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Book: Washington & Old Dominion Railroad: 1847-1968




This is the history of the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad (W&OD), an intrastate short-line railroad located in Northern Virginia. Its oldest line extended from Alexandria on the Potomac River northwest to Bluemont at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Snickers Gap, not far from the boundary line between Virginia and West Virginia. The railroad’s route largely paralleled the routes of the Potomac River and the present Virginia State Route 7.

The line followed the winding course of Four Mile Run upstream from Alexandria through Arlington to Falls Church. At that point, the railroad was above the Fall Line and was able to follow a more direct northwesterly course in Virginia through Dunn Loring, Vienna, Sunset Hills (now in Reston), Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, Paeonian Springs, Hamilton, Purcellville and Round Hill to its terminus at Bluemont, turning sharply to the west only after passing through Clarke’s Gap in Catoctin Mountain west of Leesburg. A branch connected the line to Rosslyn.

This book reflects the efforts of many railroad enthusiasts who have contributed their knowledge, photographs, maps, and time. Author Ames Williams worked closely with many employees of the railroad as devotees who shared their collections and enthusiasm for the W&OD. A must for railroad fans of yesteryear and today.


  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Meridian Sun Press, 1984

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