Former RF&P / C&O Depot
Former RF&P HN Cabin (Tower)
The Buckingham Branch Railroad
GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 804
Access by train/transit:
A rather busy little diamond, located in Doswell VA, north of Richmond
VA. Years ago, this served as a "suburban" junction
between the RF&P and the
C&O, both of whom had yards in Richmond.
The diamond is a 45 degree crossing.
I never get tired of stopping here on my way down to visit my daughter in
Richmond, it's a great place to unwind :-)
Today, the Buckingham Branch RR maintains a few
engines here to do local work, and they occupy the former RF&P/C&O
station. The folks from the BBR have always been pleasant, and years ago
when I stopped at their HQ in Dillwyn VA, I found out that the owners daughter
lived on the other side of the Light Rail tracks from where I currently live.
It's a small world.
Activity thru here is fair most of the time, although I imagine early in
the week you can wait a while, but later in the day, say after 2pm or so,
it's pretty active most days till about 6pm. Amtrak has quite a few
trains coming thru here, and the southbound Autotrain comes thru around
4:30pm. I'm not sure of the frequency of trains on the C&O, but almost
every time I have stopped here, I have caught a westbound freight..... Never
caught a BBR freight working tho!
In February or March of 2007, CSX replaced a number of signals. High
signals at 3, 5, and 7a, along with the dwarf at 4 were replaced, and most
of the old signals were laying on the ground when I came thru Easter
week. The signals at 8 were moved further south to position 9....
not convenient for photographing without putting yourself at risk.
Michael Watnoski and I stopped here in 2005 with the old signals still in place.
Doswell is located at milepost 111.8 on the C&O. Back in
the 1800's, the junction used to be known as
Following the RF&P north/south line by road is impossible, for nothing follows
or runs alongside it.
Following the C&O line is a little easier. To the west, VA 684 /
Verdon Ave parallels the tracks west of US Route 1 for a distance of about 3.3
miles, before it starts zig-zagging across the right-of-way. Heading south
into Richmond, VA 688 / Doswell Road parallels the tracks south of Kings
Dominion Road for about a mile.
Piedmont Sub dot com
Exit 98 off of I-95, it is the same exit you take if
you were going to the Kings Dominion
When you get off at the exit, go west (to the right if you
were SB, left if you are coming up from Richmond). VA30 will cross over
the old RF&P mainline (which isn't too bad a spot for pictures), when VA30 comes
to a "T" with US1, take a right. Go north about a half mile or so to
Doswell Road on your right.
One of the cheapest places around in a 3 state area for gas
is just north of here at exit 104!
And while you're here, don't forget to stop at
Ashland, about 10
miles to the south, for some nice railroading thru the middle of town!
The C&O and the RF&P maintained a joint passenger station at Doswell. The original depot was destroyed
during the Civil War and was replaced by a temporary building and water station. In 1870 a permanent
station was built, which was again replaced 1907. The wooden station burned in 1927. The burned station
was replaced by the red brick, Georgian style pictured below. By 1970 passenger trains only stopped
at Doswell with advance warning from the station agent.
The RF&P, like the C&O, called their towers "cabins".
A couple of shots looking north on the RF&P, towards DC
Looking south towards Richmond
You can still find a few of these still standing along the old "C&O"
Trackmobile at rest.
I had the opportunity to meet a few railfans while stopping in Doswell on the way home. Here they are counting Tubby's on this WB CSX freight.
What's a TUBBY you might ask?..... They counted over 25 of the grafitti on this
train! Brian and his sons Kristofer and Matthew often go out to watch trains
here and in the Richmond around Acca. Today, there were well over 100 cars on this empty train,
and they regularly catch WB's here (this is only my second one :-). I
was impressed by the general railroad knowledge Kristofer and Matthew
displayed, cause when I was that age, I was "stupid" :-).
I would like to thank PJ for showing me around!
This fire station is on the left side of US1 as you're headed north, between Kings
Dominion Blvd and Doswell Rd. In 2012, they got a new ambo, seen in the back
of the station on the bottom row, middle picture. The pictured tanker
holds 2000 gallons, they also have one that carries 3000. The stations in
Hanover County are primarily paid stations, and Station 4 has about 17
volunteers to help out. Station 4 is also on the dividing line between
areas served by "city" water and not, hence the tanker trucks. Pictures are from Monday 10/14/2013
I have taken the liberty of referring to the signals by their "old" names, the RF&P and C&O. This
will hopefully make things easier to follow. The RF&P line runs north and south, the C&O line
runs east and west.
RF&P SB 4 Aspect Colorlight
This signal, in normal operation, will go to red with a passing train, and stay
there unless another train is following - then, this signal will do the normal
progression from red, lunar, and yellow to green.
Cast concrete milepost 22 with impressed numbers, adjacent to the 4 aspect signal.
2 aspect dwarf color light across from the 4 aspect signal. Odd placement for a dwarf on a siding, one
would think it would be placed to control the siding going back out onto the main, instead of
for trains coming off the main going onto the siding! This signal is now gone.
SB Siding - RF&P
This signal has also been removed.... anyone have pictures of it, I never managed to get any :-(
SB RF&P Colorlights for the Diamond
I don't know how or why, but these "vintage" RF&P signals have so far managed to escape upgrading! :-)
EB C&O Colorlights for the Diamond
Also governs the interchange track going onto the SB RF&P track. The new signal:
The old signal:
Mainline Entry Signal - Interchange Track to C&O Sub
The new signal at this location
The old signal at this location, 2005
WB C&O Colorlight Signal for the Diamond
The new signal at this location
The old signal
Mainline Entry Signal - Interchange Track to SB RF&P
The dwarf signal is about 50 feet south of a small private crossing, several hundred feet south of the diamond.
At the private crossing: an old crossing gate foundation, whistle sign just north of the
crossing, looking north towards the diamond, and a freight on the C&O heading
out of Richmond. All six pix 20DEC2010
NB RF&P Colorlights for the Diamond
Old signals, removed in 2007, interlocking moved about 1000 feet or so south. These are the old signals that used to stand watch over the diamond for north
bound trains. If the RF&P ran mostly left hand traffic, I wonder why
the right track has the high signal?
photo from Piedmont Sub dot com
NB CSX Colorlights for the Diamond
These are the new signals that stand watch over the diamond for north
bound trains. They also control the crossover between the two mainline
tracks, and the interchange track on the left. These signals are
approximately 1700 feet from the diamond. The new cantilever bridge
can be seen in the distance (my location 10).
The left two shots are from the Kings Dominion Blvd overpass looking north,
The right picture is looking south from the diamond.
These pictures were taken on 20DEC2010.
NB/SB CSX Colorlights on Cantilever
These signals are 1.25 miles north of the diamond crossing.
The third industrial track comes to an end beyond the signals, and there is another small industrial siding here.
These are the signals seen in the distance in the picture at the top of the page, so from Kings Dominion Blvd, they are 2.25 miles distant.
The Old Signals Part 1
I found these just laying around during an April 2007 trip to Atlanta,
Too bad it wasn't on a day the Signal Guys were around :-(
The Old Signals Part 2
On yet another trip to Atlanta to visit my daughter,
More signals had been recently removed, and one of the signal heads was missing its lenses. 20DEC2010
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
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