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VRE will operate at a reduced “S” schedule level until further notice, supplemented with Train 300 (Departs Spotsylvania at 4:54 am) for the northbound commute and Train 307 (Departs Union Station at 4:10 pm) for the southbound commute.
As ridership continues to slowly increase and to help ensure the ability to social distance onboard the trains, we will continue to add cars to the six car sets and add roundtrip trains back to the schedule. We will send reminders of the service level through our normal channels on a daily basis until we return to full operation. Please stay tuned to vre.org and Train Talk Alerts for updates.
Your Part in COVID-19 Mitigation
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. Additionally:
- Wear a cloth face covering per Executive Order 63 as well as to comply with rules in the jurisdictions where you board and alight. Face coverings are strongly encouraged in DC.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- 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.
What VRE is Doing
VRE is being especially vigilant (see our video). Passenger cars are wiped down twice daily using disinfectant(s) -- nightly at our maintenance and storage facilities to prepare trains for morning service, and after morning service to prepare trains to return for service in the evening. When cleaning/sanitizing, crews place emphasis on areas people touch (e.g. seats, handholds, etc.), and restrooms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
We installed graphics to make social distancing on our trains and at our stations as simple as possible. Plus, hand sanitizer is now available to our riders. Learn more about what VRE implemented in the month of June and how we are watching ridership to continue supporting social distancing.
Effective July 13, Step-Up tickets used in conjunction with VRE multi-ride tickets will not be accepted on the designated Amtrak trains.
Amtrak is working to manage social distancing onboard their trains. Since VRE passengers utilizing the Amtrak Step-Up trains are not pre-booked, the Step-Up program is being temporarily suspended. The duration of this suspension is unknown at this time. We will continue to work with Amtrak to reinstate the program once it is practical to do so.
Please note Amtrak requires all persons on Amtrak trains or inside Amtrak facilities and stations to wear a face covering.
When Not Riding VRE
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends being vigilant and taking these precautions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (Symptoms of the virus include: fever, cough, shortness of breath.)
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Please monitor the following sites for updates:
VRE Customer Service
VRE Headquarters in Alexandria is closed to visitors. Staff is 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.
- Understanding 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.
- 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.
- Rail Jargon 101
See definitions for ballast, cab, continuous rail, and more.