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Enlighten Me: Railroad Stations of Delmarva

Railroad Stations of Delmarva by Douglas Poore
Railroad Stations of Delmarva by Douglas Poore

Greater Harrington Historical Society curator Doug Poore loves trains so much that he’s writing a series of books about railroad stations and trains.

The third book in that series, Railroad Stations of Delmarva, comes out this week.

And in this week’s Enlighten Me - Poore joins Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele to discuss it and history of trains in the region.

Delaware Public Media's Kelli Steele interviews Train Stations of Delmarva author Doug Poore

A local author shines a spotlight on local railroad history.

Greater Harrington Historical Society curator Doug Poore is writing a series of books on the trains and train stations in the Delmarva region.

The third book in that series is Railroad Stations of Delmarva. It just became available this week

Poore says the project was born out of his childhood love of trains.

“I grew up in Harrington and literally the railroad tracks were just outside my back window," said Poore. "So, I kind of always enjoyed them (trains) as a kid and I had model trains as a kid. Part of my summer every year was spent waiting on the train that brought the carnival rides in for the (State) Fair in July. And as soon as they showed up Mom knew I was going to watch them unload and I wouldn’t be home all day. And of course she was okay with that (laughs).”

Railroad Stations of Delmarva highlights many of the nearly 400 stations that once dotted the region, showing how they looked then and now.

From the 1830’s through the 1950’s railroad stations were at the heart of towns throughout the Delmarva region.

“Delmarva was made because of the railroad. If you read articles from back before - or just after the railroads came - people likened Delmarva Peninsula to the 1700s," said Poore. "The roads were all dirt and there was really no infrastructure in the communities and no way of getting outside goods really in - nor outside news, nor getting a lot of our stuff out.”

Poore says passenger service ended long ago at many of these stations in the region, and most were eventually torn down.

Some survived though, and those stations are the ones he highlights in his book.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.