Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Could the railroad come back to Arlandria?

I've heard all sorts of ideas about various transit proposals for Arlandria: monorail, hovercraft, bullet trains, passenger ferry. We'll talk about some of them in the weeks to come. But here's a discussion about bringing back the railroad to the neighborhood.

The W&OD railroad used to make up the southern border of what we now call Arlandria and if you look closely you can still find it's remnants such as this abutment where a rail bridge once crossed Russell Road near West Glebe:

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What would it take? Here's part of the discussion.

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.
Last week, Spencer Lepler called for reactivating the Washington & Old Dominion rail line, currently used as a hiker/biker trail. He posits that the W&OD would make an excellent airport-express-type link between Dulles and downtown Washington. He also argues that it would be an excellent addition to our commuter rail system, ferrying Loudounites to their center-city jobs. Is it physically possible to restore some rail service on the W&OD?

See: Could Virginia reactivate the W&OD? at Greater Greater Washington


Unknown said...

I'm intrigued by the old streetcar line that ran along Commonwealth Ave in Alexandria, across Four Mile Run where the new pedestrian bridge may go in, and then along S. Eads in Arlington.

A new transit-way along that line could terminate at the King Street & Crystal City metro stations and tie together all the great neighborhoods along the route.

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