RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
FREDERICKSBURG VA
 

In General
Getting Here
Map
Sights
Signals
Fire & Police
Floobydust
 

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In General

This page covers a spot that is halfway between Richmond VA and Washington DC on the old RF&P, now CSX.

In addition to being on CSX's main N-S route on the east coast, Fredericksburg is also home to a station that services both Amtrak and VRE, which is the southern most the VRE goes.  The adjoining RF&P depot now houses a restaurant.

Several other noteworthy attractions for the railfan are here in Fredericksburg.

The biggest one is probably the Rappahannock River crossing on a 10 arch bridge, 5 of which remind you of the spans of the Tunkhannock Viaduct in Nicholson PA.  Trains are frequent enough that you shouldn't have to wait too long before something comes over the bridge.

Fredericksburg is the southern terminus for the Virginia Rail Express (VRE) line named after the town.  A link to their Fredericksburg page is here.  There is one TVM located on the track 2 platform, and it only accepts debit or credit cards.  Schedules and map appear below.  Eight (8) Amtrak M-F trains stop here too, and the VRE has a reciprocal agreement with them so you can use a VRE ticket.

And don't forget the SB Autotrain (#53) comes rambling through just before 16:30.  If the NB #52 is on time, it should be coming through just before 08:00 with an arrival time in Lorton of 08:30.

South of the station is a small yard, FB Yard, where the VRE trains lay overnight and CSX cuts off local cars.

Next to the station where the traffic light for Kenmore and Lafayette is, sits an old RF&P freight shed that now sees life as a pub.

I don't normally make a big deal out of industrial parks, but these days when most industrial park members have gone to using truck service, it appears that there are still plenty of railroad customers in this one.  If you can catch a local working the yard, it should make for some interesting shots.  The the track layout is interesting and worthy of being modeled.

If you make it here, you may also want to plan on driving the 25 miles or so down to Doswell (and Ashland a few miles further south where they run up the middle of two streets so it looks almost like street running) and make a day out of these two or three places.

A description of things (sidings. signals, speeds, etc) on the RF&P is here, although I notice he has in there that a deck girder bridge cross the Rappahannock and the viaduct continues to the station.... both of these are wrong, as the viaduct crosses the river, and the railroad was built up to go thru the majority of town to be at the same level as the river crossing.  Another accounting of a rail trip of the line is here.

As you can see from my map below, most of the food service is located at I-95 exits 126 and 130, with a huge mall area at exit 130.

Lots more pictures can be found at: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=2140

As far as non-railroad things to see goes, Fredericksburg has these things to offer:
George Washington's boyhood home and the Kenmore Plantation and Gardens
     http://www.kenmore.org/
The James Monroe Museum and Library
     http://www.umw.edu/jamesmonroemuseum/default.php
The Fredericksburg Military Park
     http://www.cr.nps.gov
The Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial (part of the National Park Service):
     http://www.nps.gov/frsp/index.htm
The Rising Sun Tavern
     http://www.apva.org/RisingSunTavern/
And an overall travel info site:
     http://www.visitfred.com/


Getting Here

Fredericksburg, being right off of I-95, is easy to get to.  It is about halfway between Richmond VA and Washington DC.  If you are coming up from the south, take exit 130 instead of paying attention to the sign on I-95 that tells you to take exit 126 - there's too many traffic lights and turns between you and the station going via exit 126.  Coming from the north, I usually take exit 133 - taking Warrenton to Route 1/the Jefferson Davis Hwy, and then taking a left onto Princess Anne St, which takes you right to the station.

Parking can be a little tough sometimes, since the main and satellite parking lots are reserved for locals with a window sticker.  The lot directly in front of the station is for taxi's and drop-off's.  You should be able to, however, be able to find street parking within a short walking distance, especially down towards the city dock off Sophia St.


Map


The above map in a PDF


Sights


    1         Rappahannock River Bridge

   


    2         RF&P Depot

 

       

     Over Princess Anne St


    3         VRE / Amtrak Station

         

         

       

                               

 

 


    4         Freight Shed

 


    5         FB Tower


    6         Fredericksburg Yard and Wye


    7         Wye


    8         Industrial Park


Signals


    1        


    2        


    3        


Fire and Police


Fredericksburg Fire Station #1

                 


Floobydust


Bus Service

 


City Dock / River Park

The City Dock Park affords a great view of the bridge over the Rappahannock River.  Because of it's orientation, mid afternoon shots are probably best here, especially during the non-summer months since the sun will be lower in the sky.

The arrow points to a most interesting building, but I don't know anything about it -- it kinda looks like it is a private home now, judging from the things seen around it... dunno, but it's worth checking out. 


Old Steam Plant

This building used to be a steam plant, and is now occupied by a construction and architectural firm.  Part of the boiler has been saved and worked into the building.

 


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NEW 8/23/2011 
Last Modified: 13-Sep-2013