Falls Church, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
West Falls Church Station
It was a new century and Washington, D.C., was on the move. The demand was heavy in the early 1900s for passenger service along the mostly residential corridor of the Washington & Old Dominion. Its owners replaced steam power with electricity and scheduled dozens of commuter runs. Often, however, schedules were not met, cars were overcrowded, equipment broke down, and union strikes interrupted service.
Passenger service never quite paid its own way. In the 1920s the use of private automobiles competed with the W&OD's passenger business, which declined further in the 1930s because of the Great Depression. Concentrating on the lucrative freight business, the W&OD stopped passenger runs in 1941. By 1943 gas rationing during World War II forced the line back into operation.
The last passenger train ran on May 31, 1951. And what were once tiny rail stops along the way have since grown into large communities.
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
Location. 38° 53.5′ N, 77° 11.045′ W. Marker is in Falls Church, Virginia. Marker is on Grove Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located just west of the Grove Avenue crossing of the W&OD Railroad Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Falls Church VA 22046, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tracks into History (within shouting distance of this marker); Train Wrecks (approx. 0.4 miles away); Living in Fear (approx. half a mile away); Hangman's Tree (approx. 0.6 miles away); Original West Corner Stone (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cherry Hill (approx. 0.7 miles away); Virginia Training School (approx. 0.7 miles away); Falls Church Home Front (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Falls Church.
More about this marker. An inset picture shows "The Blue Ridge parlor car, complete with wicker seats and a white-jacket porter, ran from July 1929 until November 1932." The background photo is "The West Falls Church station, 1890s."
Also see . . .
1. West Falls Church Station.
2. W&OD Auto-railer.
3. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com
4. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968.
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,140 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.