As always, it has been a pleasure interacting with you for the last hour. If your question wasn't answered, please email to where we answer all questions within one business day.


The VRE GHX community meeting is tonight from 6:00-8:00 pm at Piney Branch Elementary School. Presentation will begin at 6:30 pm. For more information on the VRE Gainesville-Haymarket extension, visit .


If you didn't get a chance to donate to our Toys for Tots collection today, feel free to stop by Spotsylvania, Fredricksburg, Woodbridge, Broad Run, Manassas, or Burke Centre while our 20th Anniversary Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains are operating this Saturday to drop off a gift.


Safety reminder for the month: After yesterday's incident, take some time to visit Operation Lifesaver's website ( Rail safety isn't just important at crossings while in your car. Talk to your children about staying off the tracks and talk to your new teenage drivers about not violating activated crossing signals. Set good examples (and keep yourself safe) by taking these same steps. Wait for the signals to deactivate before walking across the crossings at Manassas and Quantico to make sure trains aren't approaching on other tracks and look both ways.


Happy Holidays from VRE!


Rich, Chris, et al.

  • Dave from Frederickburg asks
    Would it be possible to update the consist information to note that 314 is no longer composed of Legacy Gallery cars?

    VRE Response
    We'll update it with Gallery IV cars.  The occasional Legacy cars were necessary as we had a couple cars out for extended repairs.

  • Sam from Spotsy asks
    WIFI - I am sure if you ask ATT or Verizon or T-Mobile or Sprint or other service providers, they will provide you with a reliable solution to your WIFI. The question is, IS VRE ready and willing to pay for the cost or would it prefer to pay for O&M and new equipment purchases?!

    VRE Response
    Sam, obviously as a subsidized operation, cost is always important, but not the single determining factor.  We're not sure what solution could be provided without the cellular network coverage needed, since hard wired and track side equipment are out of the question, but we are happy to listen to any realistic ideas.

  • Anonym from none asks
    are you hand picking comments?!

    VRE Response
    There are questions we do not answer because they are presented with inappropriate comments and language.  

  • Guest from Spotsy asks
    Any expected delays today on Fred line trains?

    VRE Response
    No expected delays. We alert passengers through Train Talk and social media of any anticipated delays. Unforeseen delays are just that.

  • Dale from Manassas, VA asks
    Not a question, but more of a gripe. I have been riding VRE for approximately eight years; I have seen a substantial increase in fares as well as ridership in that time. The gripe: VRE is doing a poor job of ensuring riders are paying their fair share. In daily round trip MAN - C CITY a conductor has only checked once for my ticket. I pay, but how many aren't? Frankly, your staff would have a lot more time to do their job if they spent more time on their feet and less time on a seat socializing with the female clients/passengers. I've told you this once before, face to face, but if anything it's worsened. How can you possibly rationalize fare increases when all appearances are that some passengers are not paying? Who knows, maybe a better answer would be active RFID chips or tags at the point of entering and exiting the rail coaches. I don't know; but what I do know is that you're over paying some of your conductors as the only thing I see some of them do is spent time with their favorite one or two passengers.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Dale.  We take the responsibility of protecting revenue very seriously.  Conductors are supposed to do 100% ticket checks, unless some part of their primary function of operating a safe train takes precedence.  Socializing is not a valid excuse to not check tickets.  Give Chris a call at our office 703-684-1001 and he'll be happy to discuss some specifics with you so we can address this with individual conductors.

  • James from Nokesville asks
    I am watching Fredericksburg 305 leave Crystal City half full in the afternoon, while our Manassas 327 is standing room only. Maybe it's the current Metro surge, or maybe it will be permanent. Why can't you throw another coach or two onto 327, at least for the surge this month?

