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Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park

Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park
Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park
Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park
Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park

ANNANDALE, Va. — The Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park in Annandale, Virginia, offers visitors a glimpse into the region's rich railway history. Set amidst serene natural surroundings, the park showcases remnants of the Manassas Gap Railroad, a planned transportation route linking the Shenandoah Valley to Northern Virginia.

Construction of the Manassas Gap Railroad began in the 1850s to transport agricultural products from the Ohio and Shenandoah Valleys to markets in Northern Virginia. Merchants in Alexandria opted to construct the Independent Line of the Manassas Gap Railroad to circumvent high rail rental charges imposed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The proposed railroad would span 34 miles from Bull Run, traversing the city of Fairfax before veering east near the village of Annandale, proceeding into Indian Run Valley, and terminating at the rail yards of Alexandria.

Although the filling and leveling necessary for the rail bed's construction were completed, funding shortages halted progress, and the rails never extended beyond Alexandria. The rail beds became notable earthworks during Civil War battles and skirmishes in Annandale and Fairfax.

Today, the Manassas Gap Railroad Historic Site Park and the Annandale Community Park encompass 1,870 feet of railroad bed, two historic culverts, and substantial masonry work, preserving the legacy of this ambitious but ultimately unrealized railway project.

📸: absolonkent.net/photogallery/index.php?/category/522