The Rise and Demise of the W&OD Railroad

During the mid-19th century, travel through Loudoun County was difficult since many roads were muddy during wet seasons, and using horses to ride or pull wagons was slow. The C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad in Maryland both offered  travel/shipping options to those near the Potomac River who could cross it when river conditions permitted.  But the canal was prone to shutting down during droughts and freezes, and crossing the river with cargo was risky and cumbersome.

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