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Let's Talk!

The next VRE online forum will start on Wednesday, December 3rd at 12:00pm. Click on the "ASK" Button below to submit a question.


 
There are currently 55 questions waiting to be answered.

VRE Management:
Welcome to this month's edition of the on line forum!
The 18th Annual Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains will operate on Saturday, December 13th. We sold over four thousand on line tickets within 8 minutes and over four thousand at various vendors before 10:30am. We appreciate your support for this popular event.
Our on board collection for "Toys for Tots" will be next Wednesday, December 10th and we know we can count on you to have another record year. If you miss that chance, Amtrak is collecting toys at Union Station at Gate A on the 10th and the 11th or you can bring a toy to one of the Santa Train stations on December, 13th.
Now on to the questions.



Woody from Woodbridge asks:
Can anything be done about the dangerous situation at Route 1 and Dawson Beach? There is a posted sign stating that the right hand lane on Dawson Beach is not allowed to cross over Route 1 and continue on to Occoquan Road until after 5pm. However, every day after train number 303 leaves Woodbridge at approximately 4:23pm, VRE riders are in the right lane on Dawson Beach crossing over Route 1. This past Monday there was almost an accident when a driver in the right lane ignored the sign. County police should be alerted to this. Thank you.

VRE Management:
The County is aware and we’ll continue to communicate these issues to the Police. Safety is our top priority and we remind passengers to obey traffic lanes.



kia from va asks:
are they any santa train ride tickets

VRE Management:
All tickets are sold out.



from asks:
Hello, Can you please tell me the time that the VRE Fredericksburg train #312 arrived in Union Station on Monday, December 1?

VRE Management:
Arrived Union Station at 9:06am.



laurie from Burke asks:
I know this has been asked and answered but thought I would give it another shot. Can you nicely ask (convince) AMTRAK to move the smoking section at union station to far northern area of the platform instead of smack in the center It has always bothered me but just finished chemo and radiation and I am afraid to breathe when I catch the Manassas line every evening. Makes no sense to have when people MUST walk through the cloud to get home. Thanks:)

VRE Management:
We will pass this along to Amtrak.



Dave from Fairfax, VA asks:
I see people smoking while standing in the grass by the L'Enfant Station platform, often quite close to the stairs from 7th Street which is the "South" end of the platform. Is there any way VRE could post signs indicating that the grass is also a No Smoking area? I appreciate your consideration.

VRE Management:
Our Facilities’ Manager will take care of this.



jack from dale city asks:
What's the status of the speed restrictions just south of Alexandria? What's taking so long?

VRE Management:
Important track work is taking place to ensure a safe ride through the winter. This work will not take longer than necessary.



Mark from Manassas, VA asks:
I understand reduced service on days like the day after Thanksgiving where a liberal leave policy is in effect. But the whole week between Christmas and New Year's? I'm sure you answer is a history of reduced ridership but going to that extent is, in my opinion, poor customer service.

VRE Management:
You are right Mark, service level changes are the result of ridership demands.








Marie from Woodbridge VA asks:
Is there any plans to add a 530pm train leaving Union Station for the Fredericksburg line?

VRE Management:
We do have plans to add a Fredericksburg train but the schedule has not yet been set.






Tonya from Manassas VA asks:
Are the monthly VRE tickets pro-rated if you buy them later in the month?

VRE Management:
No. You will only be able to purchase a current monthly ticket up to the 9th of that month. After that time, it is a better value to purchase ten ride or other tickets.




Gigi from Lake Ridge VA asks:
This is my first week riding thr VRE and I have enjoyed my experience for the most part. However, I was on a train where the doors didnt open for my station and I had to get out at another stop stranded. Suggestion the conductors should come around to those cars impacted that the doors will not open or have cameraa in front of the doors to inform passengers to move to another car

VRE Management:
We apologize for your experience. The Conductors should be making announcements for which cars will not be on the platform prior to each station. If you would, please forward us the specific train information to gotrains@vre.org and we will address this with the crews.



Dave from Woodbridge, Va asks:
When will the additional train be added to the Fredrickburg line? What will be the departing time from Union Station heading south? I know I was told from a conductor sometime between 2pm-3pm.

VRE Management:
As we stated in October, we do plan to add a new Fredericksburg line train but the implementation date and the operating schedule are yet to be determined.



Holly from Broad Run asks:
It is difficult to get on the train with people queing early. Can something be done about early queing to get on the train?

VRE Management:
As previous stated, we will continue to work with Conductors on the consistent enforcement of the queuing policy.






