Near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Diesel Trains on the W&OD
The railroad was phasing out passenger service in favor of more profitable freight hauling. Diesel power allowed the W&OD to participate in Northern Virginia’s growth boom in the 1940s and 50s. Trains hauled brick, lumber, and cement from Alexandria. Gravel was loaded into cars at Trap Rock Quarry (below) and hauled eastward to be used as fill for roadbeds. By the 1960s the encroachment of these same roads spelled the end of local suburban railroads, including the W&OD.
Erected by The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad marker series.
Location. 39° 4.11′ N, 77° 31.113′ W. Marker is near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker can be reached from Cochran Mill Road (Virginia Route 653), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located about a half mile east of the road on the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Trail. From the parking area at the junction of Cochran Road and the W&OD Trail, walk east on the trail, crossing Goose Creek Bridge. Marker is on the left. Along the way, pass Two Creeks Trail Area. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Belmont (approx. 1.8 miles away); Ashburn Station (approx. 2.4 miles away); Edwards Ferry (approx. 2.4 miles away); Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park (approx. 2.7 miles away); Carriage House (approx. 3.1 miles away); Two-Chambered Granary (approx. 3.1 miles away); Ice House (approx. 3.1 miles away); Well House (approx. 3.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesburg.
More about this marker. The background picture on the marker is a “Diesel engine at Trap Rock Quarry, 1958.” A smaller inset picture is captioned, “A 1925 postcard shows Goose Creek with the bridge in the background. As diesel engines got bigger, Goose Creek Bridge could not withstand their weight. Railroad cars were transferred to smaller engines for the trip across the bridge and westward.”
Also see . . .
1. Equipment Used on the W&OD. Some of the diesel engines are pictured.
2. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com
3. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,065 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.