    VRE Response
    It's not that easy Jim.  The Broad Run yard is filled to capacity, so we can't simply add a car.  327 is currently a 7 car train.  We have two 8 car sets, currently operating as 329 and 331.  Average midweek ridership is:

    327 - 969   ,   329 - 1,138  ,  and 331 - 995.  The trains that carry the most passengers get the most cars, so while 327 is crowded, we simply cannot make it an 8 car set at this time.


  • Bobby from Quantico asks
    Yesterday afternoon a number of early qued up people had to be asked by a wheel chair equipped rider to please move so he could get to the lift...then they barely shifted - i guess they were worried about losing their prime spot to be first off the train ?? - the people were bad/rude enough, but the conductor did nothing to help the man get through the Q-balls either. train 305 with 303 passengers since we were on S schedule.

    VRE Response
    We'll get with yesterday's crew and address this directly.  Thanks for the feedback Bobby.

  • Karen from Spotsylvania asks
    Hi one of the tree in the Spotsylvania parking lot is dead and has leaned over to the point where it protrudes into the street. Cars are forced to turn further out to avoid it. Would it be possible to remove it before the snow comes and knocks it over effectively turning it into a speed bump? Thanks

    VRE Response
    Thanks for letting us know, Karen. We will have our Facilities Manager take care of it.

  • Johnny D from Fred asks
    Hi - It seems as though all the whining about the chilly cars has been successful. the temps in the trains have increased noticeably in the last few weeks. by the time the car is full of passengers, the sweating begins. and we have not yet had to don our heavy winter garments. Please help. maybe we could meet in the middle of the change in degrees? hot miserable smelly sweaty irritable co riders do not make a pleasant commute.

    VRE Response
    We keep the temperature standard throughout the year. What you are noticing now is the heaters coming on to raise it to approximately 69 degrees, as opposed in the summer where the AC cools it to the same 69 degrees.

    As it is tough to satisfy such a wide population who have different wants for temperatures, we recommend layers that can easily be shed or put on to placate your senses.

  • lynda from woodbridge asks
    doyou know aboutclourse forjan15 threw jan20 because of anauguration federal only three days that week thans lynda

    VRE Response
    Thanks Lynda,  please see the earlier answered question about the schedule for Presidential Inauguration Day.  The other days that week will operate on normal schedule.

  • Josh from Woodbridge VA asks
    Could VRE install wifi on it's trains and cup holders in the older cars?

    VRE Response
    I think we've covered WiFi adequately for this month, but about the cup holders:

    The Legacy cars will be replaced in early 2017 when the next order of 5 new cars arrive, so, no plans to add cup holders.

  • Tom from Burke Center Rider asks
    I'm a bit new to the VRE, and I assume that this has been asked and answered before; however, can you share with me, and others who may also be new, what the plan would be to add capacity. i.e. seats, if the Manassas line is extended further west? My concern is that additional riders, beginning their trip before I get on the train, would leave less seats on an already crowded train. Are their plans to add additional cars to existing trains or to add more frequent trains? Thanks.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for asking Tom.  There are studies currently underway looking at extending/expanding service on the Manassas Line.  While there are no immediate plans to increase capacity, additional capacity will be a part of any expansion so we can avoid the situation you describe.

  • LP from UNION STATION asks
    Kim ??? nowhere to be found. again. yesterday was yet another afternoon of the train being posted on the incorrect track. no information. no announcements. no escalators running in the direction needed. amtrak personnel say "this is the information the tower gave us" while the train is sitting 3 tracks over. are we (VRE patrons) EVER going to get help at US? oh, and we called the VRE office to no avail. this would not be so bad if it was not such a chronic issue.

    VRE Response
    Kim is doing her best to mitigate the wrong track information. Union Station has the most complicated train moves anywhere VRE operates and due to the capacity issues at the station, trains may be moved to a different track than what they had planned when the train initially left the yard. This doesn't affect Amtrak trains as much as they don't let people down to the platform until the train is at the station.