Chris from Lefant Plaza asks:
Since Wifi will not work on train how about FIOS?

VRE Management:
FIOS is designed for a land base. It will not work with rolling stock.



Ron Cooper from Woodbridge, VA asks:
Why was a car taken off of the 300? Now I may after getting on at Woodbridge, I have to stand until Lorton on a good day or Franconia-Springfield. Not good for what I pay every month.

VRE Management:
Are you referring to 302 or another train? Train lengths are adjusted based on ridership patterns over a length of time. Based on ridership counts there is adequate seating on 302 however, you may need to move to a different car to find the available seats.



Jeff from Broad Run asks:
The additional turn lane and changes to the traffic signal have drastically improved the flow of traffic from Piper Lane. Now if we can just get out of the parking lot in a reasonable amount of time and without fearing for our lives. Please study ways to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety. The cars exiting onto Observation and speeding around to Piper is not allowing traffic to flow safely and efficiently from the access road exit.

VRE Management:
This will always be an issue when several hundred people attempt to access a roadway at once. Our advice in the short term is to hold back at the station for a few minutes to let the crowd clear out.



Connie from Dumfries VA asks:
Do you know IF the transit benefits will be increased. We all know between VRE and Metro -- fares keep going up but the subsidy doesn't follow the same pattern. Greatly appreciate any POSITIVE news regarding this topic. Thank you for your time.

VRE Management:


VRE is advocating for increased commuter benefits with Congressional members and members of the Virginia Congressional delegation. It is our hope that during the lame duck session of Congress, commuter benefits will be addressed as part of a larger tax extenders package.






Ella from Woodbridge, VA asks:
having the additional car on train number 300 was wonderful thanksgiving week, we were able to find a seat that week. this morning we were back to the same problem of no seats. i walked through 3 cars and none were available until after alexandria. i found woodbridge people standing in each of the cars i went through. are there any plans to resolve this problem?

VRE Management:
300 still have six cars however, the Conductors were trying different loading patterns. This morning we went back to the pattern that seems to work best. Please let us know if you still experience issues.



David from Fredericksburg asks:
not a question, just a headsup. All streetlamps leading from the Chrystal City station were out this morning. It made for a very dark walk out to the street this morning. And spooky:)

VRE Management:
We will pass this along to our Facilities Manager.



Sandy O from Broad Run, Manassas asks:
Due to the time change and the early sunset, could you please announce to all riders to be more careful, more courteous, more observant and just plain SAFER when walking through the parking lots! Everyone is dressed in black and drivers can't see you, be careful! That goes for the drivers too. Everyone wants to get home, lets all get home safely!

VRE Management:
This is an excellent point, we couldn’t agree more. Pedestrians should exercise caution and vehicles should be driven slow enough to permit a safe stop short of any obstruction.



David from Fredericksburg asks:
How are things comming on the Spotsy station? On schedule?

VRE Management:
We are still projecting Summer of 2015.



robert from potomac shores asks:
i realize you can't add more trains, but have you thought of making "holiday" adjustments on certain specific days like the wed before thanskgiving? for example on the fred line, canceling the 5:15pm or 6pm and running a special schedule at 2pm? it would require planning and coordination with csx and amtrak, but could be done. btw, marc does this.

VRE Management:
No. The Fredericksburg line is shared with Amtrak, Freight and VRE making it difficult to make certain changes.



George from Broad Run asks:
Why is it you are focusing on a possible mid-afternoon train to Freddy only – the line which already has the early morning express? Why is such a train not being considered for Manassas? Is it because Manassas riders are not vocal and assertive enough to get your attention, and you feel free to discriminate against Manassas riders? Manassas riders want such a train too, between 2:00-3:00. Adding such a train to one line and not the other would be greatly unfair and you know it.

VRE Management:
We are adding a train to the Fredericksburg line because we are adding an end of the line station which will increase ridership. There is no schedule set for that train. The Fredericksburg line has higher ridership and lower capacity than the Manassas line.



Robert from Woodbridge asks:
Do you have an update on the new fredericksburg line train. We kept hearing October but October came and past and we are into December.

VRE Management:
We hope to have this train operating in the Spring of 2015.



Tim from FBG asks:
I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I submitted this question... Can VRE space out the validation machines at the FBG station? Along with people queueing right outside the entrance to the validation area it creates a Black Friday crowd that is always difficult to get thru? Thanks.

VRE Management:
We cannot relocate the ticket vending machines however, we will look for another solution to the crowding issue.



