This electric freight and streetcar line was one of many lines that connected northern Virginia to major railroads via Washington. The first streetcar line between Mt. Vernon and Alexandria was completed between 1890 and 1892. Within years, numerous other lines were operating in the area-competing and connecting with each other in a way that led to fortunes being created and lost based on the existence (or lack thereof) of other lines.
After more than a decade of ruinous competition, many cities subsidized the creation and operation of streetcar lines. A second round of government support occurred in the 1920s, owing to several streetcar lines going bankrupt due to the rise of privately-owned automobiles. Local governments organized Arlington & Fairfax after the W-V went bust, with the intention of gaining control of the WA&FC line. However, the company lost the right to travel into Washington D.C. in 1932, and the Arlington & Fairfax streetcars subsequently abandoned service to that area.
Detroit's Evans Products Company, a railway and automotive industry supplier, purchased the company in 1936, replacing trolleys with auto-railers the over the course of the next year. Auto-railers had the ability to travel both by rail or by road. Evan's buses traveled to Rosslyn by rail, but were blocked from crossing Georgetown's Key Bridge by road owing to complaints by Capital Transit. The auto-railers ceased operation in 1939.