    We know it is annoying when you are down on the platform and you have to move to another platform due to this issue, but please know our trains will not leave anyone standing on the wrong platform when the train comes in.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Yesterday when you reporting the status of Train's #306 & #308, the rail time map showed it as Train's #312 & #314 confusing us. When you sent email saying Train #304 was given permission to go Quantico, I thought that meant it would be going north to Woodbridge, but that was not case and so it would be over an hour until Train #306 arrived

    VRE Response
    Good points Davin.  The trains had to carry the 312 and 314 labels just so we could keep them on the map (the symbols for 306 and 308 had expired).  Our goal was to simply show that trains were out there headed north.

    304 moving north was just to get it past an interlocking where it could reverse down to Track 3 and make way for the two north bound trains.


  • Richard from Clifton asks
    VRE's communication desperately needs improvement. Got on the train to find out there was a toys for tots drive going on, and from what I heared from other riders, this was the first they had heard of it as well. It's not just toys for tots, but train delays are rarely communicated well. Vre has a communications problem that goes back for years.

    VRE Response
    Sorry Richard, we did communicate through Train Talk,,  and on Social Media, as well as live announcements on the trains.  We are happy to listen to specific ideas for improvement, so if you have any, please share them at

  • Keepin It Real from Spotsylvania, VA asks
    I would like to reiterate my desire for Wi-Fi on the trains.  Can you let us know if I understand the reason that you can't offer Wi-Fi on the trains yet? I understand that VRE has limited control of the wireless data signal along the tracks (that is up to Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T, etc.), and I further understand that the signal must be present for you to provide a source of internet for the Wi-Fi service on the trains.   As I understand the problem, CSX (FBG line) and NS (Manassas line) own the right of way, which prohibits the VRE from installing any sort of wayside Wi-Fi service like other commuter rail services in the country.  Is this the same reason that WMATA can provide these services, but not the VRE who runs on leased tracks? It also seems like line of sight technologies are nearly impossible along the tracks, because the railroad right of way owned by CSX and NS is very narrow, and the tracks include lots of curves.  Would CSX and NS be the organizations responsible for installing that type of technology? Is there anything that we as the public /loyal VRE passengers can do to help move the process of adding signal along the tracks a reality?

    VRE Response
    You must be an IT professional. 

    You are essentially correct in every point.  As we have always stated, the real issue for us is the lack of signal in such a large segment of our operating territory.  We need the cellular signal to operate a WiFi service because we cannot run cables or fiber in the railroad right of way to accommodate this service.  Other agencies who own their tracks and right of way have the flexibility to explore alternatives other than cellular.

    Since the key is improving cellular coverage in those areas where the signal is weak or non-existent, the cellular providers will have to be the ones who resolve the issue.  If cellular customers communicate with their specific provider about service coverage area and specific weak spots, perhaps that could have an impact on finding a solution to fill the gaps.


  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    In the mobile ticketing app, why does the December monthly ticket expire on January 1? It should be January 3 because January 1 is a holiday and on a Sunday, so the federal government has Mon, Jan 2 off.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Davin, we caught that as well and the moovel (formerly GlobeSherpa) folks are on it.


  • Gwen from Fredericksburg asks
    Very unfortunately, VRE cost continue to rise. I have 2 suggestions for cost savings ( and any saving is good): 1. STOP printing your news brochure on such high glass and quality paper. Although the info is sometimes informative, the MAJORITY of them are unread and left on the trains. Can't you provide the same information more economically? 2. I am sure you are aware that your machines disburse error receipts after validating. This occurs with various ticket types. This seems like a waste

    VRE Response
    Thanks Gwen,

    1. The RIDE magazine pays for itself through advertising revenue, and

    2. We are in the process of an upgrade project which we hope will eliminate the error receipt issue with the Ticket Vending Machines.

  • Sharon from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I am trying to understand why when there is a big delay on VRE the metro option is open but when you get to the gate to enter/exit, the station manager has not been notified? How long does it take to notify Metro that VRE riders need to use them as an option which means we can go through the fare gate without paying again if we have paid for a ticket?

