The Wilkes Street Tunnel, Alexandria, Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The city of Alexandria in the U.S. state of Virginia is rich with history, and the history runs deep. There are billions of stories that this town has to tell. You hear so much about its colonial history. Many of its famous sites include the famous Christ Church where all but a small handful of U.S. presidents have attended church services and Gadsby Tavern when a man named George Washington had a few meals.

Some of you are saying, “Well, this is very nice, but you never hear anything about the railroads.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Alexandria has many railroad stories to tell. It was where Abraham Lincoln’s personal railroad car was built. (Sadly, it became his funeral car.) It was the home of a roundhouse (which was demolished). It was the home of three major railroads. One of them was the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.

What made Alexandria a major…

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