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The Need for Heat Restrictions

During summer riders may experience heat restrictions on the Fredericksburg Line from 1-7 p.m. For the uninitiated, heat related delays accumulate over the course of the trip so the farther you go, the longer the delay will be.

If your destination is Franconia-Springfield, you will likely not notice the two minute delay. However, if you travel all the way to Fredericksburg, the delay will be approximately eleven minutes. The train crews will do everything they can to make up time along the way to minimize any delays. Just as automobiles are sometimes requested to lower speeds for various road and weather conditions, trains are subject to similar restrictions. Heat restrictions are orders given to railroad engineers to reduce their speed over a given section of track.

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. Careful engineering measures are taken when rail is installed to account for rail expansion and contraction. The ties, rock ballast, and rail anchors, which hold the rail longitudinally, must be strong enough to keep the rail solidly in place instead of expanding or contracting. Under extreme heat, the rail, on rare occasions, will experience a "sun kink", which causes the track to shift laterally causing a curve in the track.

When a "kink" or high tension is found in the track, the track is taken out of service, repaired, and then put back in service. That is why there are times that we are limited to one track during the summer as repairs are made.

Coronavirus Health & Safety Guidance on VRE
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 to Use Everbridge Starting March 9th
New System for Train Talk

VRE is transitioning to a new system to send Train Talk alerts. For many of you, no action is required to continue receiving Train Talks. However, if you originally subscribed for VRE alerts through another organization, you will need to opt-in to receive messages through Everbridge.

7-Day Pass ... Service or Calendar Days?
The 7-Day Pass: Service or Calendar Days?

The 7-Day Pass is good for seven consecutive calendar days once validated. So, rather than counting the number of service days after you validate, use your calendar to track which days your ticket will be honored.

7-Day and 31-Day Passes Now Available
7-Day and 31-Day Passes Now Available

Convenient, flexible and economical, two new fare passes were designed with the rider in mind. The 7-Day and 31-Day Passes are now available on VRE Mobile.

USB Tethering
USB Tethering

VRE will not have Wi-Fi available until cell phone towers are put in place all along the route so that riders have 100% connectivity. Sometimes during the ride, however, you undoubtably wish your laptop had an Internet connection. USB tethering may fit the bill.