    VRE Response
    Once we contact Metro and open the option, we put out the notification to our riders.  Not sure how Metro handles the notifications to their station managers, but we'll check.

  • Big D from WB asks
    People are still crossing over rt. 1 to Occoquan Rd illegally in the right hand lane. Has PWC Police ever been contacted and monitoring this area? Just a matter of time before an accident happens.

    VRE Response
    PWC has been contacted.

  • Dave from Woodbridge, Va asks
    When will the Fredricksburg line morning times be altered? The 300 Express is still about 5 min late each morning.

    VRE Response
    New schedules should be implemented in January. We''ll get the actual schedules out to everyone as far in advance of the change as possible.

  • Joe from Woodbridge asks
    Just a comment--First, thank you for keeping the flow of information constant during yesterday's serious incident. I was able to make an informed decision almost immediately, avoid a cold rain, and also notify my employer quickly. As for today's Christmas caroling conductor on the 308 train--well, not so bad. But please encourage him not to quit his day job...and maybe even add a little Feliz Navidad for some of us Hispanic commuters. Gracias, and keep up the good work.

    VRE Response
    Gracias Joe, we'll pass on the critique.  Surprisingly, none of our conductors have auditioned for The Voice, so you are probably correct they should stick with what they know.  You have to appreciate the spirit though.

  • Will from Manassas, VA asks
    How come the blowers aren't turned off when leaving Washington union station and going through the tunnel? This would prevent diesel fumes from coming into the cars during this period.

    VRE Response
    Conductors are required to close the dampers prior to entering the tunnel.  If this is not happening, please send us the specific date/train number to so we can address it with the specific crew.


  • Mel from Burke, VA asks
    Please announce the final tallies of the Toys for Tots drive, even if you don't have the numbers from this mornings trains. It is nice to see what the results are, and not just see the announcements that the drive is going on.

    VRE Response
    We'll put it out in a Train Talk as soon as we know the numbers Mel, though we can say the early number this morning looks like $14,000+ in cash donations and lots of toys.  Thank you to everyone who participated this morning.


  • Jen from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Are you aware that morning trains into Quantico are still arriving at least 5 minutes past their scheduled time? What happened to the plans to adjust the schedules to fix the on time arrivals into these earlier stations?

    VRE Response
    We hope to have the new schedules in place in early January.


  • Abbie from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Will VRE trains be running on Inauguration Day (Jan 20th, 2017)?

    VRE Response
    We are currently scheduled to operate full, regular service, but there is a possibility the schedule could change (e.g. reduced to an "S" schedule).  We are working with other transportation groups on the regional transportation plan for the Presidential Inauguration and will need to take into to account the potential demand weighed against the potential congestion in the rail network.  We will communicate any changes through our normal networks (Train Talk,, Facebook, Twitter...etc.)

  • Bradley from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Why can't the scrolling signs provide next station information better? And if not working, can the PA operator announce the next station?

    VRE Response
    The automated system should be announcing every station, and if inoperable for some reason, the conductor should always be making those announcements.  If that is not happening, or you notice an issue with a specific Train/Car, please forward that information to us at


  • Mike from Manassas asks
    People are start parking at second level of the manassas VRE parking garage with red permit, has the parking rule changed?

    VRE Response
    The City of Manassas controls the second level.  VRE riders may use any of the other levels.  Violators are subject to fines at the discretion of the City.

  • tom from Burke Center asks
    Remind people to obey the traffic flow direction when exiting the parking garage. Individuals are exiting out of the entrance and those going the wrong way on the first floor to get to the exit are slowing up the process. One minor fender bender will create a nightmare. Suggest installing one way spike strips.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Tom, we'll share your comments with Fairfax County.  We know there were some efforts to limit wrong-way traffic a couple of years ago but we'll ask them to revisit and look for potential improvements.

  • Dave from Springfield, VA asks
    When will the Lorton platform extension be completed? Thanks.

