The M. D. and V. Railroad Schedule, 1910

The image below is of a railroad schedule effective October 3, 1910, for the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia R. R. It is in remarkably good condition, considering the thin paper it was printed on, and is far easier to read than any schedule printed in the Milford Chronicle in those years.

Passenger service schedule for the only rail line that served Milton directly, effective October 3, 1910.
Passenger service schedule for the only rail line that served Milton directly, effective October 3, 1910 (courtesy of Fred Pepper)

 

Milton R.R. station, 1904
Milton R.R. station, 1904

The original company that ran this rail service was the Queen Anne Railroad Co., which provided service from Baltimore to Love Point on the Maryland Eastern shore by ferry, then rail service through Ellendale and Milton down to Lewes by 1897. The arrival of the railroad was greeted with enthusiasm by passengers and freight shippers in Milton, although it wasn’t long before enthusiasm gave way to complaining.

Queen Anne Railroad route, 1910
Detail of Maryland, Delaware & Virginia R. R. (formerly Queen Anne R. R.) route, 1910

The Q. A. R. R. Co. was basically an east-west line across Delaware to the Maryland shore. The ferry trip across the Chesapeake took two hours and twenty minutes, for a total of five hours from Milton to Baltimore. However, many Miltonians were more interested in going to Philadelphia and Wilmington than to Baltimore. To do that, they needed to connect with the north-south Delaware, Maryland and Virginia R. R. line through Ellendale, just one stop west of Milton. For years, there was a lack of coordination of schedule times between the two railroad companies, so that travelers had to arrange carriage transportation between Ellendale and Milton to avoid waiting all day for the east-west or north-south connection (depending on whether they were going to or coming from Milton). The bad connection schedule also impacted mail service and other deliveries.

By 1905, through a complex series of transactions, the Q. A. R. R. Co. was acquired by a Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary and merged with the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia R. R. to form the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia R. R. Aside from the confusing names, the two lines still did not adequately coordinate their schedules to ensure at least two connections a day at Ellendale.

Passenger service was a losing proposition in Milton for the railroad, and passenger service ended in 1931. Freight service has continued, operated by the the short haul Delaware Coast Line on two branches, one to Lewes and one to the outskirts of Milton at Route 30. The Coast Line connects with the Norfolk and Southern system at Ellendale and Georgetown, making one or two trips a month. Abandoned track on the east side of Route 30 (across the street from the propane dealer) and the west side of Federal Street (near the lumber yard) can still be seen if one looks closely.

 

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