U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 02-26-2015, 02:08 PM
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
9,471 posts, read 9,344,483 times
Reputation: 6640


Who remembers when Potomac Yard was a railroad yard and not the development that is there today?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 02-26-2015, 07:21 PM
4,711 posts, read 10,861,826 times
Reputation: 3773
I remember the old RF&P Yard well. I used to like to watch them pushing cars over the hump. What a racket that made when the cars smashed into each other. The neighbors must have loved it LOL.

The best part was Steve's Restaurant on Route 1 across from the yard. It was what they would call a "dive" today but it was great for cheap eats and drinks. I was a regular there in the 70's. Train crews frequented the place and it was great talking to the conductors, brakemen and engineers, some of which were from the steam days. Oh, the stories those guys would tell!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2015, 04:39 AM
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
946 posts, read 533,146 times
Reputation: 2181
I remember when a single townhouse structure was placed there with a sign -"Home of the Future Redskins Stadium" - which was the result of Governor Wilder and Jack Kent Cook's faustian bargain to locate the redskins in Alexandria -without the consent of anyone who mattered.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-07-2018, 06:41 PM
1 posts, read 614 times
Reputation: 15
Sitting with my family in VA Beach and we're talking about Steve's! My 93-y-o mom doesn't remember, but my brother and I do ... The "S" in his name spelled with a railroad tracks motif and the big plates of spaghetti and meatballs. Steve Katrivanos ... I believe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2018, 10:08 AM
5,330 posts, read 6,120,605 times
Reputation: 2624
I remember it. I was a teenager in the late 1970s living in southeast Fairfax County, so I wasn't over by Potomac Yards much, but my father worked in Crystal City and I did travel that way some. I remember the hill with the control tower where they'd roll train cars down the track to hook up with trains. Once I went with a friend and his mother to a great deli on Rt 1 in that area, and from what I recall, it moved and became Deli on the Strand in Old Town.

In the 2000s I worked in Crystal City and lived in Alexandria and would sometimes jog home, past the Potomac Yard shopping center and then that expanse of who-knows-what kind of wasteland before Monroe Ave (rental car storage?). I really like how that whole area has been developed now, and I go that way often.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2019, 08:15 PM
20,840 posts, read 39,052,603 times
Reputation: 19074
I recall Potomac Yards. It served several railroads and was the transfer point between the northeast USA and southeast USA. Just about all north-south rail traffic along the Atlantic seaboard went through Potomac Yards.

I used to sit by the side of the road and watch them push railcars over "the hump" and roll down to tracks in the "bowl" as they call these arrangements. There were many tracks in the bowl, and each would get cars destined to a certain city or to a certain connecting railroad. This process is totally analogous to a packet switched network, i.e., each railyard is a node, each railcar is a packet of "content" and each track is a circuit to the next node as the packet moves through the network to its destination.

My wife remembers Steve's Restaurant very well. She used to work at Remington Rand where she processed microfilm. Rem-Rand was practically next door to Steve's and she ate there often. She loved getting a big container of carry out French Fries. With Ketchup.

Trains still pass through the area, but the switching of cars is done elsewhere these days.

There used to be a rail line from Potomac Yards out to Bluemont, VA, aka the Washington & Old Dominion, which is now a bike path.
- Please follow our TOS.
- Any Questions about City-Data? See the FAQ list.
- Want some detailed instructions on using the site? See The Guide for plain english explanation.
- Realtors are welcome here but do see our Realtor Advice to avoid infractions.
- Thank you and enjoy City-Data.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2019, 11:29 PM
1,675 posts, read 552,918 times
Reputation: 2641
I remember it. Can't believe the prices of houses in that area now. I used to drive or bus from Alexandria to DC for some time. I remember making a turn on some occasions at So. Glebe to head up to Company Inkwell.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2019, 06:39 AM
631 posts, read 521,531 times
Reputation: 880
Before that, just up the street in Crystal City. Developer Charles E. Smith Company paid to have the railroad tracks moved to the east towards the airport to create room for more commercial development. People thought they were crazy to do that back then. Turned out to be a great vision of the future by the leaders of CES Co.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2019, 09:55 AM
Location: Herndon VA
106 posts, read 184,440 times
Reputation: 59
I remember it vaguely back when I worked in Crystal City back in the early to mid nineties. I spent a fair amount of time going to the theater and library over in Shirlington. (where the beautiful people meet).
I also used to ride/take my bike sometimes to get worked on at a Spokes bikeshop in Shillington.
I don't remember seeing any train cars moving back then, only a ton of empty track. It looked like an eyesore back then.
Funny thing is I always took south Glebe to go to Shirlington and I remember an Ollie's Trolley but not Steve's.
I could have sworn that there used to be a hospital right off of South Glebe and 395 which at the time had rundown red brick apartments in front.
I just checked Google maps and no longer see a hospital at all. Was I misremembering?
I too remember them talking about putting the new Redskins stadium in the old yard and thinking at the time that they had lost their minds.
Man sometimes I miss the old days. Crystal City used to pretty much close up shop and turn into a ghost town after 5pm back then.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-15-2019, 01:38 PM
2 posts, read 3,019 times
Reputation: 15
Steve's was on Rte 1, a couple of miles from Shirlington and the Glebe Road - Shirley Highway junction.

I think the hospital was named National Orthopaedic Hospital, or something along those lines, at least in the 1950s when we lived up Glebe. My father used to go there for his back, harmed during the war.

Those red brick apartments were the Arna Valley development, now replaced with something else, although some of the old duplexes juxtaposing the old apartments are still there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:29 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top