    VRE Response
    We anticipate completion by mid 2017.

  • Chuck from Springfield Va asks
    Why is there not an option for train around the 9:00 am time frame?

    VRE Response
    9 am is outside our current operating window.  The freight railroads protect our service during the authorized operating window, but utilize our off hours to move their freight traffic.

  • Tim from FBG, VA asks
    Is the RIDE magazine really worth the effort? Couldn't VRE use that money for WiFi on the trains? The November issue was not QC'd very well: spelling Manassas as "Manasses" twice (Pg 4 table), spelling operating as "Operarting" (Pg 4 table, First 3 events in Out & About were over by the time the issue was released, "Norther" Virginia instead of "Northern" Virginia...and at least 3 more goofs. Just sayin'...

    VRE Response
    We'll share your comments with the editor, Tim.  RIDE pays for itself with advertising revenue, so no help for WiFi.

  • Mike from Rippon asks
    When i validate a ticket should the ticket vending machine validate in a neat sequential order on the ticket? If so, you might want to check the Rippon machines as I have had several issues recently where a ticket gets validated all the way at bottom when it's only 5 or 6 out of 10.

    VRE Response
    They should be validated in order on the face of the ticket.  We'll check out the machines at Rippon.  Thanks for the feedback, Mike.

  • Bob from Woodbridge asks
    Is there a VRE Standard about Conductors making station announcements and not the automated station announcements? Some conductors announce every station along with which cars will not make the platform and some don't. Seems like there needs to be a standard policy followed by all one way or the other.

    VRE Response
    Good question Bob.  The conductors should be utilizing the automated messaging system whenever possible.  They are required, however, to make manual announcements if certain cars will not make the platform.

  • Larry from Brooke asks
    over the last few weeks there seems to have been multiple afternoons where all the lower track at Union Station were full with Amtrak trains and VRE 303/305 was 15 or more minutes late departing Union Station. Why can't VRE have a designated track in situations like that? It just seems like the Amtrak trains arrive at Union station and then sit there when VRE coudld easily get in and out if given a track.

    VRE Response
    It is a supply and demand situation Larry.  While there are plans to add tracks at Union Station, in the interim, we work with what is there.  If everything is on time, it works great, but when things outside the norm occur, we could face delays.

  • Gary from Quantico asks
    When will the morning F'burg schedules be updated to reflect true travel and arrival time between stations?

    VRE Response
    We are are currently targeting January 9th for the schedule adjustments, so if that date holds, we'll get the new information out to everyone shortly.

  • Tom from Manassas asks
    Is there no longer a VRE rep that works at Union Station? Lately it seems that is is an Amtrak rep that helps with what track to go to for VRE.

    VRE Response
    Kim is still out there Tom, though she was out sick yesterday.  Kim is actually an Amtrak employee who is solely dedicated to our service.  Amtrak did reach out to us yesterday in Kim's absence to let us know they would have customer service representatives in the gate area to assist as necessary.

  • Charles from Burke asks
    Is VRE going to fix the L'Enfant Station yellow tactile strip that the CSX track crews ripped up last summer?

    VRE Response
    The tactile strip at L'Enfant is part of a bigger project to replace tactile strip at several stations.  The work should begin next spring.

  • Brad from Lorton, VA asks
    I've been riding your train for about 2 and a half years and I love it. It seems that 2016 has had a lot more delays and incidents than previous years. Do you guys publish statistics on delays? Is it just my imagination or has there been an increase in delays since safetrack started? As I write this, we are stopped halfway to Crystal City while crews get out to perform some sort of inspection. Thanks. B

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comments Brad.  Our On Time Performance has been more challenging this year with all of the third track construction work taking place along the Fredericksburg Line.  The long-term benefits of the third track in flexibility and throughput of the railroad are many, but their are short-term challenges.  CSX works closely with us to minimize the impact to our service, but the speed restrictions and extra communications with work crews are a necessary part of keeping everyone safe. This has nothing to do with WMATA's SafeTrack program.  

