Location / Name:
Arlington VA, Arlington County
The Long Bridge
38.877175, -77.036449 north end
38.871475, -77.041322 south end
Phone A/C: 202 in VA, 202 in DC
ZIP: 22202 in VA, 20024 in DC
Access by train/transit:
North End -- L'Enfant station -- VRE / Amtrak (a lengthy 2.4km/1.5 mi walk)
North End -- DC Metro L'Enfant Plaza station (same distance walk)
South End -- DC Metro Crystal City station (about a 1.2 mile walk, or 1.93km
to the end of the bridge; or 7/8 mile (1.4km) to the park viewing area)
South End -- Crystal City VRE station (about 1500 feet closer than the Metro station)
The Long Bridge is the east coast's version of I-95 for trains. The
bridge provides an important link between the northern and mid-Atlantic
states, and the south.
It is a double-track bridge going between Washington DC and Arlington VA in
NOVA. If we can believe the measurement capability of Google Maps, I
measure the bridge at 2,533 feet long (772m). Wikipedia does not list
it's length, nor does Bridgehunter. It has 11 truss spans - ten are
from another bridge and one was a new span when the bridge was built.
The crossing also contains a swing bridge to allow for boat traffic on the
Potomac River, but it has not been opened since the 60's.
The bridge now handles traffic from CSX, Amtrak, and the VRE. The
Virginia Rail Express is the regional commuter rail line that operates
between Washington DC, and Fredericksburg VA and Manassas VA. According to
Wikipedia, Norfolk Southern has trackage rights over the bridge, but does
not currently exercise them.
One of the more interesting tidbits of info about the current 115 year old
bridge (in 2019), is that the bridge uses ten recycled truss spans from an old
Delaware River bridge in Trenton NJ, along with one new truss span and a swing bridge.
The new double-tracked Long Bridge, which opened on August 25, 1904, replaced a single
track bridge built in 1884 .
From Bridgehunter dot com: Built 1902-04 with truss spans adapted for reuse from previous
bridge (possibly at Trenton, NJ), except for new swing span. Rebuilt substantially 1942-43
with additional piers added and two steel plate girder spans replacing each iron truss
span, except for the swing span. Built 1904; majorly rebuilt 1942-43 with girder spans
replacing truss spans except for swing span. Non-functioning swing span in navigation
channel of the river. Swing span last opened on November 7, 1967 and March 3, 1969.
If you want to consider it "lucky", Virginia is lucky in the sense that they
have not one, but TWO Long Bridges. The other Long Bridge is located
in central Virginia near Farmville, and thanks to my daughter Tina, I have a
page for the bridge here.
Greater Greater Washington
Plans are underway to add a parallel bridge in order to be able to increase
train frequency for Amtrak and VRE, since CSX doesn't seem to be especially
cooperative in making additional time slots available on the Long Bridge.
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
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.