarterly, $22.30; monthly, $8.25; school, $5.50.

As yet Daylesford is but little developed; but judging from the growth of other stations with even less advantages, it is safe to predict a bright future for what is really a very desirable and exceedingly pretty stretch of country.

Station 1914
Operating the Semaphore, Daylesford station, 19143

Daylesford Station

Daylesford Station, 1932, looking east

Daylesford station

Daylesford Station, 1932, looking west


1. Newspaper Clippings

January 11, 1876 Straightening the Track – The Pennsylvania Railroad Company will soon place a large force of men at work in straightening the railroad track, between Eagle and Malvern stations. They have the surveys completed and when the work commences it will be pushed forward with dispatch. We understand that the company is making some effort looking towards the purchase of John D. Evans’ hotel property at Paoli.

Daily Local News (West Chester)
Source: CCHS Clipping File

August 28, 1876 Contract Awarded – The Pennsylvania Railroad Company have very recently let the contract for the work of straightening the road from Paoli eastward to Eagle station, and the workmen will soon be on the ground. The track is divided into three sections. The western section will be worked by Mr. Lemon, the contractor of the grading that has already been done at Paoli. The middle division has been awarded to a Mr. Lyon, of Lancaster city, and Wm. S. Needs, of Philadelphia, has contracted for the eastern section. This job of straightening will probably require more labor that any of the other alterations along the line. The new line will do away with several very short and dangerous curves. The work of grading will be very heavy and will require a very large force of men and a long time to complete it. – Downingtown Archive.

Daily Local News (West Chester)
Source: CCHS Clipping File

June 5, 1877 Along the Pennsylvania Railroad. Grading – The grading for straightening the track from Eagle to Green Tree, is nearly finished. In some places the track is already laid.

Daily Local News (West Chester)
Source: CCHS Clipping File

1877 - PRR opens line relocation between Eagle and Green Tree and third track between Berwyn and Malvern on Philadelphia Division. See: PRR Chronology (Hagley Museum).

June 23, 1881 The Pennsylvania Railroad Company are now engaged in building four tracks from Philadelphia to Malvern. The two on the south side of the road will be used exclusively for freight trains, and the two on the north side for passengers. This will necessitate the removal of some of the stations on the road, two of them being very fine ones – the one at Bryn Mawr and the other at Ardmore.

Daily Local News (West Chester)

2. Suburban homes on the lines of the Pennsylvania railroad within a radius of thirty miles around Philadelphia, with useful information for summer-home seekers. Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Printed by Allen, Lane & Scott (1894).

The distance is to Philadelphia’s Broad Street station.

3. Photograph courtesy of Greg Prichard.