    This morning, Train 310 was stopped by a defect detector that is north of the Alexandria Station.  The conductors must then inspect the train.

  • Vienna Jordan from asks
    This Morning on Train 304 - Why weren't the station stops announced? It's dark - Passengers are asleep. The announcements would help. Yesterday - Why didn't you allow the buses to take us in to work - or at least to a Metro stop. It was plain stupid to tell us the Metro Option was opened. Yesterday - why did you make so many unfulfilled announcement. Obvious, VRE does not know how to handle an emergency such as the one yesterday. I was on the train that hit the vehicle. From 6:00AM to the time you threw us off in Quantico, we heard at least six different plans. Get Help - Bad weather is coming!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Vienna.

    Check out the answer posted earlier on yesterday's incident.  

    Since we were able to still get a couple of trains headed north, we had the buses take everyone who wanted to head back to their cars, back to the southern stations.  If you wanted to still get to work, as many did, Trains 306 and 308 both stopped at Quantico to pick up everyone, including those from 304. The Metro option was opened so passengers who board further up the line at Quantico and north would have an option other than simply waiting for the trains to begin moving.

  • Chuck from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    After the incident on 12/6/2016 with train 304, the decision was made to run an S schedule for the afternoon, effectively removing 2 more trains from the schedule. Given the amount of crowding we saw as passengers, What was the thought process that led to that decision?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Chuck, please see the previously answered question.


  • Debra from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Please have someone check the generator at the Woodbridge Station. I've ride the 4:18 train from L'Enfant and the generator is blowing unpleasant fumes in the air. I notice it on Tuesdays.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Debra, we'll have our Facilities Manager check it out.

  • Jerry from asks
    Not trying to attack you all, but why bother having this forum up if, at least from my perspective, nothing ever seems to come about from any genuine concerns people have for safety and health? Like all you say is "yes we are looking into that," or "we can't do anything about that," or "we will alert the appropriate organization," or here's an answer to your question that doesn't even answer your question. Like I read through almost all of the posts people put here every month. From a communications standpoint though, it doesn't feel as if the people answering the questions actually care about the customer at all. It seems like you are trying to hit some kind of quota that you need to give to a boss. Is there actual high up management that reads these? If so, who are the management?

    VRE Response
    Hi Jerry - see our comment to James from Manassas about Broad Run. We regret that you feel this way. VRE staff and our families use these facilities as well and please understand that we are truly committed to the safety, security and accessibility of this service. However, there are a number of stakeholders that often have to be involved when projects or programs are initiated but we feel we have great partners and work to keep great relationships so we can expedite things when possible.

    Most importantly, keep us informed of what you are seeing and experiencing. Ping us through and we'll make sure that we'll read it and do what we can to address anything that might sneak past us.

  • David from Fredericksburg VA asks
    Has anyone told you the lights are out at the Fredericksburg station? Also please tell the conductors to speak slower when making announcements and not mumble. Sometime it's just one long run on sentance that their trying to get out as quick as they can. Or maybe turn up the speakers in the cars. It's really hard to tell what their saying, especially if there is someone else talking in the car.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback David.  Lighting issues at the Fredericksburg station have been reported to the City and they are working on it.  We'll also pass on your comments to the conductors about how they make announcements.

  • James from Manassas asks
    Can something please be done about safety in the broadrun parking lot? This issue seems to come up at least once a month and all we ever get is "we will pass it along to pwcpd" but nothing ever changes, and I have yet to see even one police officer. Should the riders reach out to pwcpd ourselves, or contact our local representatives to be able to walk the parking lot without getting run over?

    VRE Response
    Prince William County Police have been on site on a number of occasions (marked and unmarked) and have provided a great deal of assistance along the way. As always, we actively encourage passengers to engage with law enforcement whenever they feel it is appropriate as they would in any other public location. The challenge remains that the issues often occur quickly and across a large majority of the parking complex and then settle quickly as people park or leave - all during peak rush hour when their resources are already constrained.

