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Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Electric Trains on the W&OD

 
 
Electric Trains on the W&OD Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 14, 2007
1. Electric Trains on the W&OD Marker
Inscription.  Electrification arrived in 1912, after the Great Falls & Old Dominion Railroad and the Southern Railway’s Bluemont Branch were consolidated into the Washington & Old Dominion Railway. The new owners brought modern interurban trolley cars. Wire strung above the tracks carried electricity from the railroad’s own power plant in Rosslyn, Virginia. In 1917 service switched to the local utility company.

By 1939, the year this man was photographed departing a trolley near Bluemont, Virginia, the W&OD had been operating on electricity for 27 years. Aging equipment was badly in need of modernization. In the early 1940s the railroad obtained its first self-propelled diesel-electric and gas-electric engines. Diesel power proved so efficient that by 1944 it had replaced electricity.
 
Erected by The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks
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, and the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 39° 6.747′ N, 77° 34.738′ W. Marker is in Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker can be reached from Catoctin Circle Northwest, on the right when traveling north. Located about 20 feet from Catoctin Circle along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Overlooks the work yard for the Leesburg High School. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Great Falls Line (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Leesburg Passenger Station (approx. 0.7 miles away); Leesburg (approx. 0.7 miles away); 1862 Antietam Campaign (approx. 0.7 miles away); Old Stone Church Site (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rust Manor House (approx. 0.7 miles away); The W&OD Railway and Jim Crow Laws (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Leesburg (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Leesburg.
 
More about this marker. This is one in a set of standard W&OD Trail markers discussing the Electric Train Service, and is duplicated at several locations. The marker has a background photograph described in the text, with the caption, A passenger
Marker Near the W&OD Crossing of Catoctin Circle image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, July 14, 2007
2. Marker Near the W&OD Crossing of Catoctin Circle
gets off of electric car No. 41 just east of Bluemont, Virginia, in February 1939.
An inset picture displays A portable substation site near Ashburn, Virginia. It was transported wherever needed to convert electricity to correct the voltage for use by engines.
 
Also see . . .
1. W&OD Railroad History Site - Pictures of Engines and Rolling Stock. Several of the electric powered trains are pictured. (Submitted on August 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Friends of the W&OD Trail - Video Clips. Some video clips of the electric passenger train service. (Submitted on August 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 

4. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,923 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 17, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 23, 2024