Beautifully engraved certificate from the Philad'a & West Chester Turnpike Road Co. issued
in 1864. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an angelic woman blowing on a horn and a conostoga wagon. This item is hand signed by the Company’s President ( Joseph Powell ) and Treasurer ( John Sellers ) and is
over 140 years old.
The Red Arrow Lines of Philadelphia had its origin in 1848 as the Philadelphia & West Chester Turnpike Road Co., which operated a plank toll road between Philadelphia and West Chester. In 1859, the Delaware County Passsenger Railroad opened a horse car line from 39th Street and Market Street in Philadelphia west to Penrock Avenue, but the line closed in 1865.
in 1895, the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co. was incorporated, and acquired control of the Philadelphia & West Chester Turnpike Road Co., and the Philadelphia Castle Rock & West Chester Railway, which in that year opened a steam dummy line. In 1896 the line was electrified, and in 1899 was completed between Philadelphia and West Chester.
The Ardmore & Llanerch Street Railway opened in 1902 between those points. And in 1904, the first segment of the Philadelphia & Garrettford Street Railway Co. opened. The Philadelphia & Garrettford Street Railway Co. included lines to Sharon Hill and Media, the only Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co. lines which continue to survive as electric railways.
In 1936, the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co. and all leased companies were all merged into the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. which became known as Red Arrow Lines. In 1951, the Philadelphia & Western Railroad Co. was acquired.
Delaware County Passsenger Railroad - incorporated 1859, controlled 1895 by Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co.
Philadelphia Castle Rock & West Chester Railway - incorporated 1892, controlled 1895 by Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co.
Ardmore & Llanerch Street Railway - incorporated 1901, leased 1902 to Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co.
Philadelphia & Garrettford Street Railway Co. - incorporated 1904, leased 1906 to Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Co.
Philadelphia & Western Railway Co. - incorporated 1907, reorganized 1946 as Philadelphia & Western Railroad Co., sold 1954 to Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co.
Aronimink Transportation Co. - incorporated 1923 as bus subsidiary.
SEPTA acquired the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Co. in 1970. Under SEPTA, the operations are known as the Victory Division.
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