Much as it is today, finding the best and most efficient methods of getting from one location to another was a vital concern to the residents of Arlington over 100 years ago.
The Washington-Virginia Railway and the Washington and Old Dominion Railway traversed Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, providing passengers with a variety of options that could take them to their desired location via any number of routes. Whether one chose to travel as far as Bluemont on the Washington and Old Dominion Railway, or opt instead for more localized transport via the Mount Vernon Line, passengers were offered a wide range of alternatives.
The photograph above is of the Clarendon train station, ca. 1918. It was located at the hub of commercial Clarendon, at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Wilson Boulevard. The station building still stands today at Clarendon Circle. The Virginia Room holds many photographs of trains, trolleys and the stations they served, as well as railroad maps showing track routes and stops.
From their inception in 1892, peaking in the 1920’s, through to their eventual decline in the 1940’s, these routes were of vital importance to the communities they served and continue to trace paths not only of travel and transport, but of a history and heritage that is vital to an understanding of the development and growth of Arlington.
What About You?
What are your memories of rail, train, and trolley travel in Arlington? Let us know what you remember!