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This Aerial View From 1977 Shows An Active Potomac Yard

[Photo from Arlington CPHD via Andrew D'huyvetter]

Generally, whenever Potomac Yard comes up in conversation, it's usually in reference to either the Alexandria strip mall, the beleaguered metro station or the neighborhood surrounding the two. However, the actual Potomac Yard used to be one of the busiest railway yards on the East Coast of the United States. Although the area was a port for water travel for much of the 1800s, Potomac Yard opened as a switching yard in 1906. Although it was extremely busy in the decades that followed, it slowly lost business in the 1980s and was even deemed a toxic waste site in 1987, two years before it was abandoned. This photo from 1977, therefore shows the site after its heyday but before it was completely decommissioned. Note that you can see National Airport immediately behind the Yard.
· Potomac Yard [Wikipedia]
· All Looking Back Posts [CDC]