Jim from Burke asks:
The 326 arrives at Burke several minutes late regularly. Maybe you should change the schedule.

VRE Management:
We are planning on making schedule adjustments on both lines prior to the addition of the new Fredericksburg line train.



Virginia from Fredericksburg, VA asks:
When I use my VRE ticket on the REX bus in the morning heading to Huntington, I usually don't have a problem. Coming back, I am never able to use it; although VRE's website says I should be able to. I have had emails with Metro (which says only MARC riders may use their tickets) and VRE, which says REX should take my ticket both ways. Frankly, all I want is a commitment from management to talk to METRO and clear up the misunderstanding. There isn't enough time for passengers to do this, and bus drivers don't know what they should do. Thanks.

VRE Management:
You should be able to ride the REX bus from Alexandria with a validated VRE ticket. The trip back to the train station would require a standard REX fare. We will update our website with the correct information.



Nick from Va asks:
Are you brain storming ways to get more storage space or looking at locations to park trains other than at the DC Hub. RIDERSHIP is growing, but trains aren"t Going home is harder and harder.

VRE Management:
We are aware that ridership is growing faster than we can get trains. We are working to keep up with the demand.






Sam from Bristow, VA asks:
The web site shows several days for the "S" schedule. December 26 is not listed? Are trains going to run on December 26?

VRE Management:
Yes, we will be running the “S” schedule.






Jackie from Lorton asks:
What's the deal on the speed restrictions before Alexandria in the morning? It has been a couple months already. How much longer? What's the reason? I don't see any work ever going on.

VRE Management:
See previously answered question.



Scott from Stafford, VA asks:
Thank you for posting the no parking signs along the dirt and gravel at Leeland Station. The entry and exit lanes are much less crowded. I am seeing the parking spaces fill up sooner each month. Are there any plans to increase parking at Leeland station in the coming year or two?

VRE Management:
No plans, we expect that the Spotsylvania station opening will free up parking in Fredericksburg and Leeland.



Patsy from Falmouth asks:
Good morning. I heard about a new app for tickets. When this launches. Are conductors going to ask us multiple times to view our tickets? Might be kind of tough when I'm trying to grab a quick snooze

VRE Management:
We will do our best to be considerate of your nap time.



Joe from Spotsy asks:
What will the schedule be for the week between Christmas and New Years.

VRE Management:
We will run an “S” schedule. http://vre.org/service/calendar.html#DECEMBER.



Only trains marked with an “S” on the published schedule will operate.






Joe from Fredericksburg, VA asks:
F'Burg line trains have been overcrowded lately with many passengers having to stand in the aisles. What are the plans to remedy this? Thanks.

VRE Management:
We are adding a Fredericksburg line train in 2015.



Traveller from There and Back Again asks:
Last month people talked a lot about getting hit with bags and backpacks. And yes, this is a problem. However, I'd like to point out that on a train, the narrow center aisle isn't exactly Main Street. It doesn't help anyone walking through the car when legs are sprawled and people take up half the aisle because they don't want to be too close to their seatmate. So please, while we're watching our backpacks, please sit on your seat and not half in the aisle! (I do love riding VRE!)

VRE Management:
Courtesy Reminder.



Shelly from Fredericksburg asks:
When running on S schedule is it still a quiet car? The last car didn't have signs on the 306 last week

VRE Management:
The Quiet car is always next to the locomotive.



Sean from Lorton asks:
What happens when you don't pay the citation fine or don't show up for court. Will a warrant be issued?

VRE Management:
You are found guilty in absentia and you may pay additional fines. You will need to pay fines within 30 days or your driver’s license may be suspended.



Kathleen from Dumfries VA asks:
When will the VRE have a stop in Dumfries near Cherry Lane in Southbridge? It has been in the plans for years but never seems to happen.

VRE Management:
There is a station projected for Potomac Shores in Summer 2017.



Ellen from Stafford, VA asks:
Why is not routine for conductors to put out a step box at Brooke Station? Whether boarding or detraining, older cars or newer ones, at that station, it is always way too long a step down.

VRE Management:
Let the Conductor know you need to use a step stool to board or de-board and they will accommodate you.



s from Spotsylvania VA asks:
Your conductors have been excellent in the way they have been handling the over crowding that happens on the Fred 420 train. My question is When will the Spotsylvania leg be done?

VRE Management:
Thanks. See previously answered question.






