West Falls Church Station, built 1859, demolished 1939.
Del Ray, a neighborhood in Alexandria, hosts one of the best sites on the W&OD
Click here to see inside Herndon Station.
Station agents accepted packages for REA, the United Parcel Service of the railroad age.
Round Hill station, photo c. 1912>
Cabooses | US Presidents | Trivia |
List of Photos | RR Suburbs | Photos
World Wide Web Pages on This Railroad's Past
Scratch the surface of the W&OD Trail and you will find a railroad -- quite literally in some places. Ask the older residents of the towns along the trail, and they will tell you that they remember it. Known as "The Virginia Creeper," in a reference to the speed of its trains, the W&OD Railroad ended passenger service in 1951, lost its contract to carry mail in 1951 and expired in 1968.
Paul McCray's site on history of the railroad.
Del Ray (Alexandria)
More pictures of rolling stock
Stations Still Standing
All of the above stations had telegraph offices. The station agents knew Morse code. The telegraph linked these towns to the outside world. Not until 1897-1900 did the wealthiest residents begin to install telephones in their homes and stores here.
- Reston/Sunset Hills -- owned by the Park, formerly a ranger station. (Mile 18.1)
- Herndon -- a museum. 1857. Operated by the Herndon Historical Society. See their home page This is a good source of W&OD memorabilia. Call (703) 437-7289. Free. Open Sundays, 1-4 p.m., April through June and September and October, and by appointment. (Mile 20.3)
- Hamilton (Mile 41.2)
- Purcellville station, c. 1885 By mid-Summer, 1998, it will be a visitor's center, operated by the Purcellville Preservation Association. (Mile 45) more information on the station's restoration-in-progress
- Round Hill -- actually beyond the terminus of the trail, and privately owned.
A Quartet of Cabooses
- Bluemont Bypass/Bluemont Park (Arlington) -- Southern donated this caboose after the Federal government allowed railroads to operate trains without cabooses. Alexandria and Arlington's only railway museum which interprets the history of these old communities that grew up around rail lines of the RF&P, the W&OD and two trolley lines: Washington, Alexandria and Mt. Vernon Railway, and the Arlington and Fairfax Railway is found at the caboose at Bluemont Junction Park.
The Bluemont Historical Railway Junction Display is in a former Southern Railway caboose (X-441, built 1972) at Bluemont Junction Park, 601 N. Manchester St. at Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22203.
It is operated by the Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and is open on weekends to visitors in the summer, 10 am to 5 pm. (Mile 3.2)
- Vienna -- open to the public, weekends, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., beginning in April. (Mile 11.9) Vienna obtained this caboose from the Norfolk Southern Railroad, paying only for its transportation. Operated by Optimist Club of Vienna. Open some Saturdays and a few Sundays during Summer.
- Herndon (Mile 20.3) moved by truck from Manassas in 1989.
- Bluemont, Loudoun County. About seven miles beyond the end of the trail in Purcellville, Bluemont was once the terminus of the railroad. It now has a caboose, behind the community center.
US Presidents Who Rode The RR
- President Buchanan travelled to his summer White House in Sterling, 1859.
- Ulysseys S. Grant travelled to a fair in Leesburg, 1873.
- William McKinley reviewed the troops at Camp Alger, Dunn Loring, 1898.
- Grover Cleveland travelled to Leesburg to go fishing.
Did this railroad operate trains to Great Falls? Yes, on another line, which catered briefly to picnicers and amusement seekers going to the falls.
Where was the steepest grade on the railroad? Hunter Mill.
Where was the highest bridge on the line? Goose Creek Trestle.
Where was the highest point on the line?Clark's Gap, not counting the Purcellville-to-Bluemont segment.