Plans are under way for the addition of a Gauge 1 Live Steam Railroad that will usher in a new era for railways at Auburn Heights (joining the Auburn Valley Railroad, established in 1960). In fact, trains have been part of the Auburn Heights landscape for nearly a century (or more)! From the 1930s Lionel model trains of Tom Marshall’s childhood to the live steamers assembled by Clarence Marshall in the 1940s to the 1/8-size coal-fired engines (circa 1960 & 1961) that still pull cars filled with happy passengers today, railroads enthralled the Marshall family.
With no other Gauge 1 track within a 30-mile radius, the new Yorklyn Valley Railroad will offer live steam enthusiasts throughout the tristate region a welcome location to run their locomotives and trains as well as create a unique attraction for the Marshall Steam Museum’s signature Steamin’ Days. Educationally, the opportunities for the new railroad are endless, from summer camps to scouting programs to school groups. A chance to work on the layout will also provide increased volunteer opportunities for railroad devotees, from teens to adults.
What’s needed to make it happen?
The first hurdle has been crossed, with the Friends of Auburn Heights identifying a site and obtaining permission from Delaware State Parks to build a layout within the secured property on the former Marshall estate.
Hurdle #2 involves raising $35,000 to cover Phase 1 of the construction costs to get things up and running. This includes base construction materials, with all labor to be provided by volunteers (and we’ll need hands-on help when the time comes!). To jumpstart the fundraising effort, a generous donor has issued a challenge, agreeing to match (dollar for dollar) the first $5,000 raised! The thermometer shows funds raised, including the match, thus far!
CLICK HERE to read our FAQ for more details.
How can I learn more?
- If you missed the kick-off meeting on February 12 (or made it and want to share/see the PowerPoint slides), CLICK HERE.
- Check out this article by Charlie Zimmerman, shared with permission from Live Steam & Outdoor Railroading (beautiful magazine and well worth the subscription!): Steam Heaven in Delaware
What can I do to help?
- VOLUNTEER! CLICK HERE to view and sign up for upcoming volunteer opportunities
- STAY INFORMED! CLICK HERE to sign up for updates on the Gauge 1 Yorklyn Valley Railroad and stay informed about our progress (no spam, we promise!).
- DONATE to make the vision happen!
You can be a founding supporter of this exciting project — make a tax-deductible donation now, and your dollars are doubled!
To contribute, you can:
- Mail a check (payable to Friends of Auburn Heights, with Gauge 1 in the memo line) to P.O. Box 61, Yorklyn DE 19736; or
- Call the FAH office with your credit card; or
- Contribute online using the secure checkout below