RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
RICHMOND VA

In General
Getting Here
Map
Sights
Bridges
Floobydust
 

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The Richmond Guide is divided up into the following sections:
     Overall Guide and General Information - this page
     Map 1 - Downtown Richmond - Main Street Station and the Triple Crossing
     Map 2 - Acca Yard, AY, and the Amtrak Station
     Map 3 - South Richmond - S Richmond Yard and the Old Dominion Rwy Museum
     Map 4 - East Richmond - Sandston and the Airport


In General

Richmond Virginia offers the railfan a variety of great photo opportunities, even though almost all of the action is CSX.

There are four depots/stations around, numerous bridges because of the James River, three yards, the Old Dominion Railway Museum, several nice junctions, and the ~2.5 mile long "bridge" on the ex C&O that follows along the James River in the downtown area.

And don't forget, while you're here, that Richmond is the state capitol AND was the capitol of the South during the Civil War!


Getting Here

Richmond is conveniently located at the junction of I-95 and I-64, and US60 which parallels I-64 to the south (kinda-sorta). 

I-95 to the north takes you to DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and beyond.  To the south it takes you to I-85, Petersburg, NC, SC, etc.  Be careful around the Main St Station, as the highway twists and turns.

To the east I-64 takes you to Norfolk, to the west, it runs into I-81 at Staunton (pronounced as if there is no "U" in it).

I-295 bypasses the downtown area of Richmond and Petersburg, but if you take it, there is no way to get off at I-85.  I have never used it to go around Richmond, as I try to time my trips during non-rush hours.  Taking I-295 will add quite a few extra miles if you travelling N-S.  On the northside, I-295 gives you a shortcut to I-64 on the west side without having to go downtown.

The junction between I-95, I-64, and I-195 is complicated, so pay attention to the signs, and you will be OK.... routes are well marked.

Forming a loop on the west/south side is 288, which starts at I-64 and goes around the SW side of Richmond to join up with I-95 halfway between Richmond and Petersburg.  It's a long road, and travelling it seems to take forever :-)

An inner loop of sorts on the south side is formed by 895 (the Pocahontas Pkwy) east of I-95 and goes over to I-295, and 150 (the Chippenham Pkwy) on the west, which takes you over to the Powhite.

The Powhite Parkway goes from I-195 in downtown to the SW side at 288, near Midlothian.  It is a toll road, and there are numerous toll plazas that nickel and dime you to death... The total toll is around a little over a dollar for the full length.

US60 used to be the main E-W highway, but now, in the metro area, it's severely developed and "red light city".... so travelling it is slow.  The upside is that just about any and every service can be found along it.  If you're into them, a Northern Tools is just east of the Powhite interchange.  By taking US60 west, you will eventually come to Dillwyn (about 45 miles from 288), headquarters for the Buckingham Branch RR.

US360 running NE out of town runs in US17, which for most of us, doesn't really do anything for us.

I-95 down to I-85 will take you to central and western North Carolina, western South Carolina, and on to Atlanta if you so choose, or, bring you in from those places.

Since Richmond is on the two major interstates, it is easy to get to.  Most people by now have GPS, so directions shouldn't be needed.  If you know where Washington DC is, it's about 90 miles south!


Additional Area Information:

For more information on the area, try the following sites:
     David Hawkin's RailfanVirginia.
     the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS



Map


Sights


The sights on this page are not covered in any of the other pages for Richmond.


Riverwalk at the Triple Crossing

   


     8          The Broad Street Station 

This station was built by the RF&P as their southern terminus in 1917.  The station also served the SAL, ACL, and the N&W.  Service ended here in 1975, and the facility was sold to the Science Museum of Virginia.

 


     13          Historical Plaque

This plaque is a dedication to the first railroad in Virginia, and is located in Midlothian on Midlo (Midlothian) Turnpike just west of Sturbridge Rd.  For some reason, they located it at a place where you can't easily pull off to read what it says :-(

 


Bridges


The ex-C&O/CSX Following the James River on the "High Line"

This is part bridge, part aerial structure... whatever you want to call it, it's massive, and offers the railfan numerous possibilities for photographs.  The top photo is on the west, progressing all the way to Fulton Yard.

           

             


The NS crossing the James River

If you can convince the construction company at the halfway point you're not there to steal anything, they might let you wander back to the bridge for some nice shots.... maybe.....  The lower shot is a small bascule bridge coming off the end of a peninsula which is easy to get to off Dock St.

   


CSX crossing the James River

This was part of the Seaboard System, now known as the "S" line, and runs up along the Main Street Station.

     


CSX crossing the James River

After leaving ACCA Yard, and going through AY interlocking to head south, CSX crosses the James River on this great looking bridge with the CSX Rivanna sub-division following the river underneath it.



Floobydust


The State Capitol

     


  One of my favorite places to stop in South Carolina on the way to and from Atlanta, great peaches to boot!

  Just passing thru... caught in ACCA Yard being switched around.....


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