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Culpeper, VA (CLP)

A mid-1980s campaign to rehabilitate the depot spurred broader revitalization; Culpeper now boasts an award-winning downtown popular with locals and tourists.


Station Facts

Culpeper, VA Station Photo

Culpeper, Virginia

109 South Commerce Street Culpeper, VA 22701

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2013)
$818,846
Annual Station Ridership (2013)
13,677

Ownerships

Facility Ownership Town of Culpeper
Parking Lot Ownership Town of Culpeper
Platform Ownership Norfolk Southern Railway
Track Ownership Norfolk Southern Railway

Features

10 Short Term Parking Spaces 30 Long Term Parking Spaces Accessible Payphones
Accessible Platform Dedicated Parking Enclosed Waiting Area
Pay Phones Restrooms Wheelchair Lift

Routes Served

  • Cardinal
  • Crescent
  • Northeast Regional

Contact

Todd Stennis
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsnol@amtrak.com
(202) 906-3918 (ph)

Local Community Links:

Station History

The first Culpeper station was constructed in 1852 by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. It built two depots, one on the east side for freight and one on the west side for passengers. Though the buildings survived the Civil War, the fighting took its toll, and in 1874, a new Culpeper train depot was erected. However, it burned down in 1903 and was replaced a year later with the current one story building.

A period of decline prompted Norfolk Southern Railway to request permission to demolish a portion of the depot in 1985. A citizens' committee formed to save the building; subsequently, the Town of Culpeper and Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (CRI), a certified Virginia Main Street organization, began restoration work. In 1995, CRI and the town successfully prepared a $700,000 renovation grant under the Virginia Department of Transportation Enhancement Program.

Three years later, Norfolk Southern officially transferred the building deed to the town, and in 2000 the renovated depot opened to the public. Additional work to the freight section was completed in 2003. Today, the station is occupied by the Culpeper Visitors Center, local chamber of commerce and the Culpeper Department of Tourism. The former freight section serves as conference space that can be rented for meetings and social events. The depot is truly a downtown anchor, playing host to a wide array of outdoor events, such as a vibrant weekly Farmers' Market held from May through November.

In 2011, Culpeper installed its first public arts project, Reel LOVE, at the depot. Using a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Culpeper Tourism office worked with a local artisan to create the sculpture from film reels. They highlight the area as a film and cultural center that is home to the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation and the newly renovated State Theatre.  Reel LOVE is a popular place for locals and tourists to take pictures, and it has even served as the backdrop to an occasional marriage proposal.

The community effort to preserve the depot sparked wider interest in downtown renewal, leading to the restoration of storefronts and the installation of new streetscaping and other infrastructure. Subsequently, commercial vacancy rates decreased as new shops, restaurants and offices opened. The upper floors of many downtown buildings were converted into apartments and condos. The joint efforts of the town and CRI have recently been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2012 designation of Davis Street and downtown as a "Great American Main Street" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

On October 1, 2009, Amtrak Virginia, a partnership between the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and Amtrak, oversaw the extension of one daily roundtrip Northeast Regional train between Lynchburg and Washington, D.C. The popular service provides communities along the US 29 corridor with more travel options and direct links to destinations as far north as Boston.

The town of Culpeper was chartered in 1759 and named after Lord Thomas Culpeper. During the Revolutionary War, a pro-independence militia group called the Culpeper Minutemen formed in the town. The community's history became ingrained with the railroad during the Civil War, when Culpeper's strategic railroad location made it an important crossroads and supply station for the troops. Since the 1980s, Culpeper has grown dramatically due to an overall increase in the population of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station, which is served by four daily trains, as well as the tri-weekly Cardinal (Westbound: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday; Eastbound: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday). Northeast Regional service within Virginia is funded in part through grants made available by the Commonwealth of Virginia.