Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

029-5724 Fort Belvoir Military Railroad Historic Corridor

Fort Belvoir Military Railroad Historic Corridor
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/16/2016

The Fort Belvoir Military Railroad Historic Corridor in Fairfax County consists of a four-mile trunk line road bed and five-and-a-half miles of sidings, including rail yards, and the associated buildings, sites, and structures of the Fort Belvoir Military Railroad. The railroad is integral to the story of Belvoir’s development, especially the planning and growth of Camp A. A. Humphreys, the original name of the base, established in January 1918, after the U.S. entered World War I in 1917. WWI challenged the U.S. Army to mobilize over two million soldiers rapidly and train engineers in the use of new technologies of warfare—planes, tanks, machine guns, U-boats, and poison gas, among others. By summer 1917, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arranged for all its officers and troops to be trained at one central facility—Camp Humphreys, which eventually, served 30,000 engineer soldiers. At a time when trains were the most reliable and timely overland transportation, the military railroad offered essential access to Camp Humphreys, located on a peninsula in the Potomac River then-served only by steamboats from Washington D.C. The camp’s location gave it proximity to the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad lines located at Accotink, as well as the Washington-Virginia Electric Railway Terminal at Mount Vernon. Officials hoped that constructing short rail spurs would improve and ease access between D.C. and Fort Belvoir, so-renamed in the 1930s. The railroad thus became a vital centerpiece at Belvoir during its early days, and it continued to serve an expanding installation throughout the 20th century, illustrating the importance of a light military railroad to an installation.
[VLR Listed Only]


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated February 6, 2019