    As is the case at locations all around our system, we use that station as well so please know we are as committed to this issue as you are.

  • Tired of bad parking in Broad Run from asks
    So I am definitely sure that other people have complained about this. I acknowledge that you all don't have any jurisdiction in the parking lot at Broad Run. Can you give a real courtesy reminder to commuters in Broad Run to stop parking in non parking spots (like the painted diagnol area that is supposedly for fire and law enforcement)? Please let me repeat. A real courtesy reminder - not just you posting this to your forum, but a reminder on the train, like through a loud speaker and everything. Can someone on Manassas line trains please do that?

    VRE Response
    We do recognize that parking at Broad Run is sometimes a challenge.  We'll get this out on all our channels (Train Talk, RIDE Magazine,, and onboard announcements).

  • Frank Jones from Atlanta, Ga asks
    What is the status of getting any more slots over long bridge? How are plans going for getting the planning and construction of additional tracks across that bridge ?

    VRE Response
    Please see the website below for the most up to date information on the Long Bridge Project:



  • Chris from Stafford, VA asks
    Any plans to add wifi to the VRE trains!

    VRE Response
    Not at this time Chris, but we do have news from Verizon Wireless that they are turning up a new tower in the Leeland Road area which may help with the coverage gap we experience.  We will keep looking for ways to fill those coverage gaps and revisit WiFi when the communications are robust enough to offer a good service.


  • Kristin from Broad Run asks
    Last Thursday night(12/1), I boarded the Manassas Line Southbound Train 337. Due to a wire across the tracks, Train 337 was stuck between the Backlick Rd & Rolling Rd Stations for about 90 minutes and ultimately had to backtrack to Backlick Rd and have the passengers unboard. While I understand that VRE had to take the proper precautions to be on the safe side, my question is, why does the Daily Performance Report state there were no afternoon delays on 12/1?

    VRE Response
    Great question Kristin!  We should have noted the issue with 337, it was simply confusion by the person entering the data.  337 was actually terminated at Backlick Road once all the passengers were off the train.  Terminating a train has a different meaning than simply being delayed, so it was not initially included on the Daily Performance.  We'll get that corrected today so it is at least noted as having occurred. 

  • Jim from Stafford, VA asks
    Why would VRE not send at least another train north for the evening commute after the train accident? Unsafe to have so many people standing, isn't that a principal concern?

    VRE Response

    The decision to operate an "S" schedule was based not only on the availability of equipment, but also on the level of ridership.  We utilized the longest train available, giving more than enough capacity to handle the ridership.  The challenge was deciding the order to send the trains out.  We believed the heaviest crowd would be on Train 305, so that train had 8 cars.  As it turned out, 305 carried 870 passengers in 8 cars, while 309 carried 1,044 in 7 cars.  With an average of 130 seats per car, 309 experienced crowding.  Ridership for the PM service overall was just 2500 passengers for 4 trains.  The crowding was simply a function of not enough cars on the one train most passengers chose to ride, not a lack of trains.

  • David from Manassas asks
    The Tuesday debacle at Aquia (CSXT) when 304 whacked an auto was similar to the october 4 incident at Manassas (Norfolk Southern) station where an errant driver tried to use the railroad as a highway. In both cases the vehicles were on the adjacent track, at least 15-20' from the undamaged track used by VRE. In spite of highly adequate clearance, the freight railroads, making decisions from Greenville, SC, and Baltimore, MD respectively, even with local supervisors on the scene, would not let VRE trains proceed. Major delays ensued that were not necessary. I witnessed the Manassas situation personally. It is a sad day when local officials on scene cannot make judgement decisions. Will VRE meet with NS and/or CSXT (even jointly) to delegate more responsibility locally? The time is now.

