Thank you for another round of great questions. We apologize for the glitch where our answers weren’t posting in real-time. If your question was not answered, please submit it to

Service Reminder, VRE will not operate on February 15, 2016 in observance of President’s Day. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, February, 16th.


We’ll see you back here next month. In the meantime, please stay safe!

  • Clay from Manassas, VA asks
    Today the parking lot at Bull Run was very crowded and there was no parking anywhere. A few parking spaces were taken up by snow, but I noticed this one car that had intentionally double-parked so that nobody would part next to him. Which agency is responsible for ticketing the Bull Run parking lot and does VRE actively work with them to ride through and ticket these violators?

    VRE Response
    Prince William County handles the parking lot.  We work with them on issues within the lot and will pass your comment on.

  • Denise from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Not so much a question but a comment - do you realize that anyone can ride Amtrak to and from DC for just $5? I know the policy is that you need to validate your VRE ticket too, and I always do, but I have literally never had an Amtrak conductor check my VRE ticket - just the step-up ticket. Not sure if that means you or Amtrak might be losing money, but there it is.

    VRE Response
    Amtrak conductors are trained to make sure you have a valid 5 day, 10 ride or monthly VRE ticket in order to use the Amtrak Step-up ticket.  If a passenger does not have a valid VRE ticket, he/she is subject to paying the Amtrak cash fare for the ride.


  • Scott from Manassas Park, VA asks
    I ride into/out of the Union Station everyday. In the evening when it's time to go home, the computer monitors are RARELY updated to show the track #. It just says "L", or sometimes it even has the WRONG track and I've had to scramble to get to the right track before the train leaves. Can you improve the coordination with the station to fix this?

    VRE Response
    We have a new Amtrak Station Manager who is in the gate area during our afternoon service to address these concerns, and any others you may have.  (She's actually training here at VRE this week) We will do a profile on Kim in the March issue of RIDE.  Please feel free stop by and say hi to her and welcome her to the VRE team.

  • John from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    [New Rider]:In November it was announced that an additional train would be added to the Spotsylvania line in the winter. Was this added? Is there any chance that a later morning train might be added to the Spotsylvania line? 8:00am or after?

    VRE Response
    Welcome aboard John.  We did add a train on November 30, 2015.  Right now, our agreements with our host railroads will not allow for trains outside our current operating window.

  • Ray from Spotsylvania asks
    First... Wanted to say that I love the new station and schedule. That said... Is there any way that you can crack down on folks blasting through stop signs? I've nearly been hit twice and saw about a dozen near misses. Should we simply get tag number make and model and report to the sheriff?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Ray, we'll pass along to Spotsylvania County.

  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    After the blizzard 2 weeks ago, the local TV stations seem to be focused on Metro. They barely if ever mention MARC/VRE service. VRE should make sure to submit cancellations to the TV stations. Also, just because the goverbment closes doesn't mean VRE should cancel service as not all riders are government workers.

    VRE Response
    We notify local TV and print publications of our closures and service disruptions but they do not always focus on VRE.

  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    People you don't need to open the doors so early and keep holding them open. Wait until we get to the platform to open the doors. Also, just because the conductor or someone opens the door doesn't mean you need to keep holding it open. Let the door close, we don't need the cold air blowing into the passenger compartment.

    VRE Response
    Courtesy reminder from a fellow passenger.

  • Steve Libert from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I was told by VRE leadership earlier in the fall that part of the Rippon renovation project would include renovating the old tool cage at the north end of the platform and add some pexiglass walls to help block the wind and rain prior to winter. I've inquired a couple times since, with no response. Any chance this might get accomplished soon or was the promise just not being kept?

    VRE Response
    Chris says: Steve - that was me you contacted and there is no change in the plans.  We will be doing more work on the Rippon platform, elevator and stairs and we have asked the project team to see if there is some way to enclose those cages to offer some protection.

