Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Two Virginia Towns

CSX Transportation; Ashland, Virginia; January 8, 2010
When it comes to train watching, it's hard to beat the Virginia towns of Ashland and Doswell along the former Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac (now a part of CSX Transportation). Located about 14 miles north of the state capitol, Ashland provides trackage running down the middle of the street in the business district and on into a nice residential area. Another six miles north, Doswell has a diamond where the former Chesapeake & Ohio crosses the RF&P, an old station and tower, and a short line yard (Buckingham Branch Railroad).
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac; Ashland, Virginia
I have been to both towns many times over the years, and recently had the chance to visit both twice within a week in January. Doswell has a country store called Squashapenny Junction that you really need to go inside to believe. It is just full of Americana. Back in the days before CSX, the building was simply the former Doswell general store in plain white paint.
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac; Doswell, Virginia
Today the store has numerous signs on it, most prominently the classic "Coke" circle logo, along with other signs of the past. The courtyard now features wagons and a giant hand.
Amtrak; Doswell, Virginia; January 30, 2011
 Coal trains on the former C&O through Doswell are fairly common, and if you are equipped with a railroad radio you will hear trains call the RF&P dispatcher to request clearance past the old tower and across the diamond.
CSX Transportation; Doswell, Virginia; January 22, 2011
The Buckingham Branch yard is located adjacent to the RF&P main line just north of the diamond. The Buckingham Branch now leases the former C&O. Their diesels have been given a uniform coat of gray and red paint and are looking pretty good.
Buckingham Branch; Doswell, Virginia; January 22, 2011
If your travels take you down I-95 below Washington, take the King's Dominion exit at Doswell and head on in to the tracks. Frequent Amtrak service makes train watching fun, even when freight trains are hard to find. When you are finished at Doswell, head south to Ashland for the best in small-town train watching in the middle of the street. These are indeed two of the best towns to view trains in the east.
Amtrak; Ashland, Virginia; January 30, 2011


YourLandForSaleSuperStore said...

There's a really good little restaurant on the east side of the tracks just below the station in Ashland.

Nothing like eating lunch and watching the Orange Juice train literally go down the middle of the street...

Anonymous said...

Great photos! Is it possible I might use one of your RF&P photos, on the RF&PRRHS Facebook page? Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Great photo! Is it possible I might post one of your photos of the RF&P RR in Doswell, on the RF&PRR Historical Society's Facebook Page? I ensure that all photographers get full credit for their photos... please let me know & thanks in advance.
Norm Wolf

Steve Barry said...

Sure. As long as credit is given. Thanks.

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