The Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad was incorporated February 23, 1832, by special act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of constructing and operating a railroad from Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania-New Jersey State line near Trenton, New Jersey. The date of its organization was June 9, 1832.
The property of the Philadelphia and Trenton was operated by its own organization from November 3, 1834, the date the first section of the road was opened for operation, to November 30, 1871. From December 1, 1871, to December 31, 1917, it was operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The common-carrier property of the company was taken over for operation by the United States Railroad Administration on January 1, 1918, as a part of the system of the Pennsylvania Railroad.