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Good spots in Richmond, VA

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  • Member since
    June 2011
  • 404 posts
Good spots in Richmond, VA
Posted by DavidH66 on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:57 AM

Anyone know good spots in Richmond,VA? Goin to visit family there and might try doin some spotting.

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:55 PM

Probably the BEST spot for train-watching here isn't in Richmond at all.  It's in a town 15 miles north of Richmond called Ashland.  The CSX (former RF&P) mainline goes right through the center of town.  The old train station's still there and open as a visitor center and mini-RF&P museum.  It has restrooms too. Places to get refreshments or snacks are within easy walking distance.

You can sit at the station's benches and get up close and personal with the trains without tresspassing on railroad property.  Actually, you can get close enough to touch 'em, not that you should! Bring a set of binoculars and you can see WAY down the tracks for oncoming trains and changing signals.

Train frequency depends on the day, of course.  However Amtrak runs through there as well as CSX freights, so on a good day a train may come through every half-hour or so, maybe every 45 minutes.

Other places:  There's the CSX Acca Yard, easily visible from the Westwood Avenue overpass. The locomotive shops are easily visible from Tomlynn Street.  Don't cross the ridge onto the property and you won't get in trouble. The old C&O line along the James River is interesting, it's the longest river trestle in the world that gets its feet wet but never crosses a river. An interesting fact is it's 11 years older than the Titanic but it's in a hell of a lot better shape!  You can get a good view from the James River / Belle Isle  parking lot on Tredegar Street, but this time of year that lot fills up fast on weekends.  You can also view this line from Great Ship Lock Park on Dock Street.  Trains coming through this line are unpredictable however, and there's no amenities. No amenities  at Acca Yard either.

Anyway, given the choice I'd go for Ashland.  For variety and reliable train watching it's the best in the area.

  • Member since
    July 2008
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Posted by rdamon on Monday, July 14, 2014 8:42 AM

If you go to Ashland ...  head a bit further north to Doswell. There is a diamond there and some local Buckingham Branch action.

Don't park at the Antique Store, however ..  they were a bit grumpy last time I walked through there.

Map Link..

https://goo.gl/maps/vyT19

  • Member since
    August 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:32 PM

I know that antique store, Squashapenny Junction it was called the last time I saw it.  Doswell's interesting, an intersection of the CSX north-south line and the CSX line to the west.  This line was the old C&O, and the even older Virginia Central that goes back to the Civil War era.  Sheridans cavalry raised quite a bit of hell along it back then.

Action on the old C&O line can be sporadic, however.

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