Tom Marshall's 100th Birthday

Two Great Railroads - One Great Founder

2024 marks what would've been the 100th birthday of Wilmington & Western Railroad founder, Thomas C. "Tom" Marshall Jr.

Tom Marshall was more than just a founder. He was a man with a vision who dreamed of having a steam-powered heritage railroad in the state he loved. Its steam engines would serve as an economic engine for the region, and introduce the steam locomotive to new generations. His dream became a reality when the Wilmington & Western opened in 1966.

Tom loved steam technology. He was a world-renowned expert on Stanley steam-powered automobiles, and he had a 1/8th-size steam railroad, known as the Auburn Valley Railroad, encircling his Auburn Heights estate.

Prior to our opening in 1966, Tom allowed our earliest volunteers to use his Auburn Valley Railroad as a fundraising tool, offering rides to the general public, with all proceeds funding the start of W&W operations - essentially using one railroad to build another.

Tom's steam-powered automobiles and Auburn Valley Railroad still exist today as the Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights. The Friends of Auburn Heights continue to operate Tom's autos and miniature railroad for the public to enjoy.

To celebrate Tom's birthday and the legacy he left behind, we're partnering with the Marshall Steam Museum on the weekend of July 6 & 7, 2024, to celebrate both the Auburn Valley Railroad and the Wilmington & Western Railroad.
Two Great Railroads - One Great Founder.

Yorklyn Limited Train Rides at the
Wilmington & Western

4-4-0 American 98
Photo: Steve Jensen
4-4-0 American 98
Photo: Evan Schilling

Experience the "big" railroad Tom built by taking a ride on our steam train through the Red Clay Valley - Tom's home for the first 84 years of his life. You'll ride along the Red Clay Creek, which was instrumental in powering the Marshall family mills in the Valley. Displays about Tom's life and legacy will also be on display in Greenbank Station.

  Departs at 12:30 & 2:30 PM
  1½-hour round-trip

Learn More About the Yorklyn Limited

Steamin' Day at the
Marshall Steam Museum

Steamin' Day Auburn Valley Railroad
Photo: Mike Ciosek
Steamin' Day Steam Car
Photo: Mike Ciosek

Experience the "little" railroad Tom built around his Auburn Heights estate. Train rides will be offered, as well as a "firing up" demonstration of a Stanley steam car. Plus, enjoy complimentary popcorn popped in a steam-powered popcorn machine! There will also be kids activities/crafts, and food trucks will be on site.

  12:30 - 4:30 PM
  Optional mansion tour available

Learn More About Steamin' Day


Our special combo ticket allows access to the Wilmington & Western on Saturday, July 6, and to the Marshall Steam Museum's "Steamin' Day" on Sunday, July 7. Purchasing a combo ticket is a great way to experience the two great railroads created by one great founder (for one low price)!

If purchased separately, an adult would pay $35 to attend both events.



Seniors (60+):


Children (2-12):


Toddler (under 2):


Purchase Tickets