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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.

History of the Railroader's Timepiece

Keeping time on the railroad began as an imperfect science. Timepieces of the very early 1800's were notorious for losing as much as ten minutes a day.

Tags: railroad-history
Bell Versus Horn

Two very symbolic and perhaps widely known components of the locomotive are the bell and the horn. Both are vital safety features, however, the bell's use predates the locomotive to the days of horse-drawn street cars and carriages.

Tags: horn, railroad-history, safety
History of Railroad Signaling

Since its birth, the railroad has employed a variety of signaling methods to communicate with locomotive crews as to what course of action they must take, mile by mile, in order to safeguard themselves from possible collision.

Tags: railroad-history, safety, signals
A Reminder to Validate Your Tickets

Validating a ticket is the process of applying the value of one ride from your ticket to your current trip on the train.

Tags: tickets, validate
U.S.N.O. Time
U.S.N.O. Time

VRE's trains run not by the time it says on your watch, but by the time that the U.S. Naval Observatory Time Services Department says it is.

Tags: railroad-time