A Southeastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad


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The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) was a railroad connecting Richmond, Virginia, to Washington, DC. The RF&P was a bridge line, with a slogan of "Linking North & South". (A bridge line has more traffic passing through its connections with other railroads than it originates or terminates at points along the line.) For the major portion of its existence, the RF&P connected with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and Seaboard Air Line Railroad at Richmond. At Alexandria and through trackage rights to Union Station in Washington, DC, connections were made with the Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Southern Railway. There was a connection to the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad at Potomac Yard.(wik) The RF&P is best recognized by it's connecting New York to Florida and other southern bound trains, the "Orange Blossom Special", and later the "Silver Meteor", "Silver Comet" and "Silver Star" on the Seaboard Air Line, and the "Champion" on the Atlantic Coast Line. These luxurious trains ran between New York and Washington on the Pennsylvania Railroad, were hauled from Washington D.C, to Richmond, Virginia via the RF&P, to connect with their host railroads. Connecting services to many other cities, both north and south, are illustrated by the RF&P map shown below. In 1991 the RF&P was merged into the CSX Transportation System.
History of the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad

Richmond north to Quantico on the Potomac River
1834 - The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad was chartered on February 25, to run from Richmond north via Fredericksburg to the Potomac River.
1836 - It opened from Richmond to Hazel Run.
1837 - Opened to Fredericksburg on January 23.
1842 - Completed to the Potomac River at Aquia Creek on September 30.
1842 -- Steamboat service to Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was provided by the Washington and Fredericksburg Steamboat Company, later renamed the Potomac Steamboat Company, controlled by the railroad after 1845.
Washington south to Quantico
1854 - The Alexandria and Washington Railroad was chartered on February 27 to build from the south end of the Long Bridge (14th Street Bridge) over the Potomac River south to Alexandria.
1857 - A&W Railroad opened.
1863 - The Baltimore and Potomac Railroad's branch over the Long Bridge opened, giving a route into Washington, D.C., over which the A&W obtained trackage rights.
1864 - The Alexandria and Fredericksburg Railway was chartered February 3 to continue the line from Alexandria to Fredericksburg.
1867 - A&W in bankrupcy


RF&P
March 2, 1944


RF&P map
Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac - 1950
1867 - At Quantico the 1.70-mile Potomac Railroad, chartered April 21.
1870 - On October 11, 1870, an extension to the north toward Quantico was authorized. The company's charter limited this branch to 10 miles, leaving it 1.7 miles short of the Alexandria and Fredericksburg Railroad. This split from the existing line at Brooke and ran north to Quantico, also on the Potomac.
1872 - A&F opened on July 2 only reaching Quantico, the north end of the RF&P.
1872 - Potomac Railroad opened May 1 1872, connecting the RF&P to the A&F.
1872 - The old line to the Aquia Creek wharf was abandoned on the opening of the Quantico wharf on May 1.
1873 - The Baltimore and Potomac Railroad's branch over the Long Bridge opened, giving a route into Washington, D.C., over which the A&W obtained trackage rights.
1877 - Potomac RR leased to the RF&P for 28 years from May 17.
1887 - The A&W Rr (bankrupt) was sold July 9, 1887, being reorganized November 23, 1887, as the Alexandria and Washington Railway.
1890 - On March 31 the two companies terminating in Alexandria (A&W and A&F) merged to form the Washington Southern Railway.
1890-1901 -WSR is operated by the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and its successor the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad (part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system).
The Combined line Washington to Richmond.
1901 - The Richmond-Washington Company was incorporated September 5, 1901 as a holding company, owning the entire capital stock of the two railroads (RF&P and WS). The stock of the company was owned equally by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Southern Railway, Seaboard Air Line Railway and Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.
1902-08 - Major sections of the main line totaling 21 miles were relocated.
1904 - The Potomac Railroad lease was transferred to the Washington Southern on June 30, 1904.
1920 - On February 24, 1920 the Washington Southern was formally merged into the RF&P.
Later Years and Successors
1930-40's - The RF&P is best recognized by it's connecting New York to Florida and other southern bound trains, the "Orange Blossom Special", and later the "Silver Meteor", "Silver Comet" and "Silver Star" on the Seaboard Air Line, and the "Champion" on the Atlantic Coast Line. These luxurious trains ran between New York and Washington on the Pennsylvania Railroad, were hauled from Washington D.C, to Richmond, Virginia via the RF&P, to connect with their host railroads.
1963 - C&O and B&O combine.
1968 - Pennsylvania and NYC become Penn Central.
1972 - ACL and SAL become part of Family Lines System.
1976 - PC becomes part of Conrail.
1982 - Southern become part of Norfolk Southern.
1986 - C&O, B&O, Family Lines become CSX.
1991 - RF&P merged with CSX.
1998 - Conrail split between NS and CSX. RF&P now fully part of CSX, and NS uses other trackage.
Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions

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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, May 1, 2009, revised Oct. 7, 2011