  • Reggie from Stafford, Virginia asks
    1. Would it be possible to create an 5:45pm train as a express train? leaving union station, and STOPPING at Len'fant, crystal city, Alexandria, Woodbridge, Quantico, leeland road, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania. 2.Are there plans for VRE Richmond Station? There are a lot of people who drive from Richmond to Fredericksburg, to catch the train.

    VRE Response
    We do not currently have plans to change our schedule or operate service to/from Richmond.

  • Francis from Haymarket, Va asks
    Believe your Englishman's pre recorded "Life on the Train" recordings to be amusing and very effective. Believe you should play him more often. Is that the voice of John Cleese?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the compliment Francis.  We'll pass the request on to the conductors.  Not sure of the actor's name who recorded the announcements.



  • David from Manassas asks
    Personally feel your NO SERVICE call Tuesday was a bad call. Sure the fed govt was closed so ridership would be very low, BUT there are fed employees that still must report, plus others who just wanted to go in. The local communities and state govt urged people to stay off the roads, your no service call forced these people to drive in. Possibly a look at an even more altered schedule for these type of days of 2 trains in am & pm?

    VRE Response
    We appreciate the feedback David.  The requests to keep people off the roads includes the roads to our stations, which are mostly secondary roadways.  Our decision to close is always based on whether we can operate safely, and whether our passengers can get to and from our stations safely.  In the case of this storm, our host railroads also were facing issues clearing switches and the extra day of cleanup helped ensure that we were able to come back on Wednesday with a full service.


  • Yvette from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Why doesn't VRE adjust their schedule for federal opening delays? It was very dangerous walking accross the parking lot when the melted snow turned to ice.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Yvette, we do not have the flexibility of changing our schedule to accommodate late openings or early releases by the government because of our arrangements with our Host Railroads.  We try to help meet the changing ridership demand during those situations by changing our train lengths on the schedules that will be most affected.



  • Joyce from Bristow, VA asks
    The audio volume at the Manassas City station is deafening. Possible to turn the volume down? My ears are still ringing.

    VRE Response
    We'll have someone from our IT staff check it out and make adjustments.


  • Neera from Fairfax, VA asks
    The VRE service on the Manassas line is awesome. I love it. I have 3 questions regarding how you plan to improve the service in the future. My suggestions for improved service include the following: I would like to request a VRE train on the Manassas route at 9 am on weekdays. The Fairfax public schools are starting later and it is almost impossible to drop our kids at school and get to the train. Right now the latest train is at 8:15 from the Burke center and the next train is the AMTRACK at 10 AM with an additional $5:00. This is too late for most commuters. I would also request a designated lane for the commuters on Fairfax County Parkway. The left lane signal at Roberts parkway takes a long time and many commuters have missed the train waiting for the green arrow to turn left. Are there any plans to have the metro also close to the VRE stations on the Manassas line or have a VRE stop near the Fairfax Government Center? Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments and suggestions. Neera E

    VRE Response
    Thanks Neera, glad you like the service.

    1. Our operating windows with our host railroads currently do not allow trains any later than what we currently operate.  Check out our System Plan 2040, which does show some long-range plans for more frequent service.

    2. We'll pass your suggestion on to Fairfax County for the designated lane.

    3. The only additional stations we have contemplated on the Manassas Line are part of the Ganiesville/Haymarket Extension project.



  • Scott from Leeland Road asks
    Good Afternoon, the plows did a pretty good job at Leeland Road, but need to come back and remove the large pile in the center of the parking lot and push back the snow along the lot's edges. It's been over a week since the snow stopped falling and we are still short about 20% of the spaces in the lot. Thank you for your service!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Scott, we'll ask our Facilities Manager to coordinate with VDOT or Stafford County to see if they can assist.

