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Coronavirus Health & Safety Guidance

Effective Tuesday March 17, 2020, VRE will operate at a reduced “S” schedule level. Only trains marked with an “S” on our schedule will operate. Amtrak is operating on their reduced schedule, so no cross-honor step-up trains will be offered.

VRE Headquarters in Alexandria will be closed to visitors. Staff will be handling phone calls and customer service from remote locations, so please call us at 703-684-1001 and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

For those who cannot telework and absolutely need to continue their daily commute, please practice proper social distancing onboard the trains, limiting interactions and exposure to other passengers and our crew. 

We will send reminders of the reduced service level through our normal channels on a daily basis. Please stay tuned to vre.org and Train Talk Alerts for more updates.


Stay Up to Date with Related Alerts:

April 3, 2020 - Message from Rich Dalton, Acting Chief Executive Officer

March 20, 2020

March 16, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 12, 2020


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is closely monitoring the global outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is currently believed to be low, everyone must do their part to reduce the risk of contagion. To help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, the CDC recommends being vigilant in one’s personal hygiene and taking common sense precautions:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home if you feel sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. (The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others).

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Symptoms of the virus include: fever, cough, shortness of breath.

VRE is being especially vigilant. Passenger cars are wiped down daily using disinfectant(s), with an emphasis placed on areas people touch (e.g. seats, handholds, etc.), and restrooms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

Should a case be confirmed in one of our communities, we will follow the CDC’s guidelines and work with the state and county health departments. Additional information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and on the Virginia Department of Health's website.

Understanding the Need for Heat Restrictions
The Need for Heat Restrictions

Steel rails slowly expand and contract as temperatures rise and fall. With a substantial change in temperature, even in early March, there can be heat restrictions.

What is the "S" Schedule?

The "S" stands for "special". Trains marked with an "S" operate every VRE service day, and they are the only trains that operate when VRE is on its "S" schedule.

Tags: schedule, snow-days
VRE Prepares for Winter Weather

As always during winter weather, safety is our main priority. While we work diligently to keep the trains operating and on-time, inclement weather can impact our ability to provide normal service.

Types of Common Rail Systems

Given rail transport's tremendous efficiency and cost effectiveness, there are many different forms of rail in use today. Ranging from small to large, they all serve a basic purpose: to move people and freight. Here is a basic overview of the railroad industry's main components.

Tags: railroad-history
Rail Jargon 101

See definitions for ballast, cab, continuous rail, and more.

Tags: railroad-history