200 Lafayette Boulevard Fredericksburg, VA 22401
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||Thomas H. Mitchell|
|Parking Lot Ownership||Thomas H. Mitchell|
|Accessible Payphones||Accessible Platform||Accessible Waiting Room|
|Dedicated Parking||Elevator||Elevator Accessible|
- Northeast Regional
(202) 906-3918 (ph)
Local Community Links:
- City of Fredericksburg, VA
- Amtrak Virginia
- Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter trains
- Fredericksburg Regional Transit
One block from the Rappahanock River waterfront, the 1910 brick railroad station structure has been occupied by an upscale restaurant, Claiborne’s, since 1997. The platforms and shelters run over Sophia, Caroline, Princess Anne, and Charles streets in the historic downtown of Fredericksburg and an elaborate system of stairs and ramps is used to reach the platforms from street level.
Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis secured $2.5 million in funding to improve the station and an engineering firm hired by Virginia Railway Express (VRE), has identified necessary repairs at a cost of $50,000. Work is planned to begin in mid- 2009.
Rail has been important in Fredericksburg since the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad was chartered in 1834 to run a line through from Richmond up to the Potomac River at Aquia Creek. Controlling the railroad through Fredericksburg was at issue during the American Civil War.
After the war, by 1872, connections went through to Washington, D.C., giving this portion of Virginia an all-rail route from Richmond and across the Potomac to Washington. Beginning in July of 1992, VRE has operated its Fredericksburg line as a much-used commuter railroad.
Fredericksburg sits on the banks of the Rappahannock, at the head of river navigation, which has made it an important site since colonial times. The Virginia General Assembly established a fort in the area in 1676, just south of the present city. In 1720, the Assembly established a new county, Spotsylvania (after the governor) and established Fredericksburg in 1728 as a port. Named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of George II, the streets bore names of the royal family. For a time it served as the county seat, and was later incorporated in 1781. It received its charter as an independent city in 1879.
The city is closely associated with George Washington, whose family moved in 1738 to a farm in Stafford County, across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg, so that Augustine Washington could live closer to the Accokeek Creek Iron Furnace, which he managed. The house—uncovered finally in an archaeological dig in July 2008—was central to the Washington family from the 1740s until 1772, when Mary Washington moved across the river to Fredericksburg.
George Washington grew up on the farm and managed it until he moved up to the Mount Vernon estate near Washington, D.C. in 1754. Today, the farm is a working archaeological site and historical park open to visitors.
Fredericksburg gained strategic importance during the American Civil War because of its position midway between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, the opposing capitals. During the Battle of Fredericksburg in early December of 1862, the town sustained significant damage due to bombardment and looting at the hands of Federal troops, who were in turn devastated at Confederate hands. A second battle was fought in and around the town in connection with the Chancellorsville Campaign in 1863; and the Battle of the Wilderness and the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House were fought nearby in May 1864. The extensive nearby battlefield parks, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial, pay tribute to what has been called the bloodiest landscape in the country, vividly reflect the Civil War’s terrible cost—more than 85,000 men wounded and 15,000 killed—and honor the trials of a community and nation at war.
After the war, Fredericksburg recovered its position as a center of local trade and expanded. The University of Mary Washington was founded there in 1908 as a women’s school, and evolved under the University of Virginia system into an independent coeducational institution. Today, Fredericksburg is the hub of a rapidly growing region in Northern Virginia; however it still retains its 40-block historic district and the surrounding areas maintain memorial battlefield monuments. It is aptly nicknamed, “America’s most historic city.”
Fredericksburg has been home to many notables other than the Washington family, including George Mason, John Paul Jones, George Wheedon, and Hugh Mercer; and in modern times, actor Judge Rheinhold and author Florence King.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility. Fredericksburg is served by six daily Amtrak trains, which share the station with VRE Commuter Rail.
Northeast Regional service within Virginia is funded in part through grants made available by the Commonwealth of Virginia.