  • David from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Would it be possible to get adequate lighting added to the ramps and stairs from the Fredericksburg platform down to street level? At present, the ramp from Track 2 is well lit, one lamp really does not provide sufficient lighting on the stairs on Track 2 when the stairs are completely full of passengers leaving the station, and neither the stairs nor the ramp on Track 3 have dedicated lighting, appearing to depend on lighting from adjacent buildings and the platform lighting.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comments David.  We'll ask our Facilities Manager to work with the Fredricksburg city staff to see if improvements can be made.

  • Jose from Woodbridge asks
    It seems that since the schedule change 30 November 2015 the Fredericksburg Southbound 309 is overcrowded. Have you reduced the number of cars?

    VRE Response
    Train 307 was a 7-car train, while 309 was an 8-car train.  On January 4th, we swapped those consists because 307 was carrying more passengers.  We will continue to monitor ridership patterns and make consist swaps as necessary.

  • Jenn from Broad Run asks
    The ticket machines at the Broad Run station have been acting up lately. The touch-screen function is horrible and never selects the right thing and half the time I go to validate my ticket, there is an error. This morning all three of the machines were showing error messages. Are there any plans to replace them or at least fix them?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Jenn for the question.  The Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) are scheduled for a major overhaul this year.  This will include new, up to date touch screen monitors that will be less susceptible to calibration issues brought on by the extreme weather.  In the meantime, we'll ask our technicians to stop by and recalibrate the screens.

  • Monica from Haymarket, VA asks
    Do you have any updates on the timing of extending to Gainesville/Haymarket?

    VRE Response
    The schedule for the Gainesville Haymarket Extension contemplates service beginning after 2022 depending upon approval of the Norfolk Southern Railway and securing the necessary funding.

  • Sarah from Burke, VA asks
    Is VRE taking steps to have the Rolling Road parking lot cleared of snow? About 20-25% of the spaces are still covered in mounds of snow, which has diverted riders to other stations.

    VRE Response
    The facilities manager has been notified, and has contacted Fairfax County to address the issue.


  • Brian from Fredericksburg asks
    Last month I asked why announcements are not being made on trains at all stops and was advised this would be addressed. Since then there has been 0% improvement on the 310. What was done to solve this? One suggestion is for crew to stop chatting up favorite riders and perform their core duties. Not only is this a key service for new riders and during the dark winter months when you can't see out the window and lose track of stations but also for those who are blind. Please stop placating on the forum and do something active to make it happen.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Brian, we did address this after the forum in January.  We have just forwarded your comment to the Keolis management team.  If you continue to see an issue, please contact us at so we can follow-up on the day the issue occurs.

  • Nancy from Burke Centre asks
    Not a question, but a compliment. Just want to say once again how pleasant it is to ride VRE. Barring an occasional disruption over which you usually have little or no control and resolve the problem as quickly as possible, you do an excellent job. Thanks!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the compliment!

  • Maryam from Burke, VA asks
    I uninstalled the app and installed it back. However, I lost my paid tickets. How can I claim those paid tickets?

    VRE Response
    Give us a call at 703-684-1001 and we can re-link the phone to your account.

  • Matt from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Is there a way to have plastic recycling at stations? We recycle paper, but not plastic and produce a lot of waste.

    VRE Response
    The garbage from our facilities is taken back to a facility where recyclables are sorted.  The separate containers help, but do not offset the need to sort offsite.

  • John from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    As you know, gas prices are at significantly lower costs (even diesel as used in the trains), so how is this impacting the VRE? In fact, it is down from $100 a barrel to just over $26 a barrel in 2016. Some airlines have reduced fares, but I've never seen any reduction in a VRE face. Can you explain any plans? Also, why are the travelers at the new Spotsylvania station paying a higher fare than those in Fredericksburg? It spans into another county and is a pretty big distance.

    VRE Response
    There are currently no plans to make any changes to the current fares. Fares are determined by which zone they fall in. Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg are both in zone 9, therefore their fares are the same.


  • Mike from Burke asks
    The signs at each station are not at an appropriate height to be easily seen from the train in the dark. Perhaps you could put up more, better lit signs at both high and low heights, depending on where you sit?

