Recent Blog Posts
Preliminary Engineering Phase Nears Completion
The Crystal City Station Improvements project is scheduled to complete the Preliminary Engineering (PE) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review phase of the project by spring 2021. The station improvements include an island platform with two entrances within the existing railroad right-of-way. Some realigning of existing tracks will be required to accommodate the proposed station. Final Design activities are expected to begin in summer 2021.
The project Technical Advisory Committee met three times throughout the PE/NEPA phase to provide input on the station design. VRE requests public comments or questions related to the various tasks completed in this phase via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday April 9, 2021.
Tasks completed during this phase include:
Site Investigation: Topographic survey was completed of the station area within the railroad right-of-way as well as the private property where station entrances are proposed. Geotechnical investigations for this area have also been initiated. Findings from the site investigations were used to advance the station design.
Design of Station and Tracks: This task advanced the design of station and tracks to 30 percent. The project cost estimate was updated consistent with the 30 percent design level of detail.
Risk Analysis: A workshop was conducted in collaboration with JBG-Smith to assess risks to project cost and schedule, and to identify mitigation strategies. Findings were documented in a risk register that will be used to manage project risks as the design and construction advance.
Environmental Documentation: The Federal Transit Association (FTA) has determined that the probable class of action under NEPA is a Categorical Exclusion. An assessment of potential impacts to historic properties, in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, has been completed. The Section 106 Assessment of Effect Report determined that the Crystal City Station Improvements Project will have no adverse effect on historic properties and the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office has concurred. The Section 106 Assessment of Effect Report can be accessed on VRE’s website. Click to view the report. FTA’s NEPA determination is anticipated in spring or summer of 2021.
Safety and Security Assessment: An initial assessment was conducted to identify the threats and vulnerabilities, as well as potential hazards related to the construction and operation of the relocated station and its vicinity. Mitigation measures have been incorporated into the PE design as appropriate. As Final Design is developed, further assessment will be done to ensure previously identified or new vulnerabilities or potential hazards are avoided or mitigated.
- Receive Alert Messages: Tips for Registering for Train Talk
Still not a member of VRE’s Train Talk news service? Why not? It only takes a couple of minutes to join. The program takes you through a series of steps so that you can customize your account and only receive alerts that are important to you.
- Operation Lifesaver Infographic
Track Safety: Learn the facts. Exercise judgement. Teach others.
It is not only dangerous to walk on train tracks, it is also ILLEGAL. Trains are quieter than ever, and always move faster than they appear.
- Head Phones & Announcements
We understand that riders wish to be as comfortable as they can while riding our trains. But remember, train announcements are there for a reason and if you hear them playing, you may wish to take a second and listen. If you do wear headphones, please keep a few things in mind ...
- Rippon and the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
Recent construction at the Rippon station to allow public access to a wildlife refuge has been completed. The Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, which is adjacent to this VRE station, is a National Wildlife Refuge established with the purpose to protect the features of a contiguous wetlands area.
- The Circus Train
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, step right up and witness the final bow to what was once the greatest ride on Earth! The Circus Train! The RBBX circus trains were more than one mile in length and consisted of 60 railroad cars, which is the equivalent of 120 trucks.