Whistle Stop Tour of Northern Virginia

TrainThough you won’t find fried green tomatoes on this tour you will find the Whistle Stop Café at the Quantico VRE Station.  When the VRE first began operations along the I-95 corridor in 1992 there were questions as to whether the lack of housing near the train stations would derail the long term plans for the commuter rail.  Since that time a new supply of “whistle stop” towns has sprung up close to the tracks and more are still to come.

So let’s take a quick tour of the communities that have sprung up around a few of the new VRE stations.  The first stop on the tour brings us to Lorton Station in Fairfax County.  Once an area stuck between Route 1 and I-95 with nothing to make you stop now you will find a town center featuring places to grab a cup of coffee at Cariboo Coffee in the morning or stop for dinner at the Fireside Grill or Pane Vino on the way home.  With a good choice of condos, townhouses and single family homes within walking distance of the station it makes a good choice for buyers who want to park their car during the week.

Lorton StationMain street

One stop down the tracks at the Woodbridge Station the community of Belmont Bay has exploded.  Residents can walk to the station in the morning grab coffee and a muffin from the Coffee Club Cafe and when they come home walk along the waterfront.  With a marina, golf course and the Osprey restaurant the neighborhood has twice been named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live” in the DC area.


Keeping chugging down the tracks and you hit Rippon Station.  When you get off the train you can look up the hill and see the new Potomac Pointe condos.  What you don’t notice until you top the hill is that the condos enjoy a view of the Potomac River.  The lot is full with commuters not only walking from the condos but from the townhouses at Riverside Station and the detached homes in Dawson’s Landing.

Potomac PointeRippon Station

The last stop on our tour is the Quantico station home of our local Whistle Stop Café.  Located within the gates of Quantico Marine Base commuters must drive in to the base in order to get to the station.  New developments in the town of Triangle offer buyers good value on larger homes and a quick drive to take advantage of the train ride to DC.

The development of the new whistle stop communities on the eastern portion of the VRE are part of the master plans for three Northern Virginia Counties (Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax) and a new stop is planned for the huge Harbor Station development planned in Prince William County.  The goal is to not only get more commuters off the roads but to also develop new office space outside of town which will help eliminate the need to over-build office space closer to DC.

If you are interested in a personal whistle stop tour of these communities or others along the rails give me a call.

Other Articles on Northern Virginia Commuting:
Watch Out Venice
Northern Virginia Slugs

©Copyright 2007. Cindy Jones All rights reserved. 

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