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burke_vre_cornerThe area of Fairfax County known as Burke is named for Silas Burke (1796—1854), a 19th century farmer, merchant, and local politician who built a house (which is still standing) on a hill overlooking the valley of Pohick Creek in approximately 1824. When the Orange and Alexandria Railroad was constructed in the late 1840s, the railroad station at the base of that hill was named Burke's Station after Burke, who owned the land in the area and donated a right-of-way to the railroad company. In 1851, The Orange & Alexandria Railroad reached Burke and Manassas (then called “Tudor Hall”). The original Burke Station dates from that period. In the following years, as rail service expanded and connected to the entire nation, Burke Station became a Regional Transit Center where passengers and goods could be exchanged. The height of rail service reached a peak in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The community that grew up around the railroad station acquired a post office branch in 1852. During the American Civil War, the railway station was garrisoned by Union troops. On December 28, 1862, Confederate cavalry under General J.E.B. Stuart raided the station. Stuart seized supplies from the area, destroyed a nearby bridge, monitored Union messages passing over the telegraph lines, and then famously sent a telegram to Union Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs complaining of the poor quality of the mules he had captured. In 1903, the name of the post office was changed from Burke's Station to "Burke."

The area remained predominantly rural well into the mid-20th century. After World War I, some employees of the Federal Government began moving into the area, and commuted to Washington, D.C. by train.

The popularity of the personal automobile, the effects of the Great Depression, and the completion of the Interstate Highway System contributed to the decline of railroads. Therefore, the station was used less and less until, after 116 years of service, passenger trains ceased to stop at Burke in 1967.

The first large subdivision in the vicinity, Kings Park, was constructed beginning in 1960, and was followed by many others over the next two decades, converting Burke into a densely populated suburban community. Currently, railroad tracks on the same historical line are owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway.

In June 1992, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) started service at 10 stations, including the Burke Centre Station, along the Washington DC — Manassas Airport Corridor. In 2008, VRE opened its 1500 space structured parking garage, VRE's largest, providing ample parking for current and future needs.

Crystal City Station Improvements
Update: Crystal City Station Improvements

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.

OmniRide and Virginia Railway Express Partners in Public Transit
OmniRide & VRE: Partners in Public Transit

OmniRide is honored to be able to partner with VRE to meet the travel needs of the region’s essential workers and for passengers making essential travel to employment, grocery stores, health care appointments, and more.

Federal Mask Mandate
Federal Mask Mandate

The President issued an Executive Order, Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,  requiring masks to be worn on trains.  

VRE Mobile Update
VRE Mobile Update
If your phone isn't set to automatically update, open VRE Mobile and manually update by clicking "Update My App" or vist Google Play or the App Store directly.
Commuter Connections
Commuter Connections

The coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted the way area residents work on a daily basis. With continued travel restrictions for many, working from home has become a common practice. For those required to commute to the worksite during the pandemic, Commuter Connections never stopped providing assistance.