    VRE Response
    We do have a new sign package that was implemented with the opening of the Spotsylvania station that addresses this issue and will be looking at updating station signage throughout the system as well.


  • Mike from Burke asks
    Can you display the train (manasas vs Fredericksburg) as well as the next station? It would be helpful to those that get on the wrong train

    VRE Response
    Good question Mike, that is being looked at as part of the station monitor display improvements.  In the meantime, the Line (Fredericksburg or Manassas) is designated on the displays on the exterior of each car, by the doors, so you can check before you get on.  We have also asked the conductors to make announcements, especially at Alexandria so passengers have the opportunity to detrain and wait for the next train on their desired line.

  • yvonne from Fredericksburg asks
    Will VRE ever reconsider offering at least one train on these soft holidays: I need to find a way to Arlington on MLK, Presidents day, Veterans Day, Columbus day. The Amtrak trains we can use are not the ones running on most of the holidays, so its extra expense and longer hours.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Yvonne, we operated an "S" schedule on Columbus Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a couple of years ago, but ridership was far too low to justify 4 trains on each line.  We'll look for other options, but we have no plans for 2016.

  • Rocklyn Bates from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Can you please find somewhere else to put the yellow step stools so that we would have more space for our baggage?

    VRE Response
    Please ask the conductor to move the step box if it is limiting bag space.

  • Rider4alongtime from Fredericksburg asks
    I have been a rider on VRE for a long time. I have seen great improvements on certain things, but at the same time I see the same questions being asked and no action. My rides are not subsidized by the government like the majority of your customers. I would like to see WIFI (Amtrak, MRTZ, and other transportation companies have WIFI) so I do not understand why you can not invest. I have been reading how the "low" price of gas is hurting VRE. Please elaborate on that issue, because that smells like another reason to increase fares.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the questions Rider, WiFi has been answered below, but to your specific points: Amtrak experiences the same lack of connectivity through our service area, but since that is a small portion of their overall trip, they accept the fact that there will be some gaps in the service.  Martz buses travel on the interstates where cellular towers are more frequent and can provide better connectivity.

    VRE is subsidized in part by the local jurisdictions through a regional sales tax on gas.  As gas prices drop, the amount of tax revenue to support VRE goes down.

  • Tom from Centreville, VA asks
    The station monitors that display the VRE Status map are difficult to read. Especially in the afternoon when there are several trains cued up at Union Station and all the green dots overlap each other. Would it be possible to have a simplified display for each stop showing the arrival time in minutes of the next train. Similar to the way Metro displays the next 3 or so trains as Blue 6, Orange 8, Silver 12. Barring that could the displays be changed for each station to more closely display the next trains. When I am at Crystal City I really don't need to see the entire system map from Union Station to Fredricksburg. What I care about is from L'Enfant to Crystal City.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the suggestion Tom.  We have begun updating the actual monitors to allow for improvements to the displays at the individual stations.  Real time arrivals at each station and better displays of the pertinent system area for each station are on the list of improvements.

  • Doug from Broad Run Virginia asks
    Please explain why train crowding requires the removal of quiet car designations. There are 5 to 7 "noisy" cars on every train set, why is it impossible to ask people to be quiet in one car? The quiet car usually fills up with people seeking quiet, you are not losing seating options for people on crowded trains. The frequent requests for more quiet cars should show you that there is interest in the opposite of what you are doing.

    VRE Response
    While we do receive some requests for additional quiet cars, on most trains, the quiet car is underutilized.  When we expect crowding on trains, we will open all cars for standees, and as a result will suspend the quiet car rules.  It does not happen very often, and we are trying to accommodate everyone.

  • Dan Peacock from Manassas, VA asks
    When is the next meeting concerning VRE's extension to Haymarket?

    VRE Response
    The plan is to have the next meeting in April. The dates and locations will be released within the next couple of weeks, once locations have been confirmed. Visit this website for more information...