Robert Williamson from VA asks:
would it be possible to have the lost and found be more pro-active instead of reactive? example, I got of a train one Friday night then realized I left my coat on the train as I alerted the conductor all he would say is call the VRE on Monday, in fact I called within the next few minutes. more than a month later item has yet to be recovered. I would have gotten back on the train but was not allowed to. Being pro-active may help others in the future to recover their left items.

VRE Management:
It’s unfortunate your jacket did not come into our lost and found.



w from Woodbridge, VA asks:
Can we remind me people about bags and backpacks? I almost got smacked in the face when a guy was putting on his backpack. Thanks

VRE Management:
Courtesy Reminder.



dave from gainesville va asks:
with winter approaching, can the plows clear the snow off into the grass at Broad Run instead of into parking spaces. I've seen them do both and it cuts down on a lot of spaces when they don't do it right

VRE Management:
We will work with Prince William County to minimize the loss of spaces.



Ronny from Stafford asks:
With cold weather now upon us, would you please be so kind as to ask the conductors have their conversations with passengers either in the vestibule or inside the body of the car with the doors closed. It doesn't take much for the cars to get cold with folks are standing in the door with the doors blocked open. This really should not need to be a repeated request/reminder. Thank you.

VRE Management:
We will remind the Conductors to keep the vestibule doors closed.



cyb from Fredericksburg, VA asks:
Are there future plans to further extend the parking at Leeland Road? They are starting to build additional sections of new houses at Leeland Station and I have had to park in the grass of the upper parking lot when I take the last train.

VRE Management:
We do not have plans at this time, however, when Spotsylvania station opens we expect parking patterns to change in Fredericksburg and Leeland.



Marianne from Burke asks:
The automated announcement about the Quiet Car is made twice each evening--once after L'Enfant and again after Alexandria. Would it be possible to reduce that to just the one after Alexandria?

VRE Management:
We make the announcement after L’Enfant since that is the most utilized station. Another announcement is made after Alexandria since that is the last origination station southbound.



Andrew from Manassas asks:
Can you please do something to stop motorists at the Broad Run Parking lot from mindlessly flying throughout the parking lot and ignoring stop signs? Last night I was almost sandwiched between two vehicles as they raced to get out of the parking lot and ignored that each other was there. It's a dangerous situation, and if nothing is done, eventually someone will get hurt in that parking lot. A police officer stationed at a stop sign in that parking lot could probably write over 200 tickets a day just on people ignoring stop signs. It's dangerous, and it needs to stop before someone is hurt!

VRE Management:
Our Safety and Security Manager will work with Prince William police to monitor the situation.






Rich from Fredericksburg, VA asks:
I park in the gravel and dirt lot(C I Believe) in Fredericksburg. Are there plans to pave that lot? In the rain it turns into mostly mud.

VRE Management:
No immediate plans.



David from Woodbridge, VA asks:
A conductor, the man with the beard, on Train #307 Monday evening doesn't like people to stand in the vestibule before the train arrives in the station. He said that they might get in trouble if the cameras see it. Is that true? Other conductors don't care if people are standing in the vestibule before the train reaches the station platform.

VRE Management:
Passengers should not be in the vestibule until the train comes to a stop at the station.



Matt from Rippon, VA asks:
When the Spontslvania station goes online, will the Fredericksburg Morning trains be moved five minutes up or five minutes back on the schedule?

VRE Management:
Schedules have not yet been determined.



JD from Manassas Park asks:
I'm wondering if, on the last car of the each southbound train, the conductors could place their bags on the overhead racks, instead of the rack on the main floor. That would leave that rack available for passengers.

VRE Management:
Good idea, we will discuss this with our train operating staff.


VRE Management:
Another great hour that flew by! We know the holidays are on the back of everyone’s mind, but we want to keep safety and security on the front of your minds’: be mindful of your surroundings, slow down, take a breath, and enjoy the scenery! Happy Holidays to all!
If your question was not answered, please send it in to gotrains@vre.org.
Rich, Chris, et al.
See Tracks? Think Trains!


VRE Management:
Welcome to this month's edition of the on line forum!
The 18th Annual Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains will operate on Saturday, December 13th. We sold over four thousand on line tickets within 8 minutes and over four thousand at various vendors before 10:30am. We appreciate your support for this popular event.
Our on board collection for "Toys for Tots" will be next Wednesday, December 10th and we know we can count on you to have another record year. If you miss that chance, Amtrak is collecting toys at Union Station at Gate A on the 10th and the 11th or you can bring a toy to one of the Santa Train stations on December, 13th.
Now on to the questions.


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