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This program has been canceled.

Doodlebugging Through Delaware

In-Person Program

Weekend All-Day Tour

Saturday, April 15, 2023 - 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD008
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Wilmington & Western Doodlebug, Delaware

Hop aboard a private charter of an early 20th-century self-propelled railcar called the Doodlebug and take in the spring sights along the historic Wilmington and Western Railroad line. The W&W has been in continuous operation since 1867, stretching at its longest to 20 miles of track along the Red Clay Valley from downtown Wilmington, Delaware to Landenberg, Pennsylvania.

As you ride, tour leader Joe Nevin, a railroad historian, covers the colorful background of the W&W and offers stories of the once-bustling industrial towns along the branch line. The visit includes a tour of the W&W’s steam locomotive and passenger car shop facilities at Marshalltown, as well as a guided walking tour of a vintage amusement park site at Brandywine Springs. The day concludes with a stop in New Castle to see remnants of the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad, one of the nation’s first. Lunch is at the Back Burner restaurant in Hockessin, the current end of the line. Doodlebugging offers an ideal way for fans of historic railroads to spend the day.

Know Before You Go

  • The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at and leave by bus from the Holiday Inn Capitol, 550 C Street, SW (corner of 6th and C Sts.), with a pickup stop at the I-495 Exit 27 carpool lot at about 7:25 a.m.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Friday, April 14, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information: