It was 50 years ago this month – August of 1968 – that, squeezed in between all the other breaking news of a chaotic year, a local institution was about to breathe its last.

According to the Sun’s history files, it was the third week of August that the very last Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad train chugged from Herndon east to Potomac Yard, delivering its final shipment of freight. (Passenger traffic had stopped years before.)

Thus ended more than 130 years of service on the line.

The good news, as Northern Virginians know, is that the right-of-way eventually was acquired by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks) and now serves as a wonderful 34-mile-long trail for walkers, joggers, runners, bicyclists and even equestrians.

Speaking of Trains (as in ‘Wrecks’) ...

... I have to admit I’m becoming hooked on Fox 5’s “Like It Or Not,” the show that has been shoehorned into the early-evening lineup and features a rotating band of, ahem, local media personalities opining on the issues – mostly social-media-inspired issues – of the day.

“Becoming hooked” not because it’s a good show – lord, it’s all but unwatchable – but hooked because it’s fascinating to see how the panelists manage to outdo one another in muddled commentary on meaningless trivialities.

Let’s put it this way: Some days Britt McHenry, whose biggest career TV appearance to date has been getting caught on video in a meltdown at an Arlington auto-repo-depot – that event “went viral” – sometimes is the most coherent commentator. That should tell give you an indication.

One has to wonder if this show will make it out of summer alive, or if sanity will return to the station overlords. Then again, it’s probably uber-cheap to produce, which seems to be the criteria these days, so it may have legs.

– Scott

(4) comments

CJE

Northern Virginia would have been so much better off today of the W O and D right of way had been converted to a multi-modal transit corridor, passenger rail., pedestrians, bicycles, with the rail separated by a fence from the trail.

TriState

That has crossed my mind as well. I like that there’s a dirt path on part of it as well, but with the amount it has cost for the silver line, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. A third corridor for rail would be fine. Four with the proximity of MARC. Another bridge across the Potomac is a good idea too. Between the American Legion and Whites Ferry.

Allen Muchnick

Oh yes, wouldn't it be lovely if Arlington's Glen Carlin and Bluemont Parks had been redeveloped to be like Ballston!

CJE

Arlington has had one and only one development and re-development 'planning' paradigm for more than 30 years -- mixed use infill urbanization -- done site plan by site plan. Nothing else is acceptable. No one who is not an adherent is permitted to have anything to do with 'planning' in Arlington.

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