    VRE Response
    We do meet with all of our partner railroads and contractors to hold debrief meetings after incidents like the ones you mention.  While the railroads are dispatched from Greenville and Baltimore, there are  in fact local railroad train masters, maintenance crews, and law enforcement who make the final decisions on whether to release tracks/equipment working in conjunction with the incident command, which is usually headed by the local first responders.  It is truly a group effort and we appreciate the willingness of all involved to do whatever is necessary to minimize the delays experienced by our passengers.



  • Greg from Fairfax VA asks
    I'm writing to express concerns about the on time performance of train 328. It seems to be arriving to Union Station late on a regular basis. 10/27 7 minutes late, 11/1 9 minutes late, 11/3 15 minutes late, 11/8 6 minutes late, 11/9 7 minutes late, 11/10 11 minutes late, 11/21 144 minutes late, 11/23/ 11 minutes late. I understand delays happen from time to time but this seems to be a chronic issue with this train in particular. I've noticed we are often being held around Alexandria. The on board announcements say we have a stop signal and are trying to reach a dispatcher. I'm wondering why we are continually stopped, why are they trying to reach a dispatcher, and why can't a dispatcher be reached? Thanks

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the input Greg, we'll look more closely at 328 and see if there is something specific causing delays at Alexandria.  We do anticipate making a few minor changes to the schedules on both lines to better reflect actual run times which may help eliminate some of the congestion where the lines merge south of Alexandria.

  • DP from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Comment on delay of 12/6. I love riding train to work. I've been using this service for almost 3 years now. I praise about it and recommend it to everyone whenever I have a conversation about commute. Having said that, I do want to express my dissatisfaction over recent train delays and how it has been handled, especially delay of 12/6. While it wasn't your fault and I'm sure there is a lot to consider while making a decision, I do feel it could have been handled better. Especially being a rider on 306, where one minute you were telling us we are going south and the next we are going north, it was very frustrating. The time it took for you guys to make a decision, turn the engine around and actually get going from Leeland, you could have dropped passengers who just wanted to get off the train. Or you could probably have had 308 wait and use it for those who wanted to go south since 308 did make it all the way back to Spotsy, instead of taking them all the way to Quantico and bring them back south. That did not make any sense at all! Again, while I'm not privy to all the factors that resulted in a decision to go back on your previous decision, I do think it could have been handled better.

    VRE Response
    Thanks DP.  Hopefully the answer above helps explain a little about how yesterday morning played out.  We're happy to answer in more detail if you drop us a note at

  • Kelly from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    I don't really have a question but don't know where else to make these comments. The information provided throughout the morning regarding the collision with the train was very confusing to the passengers stuck at Brooke Station. VRE press releases were conveyed to conductors and there were conflicting last minute changes in information. I realize much of this is out of VRE's controls but VRE needs better coordination with the press releases (especially the emails going out) and real time situation. I think a lot of people went home who didn't have to and missed a day of work unnecessarily. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Kelly.  Situations like the one that occurred yesterday morning are often very fluid.  More specifically, the information we received indicated the tracks would be closed for an extended period of time.  Therefore we made the decision to reverse the two other trains which had already departed Spotsylvania back so everyone could get back to their cars and make other arrangements.  While the reverse moves were occurring, we got word that we would be able to go north past the incident at walking speed, and since moving north would give us the ability to provide options for the passengers on the disabled Train 304, and allow a couple other trains to go north in preparation for the afternoon service, we opted to stop the reverse move and head north.  We did our best to communicate those decisions as they were made, and apologize to anyone who did not get the word.


Welcome to another edition of the VRE Online Forum where VRE Senior Operations Management, Rich Dalton, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer and Chris Henry, Director of Rail Operations, answer as many service related questions for the next hour.

As we skim the questions we see many about schedule changes and the service disruption on the Fredericksburg Line yesterday. We will answer these as succinctly as possible but please know every decision is made with the safety of the passenger in mind. We are grateful that yesterday's incident did not result in any serious injuries during or after the event.

With that said, on to the questions!