The railway line that lies between Neabsco and Powells Creek was completed in 1872 by the Alexandria and Fredericksburg Railroad. This was no easy taks considering the steep terrain, which required numerous deep cuts and fills to maintain a gentle grade along the line. Over the years, this resulted in several landslides and train derailments. The first year of its operation, the Alexandria Gazette reported one such event, "Owing to the washing of the A&F Railroad, the passenger and baggage car of the train due here yesterday evening from Quantico ran off the track in a deep cut at Freestone Point. A repair train was sent down immediately and the track is now in good order again." An incident that occurred at about the same time recalls an attempt to stabilize tracks along a slide. A temporary timber trestle was constructed and secured to trees further up the hill. Delayed by the incident on the way to Fredericksburg, P.T. Barnum, along with his circus, commented that he had been all over the United States, but this was the first railroad he had ever seen tied to a tree.