The RF&P Subdivision is a railroad line owned and operated by CSX Transportation. It runs from Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Virginia, over lines previously owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. The line's name pays homage to that railroad, which was a predecessor to the CSX.
At the northern (eastern) end of the line, the RF&P Sub connects to the Capital Subdivision, which runs to Baltimore, Maryland. Just before the Anacostia Railroad Bridge on the Capital Sub is the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. South (west) of the tunnel is a branch to the Amtrak First Street Tunnel, which leads to Union Station and the Northeast Corridor. The Virginia Avenue Tunnel is used only for freight trains, while the First Street Tunnel is used only for passenger trains.
Continuing south, the RF&P Sub crosses the Potomac River over the Long Bridge into Virginia, and passes through Alexandria and Fredericksburg, ending in Richmond at the Richmond Terminal Subdivision.
The RF&P Sub is part of CSX's eastern seaboard line, and carries freight trains, as well as passenger trains for Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE). Freight traffic capacity on the subdivision has been limited by the dated design of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. The tunnel is single-tracked and has restricted vertical clearance, which precludes the use of double-stack freight cars. South of Long Bridge is triple tracked until Franconia Station where is reduces to double track.
In 2008 CSX proposed improvements to the RF&P Sub in what would be a public-private partnership, as part of its National Gateway initiative. The improvements would enable use of double-stack cars, and include a modified or rebuilt tunnel, and lowering of track levels at several presently-restricted roadway overpasses.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RF&P Subdivision.|
- CSX Transportation. "Baltimore Division Timetable No. 4." 2005-01-01.
- CSX Corporation (2008). "CSX Announces National Gateway to Improve Flow of Freight." 2008-05-01.
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC (2009). "CSX National Gateway Projects in the Washington Region." Accessed 2009-12-05.
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