The Old Herndon Depot, Herndon, Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

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You are driving around in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.  You come upon this town known as Herndon.  It is a town like any other town.  It has houses.  It has stores and shopping centers.  It has a town center with a city hall.  Then you see what looks like an old train station.

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A train station?  There are no railroads in Herndon.

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Today, you will not find any railroads in Herndon, but that was not always the case.  Yes, you did see an old train station in Herndon.  In matter of fact, it is in its original location.  Where are the trains?  The tracks were taken up in 1968, and the right-of-way is now a rail trail.  The truth is that the town of Herndon owes its existence to the railroad.  When the railroad came to the region, the town of Herndon was established.  Surrounded by farms, the…

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