Multiple times every day, trains from Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express roll through Fredericksburg Station. Riders can take Amtrak as far north as Boston, and as far south as Miami. Every weekday, riders can take the VRE through Northern Virginia and up to Union Station in Washington, D.C. And if you were to make Fredericksburg your destination for a trip, there is perhaps no better method of transportation than the train.
The reason I know of Fredericksburg Station’s accessibility is that last Friday, I drove down to the Richmond Staples-Mill Amtrak station with one goal in mind: to demonstrate to you, the readers of this blog, just how easy it is to take the train to Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg Station resides in the heart of downtown. Even now, as I write this blog in my office, I can hear the whistle of a train passing through the city. And, as I learned on Friday, taking the train to Fredericksburg Station is fun, quick, and cost-effective.
I arrived in Richmond on Friday morning with a round-trip ticket that cost only $36. Staples Mill Station was impressively convenient; all I had to do was wait a few minutes and safely walk to the platform. As I hopped aboard the Northeast Regional Amtrak, the conductor told me exactly which car I should sit in. Unlike coach seats in airline travel, my seat on Amtrak was comfortable with plenty of legroom.
The train sped off quickly, precisely at our departure time of 8:25 a.m. Our first (and only) stop was in Ashland, a station that consists of a beautiful, white house surrounded by local shops and restaurants. Origin Beer Lab, a sister company to Center of the Universe Brewing, is only a three-minute walk from the station. We then passed a number of parks and trails, including Railside Park, not far from Ashland Station.
Throughout the trip we rode by beautiful forests, and classic old homes with a clear view of the tracks. We passed multiple creeks and lakes, the banks of which were blanketed with snow (NOTE: I cannot guarantee that you will see snow on your trip, but I hope you already knew that). In short, the train provided gorgeous views of Virginia that you would not see from I-95….including a flock of bald eagles that flew right by my window.
The scheduled time of arrival to Fredericksburg Station was 9:23 a.m.; we arrived at 9:17 a.m. A trip that was supposed to be just under an hour was in fact quicker, and yet it only felt like 15 minutes. I hopped off the train, and immediately got a beautiful, elevated view of downtown Fredericksburg. From there, it was unbelievably simple to walk through downtown. My walk to the Fredericksburg Visitor Center was about five minutes long, and the rest of the city was as accessible as could be. I was able to make a trip to Fredericksburg without having to worry about where to park my car, or if I would have to pay at a parking garage. Instead, I had a truly enjoyable day in Fredericksburg, and managed to simply hop back on the train to head back to Richmond.
A train ride to Fredericksburg is easy and affordable, only outdone by its gorgeous views. For those of you looking to make a day or weekend trip to an East Coast city, I cannot recommend Fredericksburg enough. Furthermore, I highly recommend taking the train to Fredericksburg Station. It is an easy walk into the middle of downtown, where you can enjoy all of our local boutiques, restaurants, bars, and museums. And by taking Amtrak or the VRE (if you are coming from D.C. or Northern Virginia), you can enjoy all of what Fredericksburg has to offer without getting stuck in traffic. I immensely enjoyed my train ride to Fredericksburg, and I know that you will too.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, masks are required on Amtrak. Learn more about Amtrak’s Coronavirus policy here.