  • Cherie from Fredericksburg VA asks
    When will all the legacy cars be replaced?

    VRE Response
    We are as anxious as you Cherie, please see the response below for the timing.

  • Joe from Manassas, VA asks
    When VRE doesn't run, like the recent January 25 and 26, 2016, why doesn't VRE open other transportation (metro, bus, etc)? Not everyone works for the federal government. I paid for a month's worth of VRE rides, but I didn't receive them. Also, was the Amtrak step up option valid on January 25th or 26th? I was told "Yes" and I was told "No".

    VRE Response
    Good question Joe.  The Metro option is generally intended as assistance when we experience a temporary service disruption, not as an option when we do not operate at all.  Since the option requires a validated ticket, that means passengers would still have to go to one of our stations to validate the paper tickets.  OPM's decision on whether to open the government plays a part in our decision making, but only as we consider what level of service to offer based on expected ridership.  Our primary concern is the safety of our passengers being able to get to and from our stations and the raliroads' ability to take our trains.  If we can safely operate, even when the government closes, we will do so.

    If we do not operate, but Amtrak is still offering their normal schedule, step-up trains will be available for VRE riders.  If they scale back to a weekend schedule, then the step-up trains will not be available.

  • Dave from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I just wanted to say kudos for running longer late trains on the 2 or 3 hour delay days. This has not always been the case, and I think it worked great this year. Also, kudos for running an additional early train on the FBurg line. You guys are really on top of things over there!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Dave, we appreciate the feedback.  We are pleased that the consist swaps worked well for the days when the government had delayed openings.  We can't change our schedule, but putting the longest consists on the later trains is something we felt would help the later commute.


  • Cliff from Virginia asks
    I imagine that there are some difficulties in providing wifi service on the trains. However, it is 2016... I believe that my fellow riders and I would be willing to pay a reasonable fare increase for the service. What is that status of installing wifi on the trains?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Cliff.  As answered above, cost is not the only determining factor.  The biggest issue for us is the quality of service we could offer given the large dead spots in our service area.  We will keep looking for a solution.

  • Mary from Clifton, VA asks
    Is there any plan to add an additional train on the Manassas train in the 2:30ish timeframe to avoid the large delay between the 1:15 and 3:45 train? Thank you!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Mary, please see previously answered question about additional trains on the Manassas Line.

  • Brad from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    The new Spotsylvania Station is great, not only for those of us who use it, but I am sure parking/traffic has improved near the Fred and Leeland Stations as well. Two questions: 1) The new Spotsy station parking lot, northern third, does not have a foot path at the corner exiting the lot, as the southern and middle lots do. We have to walk over the grass/mud or squeeze between (currently) salty dirty cars; could a cement foot path be added? 2) My understanding is that no smoking is allowed on the platforms, so why the need for cigarette bins? Seems like a conflicting message. Additionally, vaping and e-cigarettes are slowly being banned where smoking is also prohibited, Please take a stance on this, I should not be subjected unregulated and understudied chemicals. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    Thank you for the comments Brad.  Parking availability has improved in Fredericksburg since the Spotsylvania station opened.  We have a few staff members who ride from Spotsy, and we'll ask them to check out the idea of a foot path at the North end of the lot.

    Smoking is permitted on the Northern end of all our platforms, so that is where you should see urns for the cigarette butts.  Our tariff has been changed to include e-cigarettes and "vaping".  Those forms of smoking have the same restrictions as regular cigarettes, no smoking on trains, and only the northern 100 feet of the platforms.

  • Carol Ann from Burke, VA asks
    There are still many spaces blocked by snow in the Rolling Road parking lot, and people on the later trains cannot find parking. While some melting will take place today, it won't take care of the big piles. Please do something.

    VRE Response
    Our Facilities Manager contacted Fairfax County yesterday to see if they could move some of the snow to open additional spaces.

  • Jane from Springfield, VA asks
    On a periodic basis, people will post here about a disabled rider who uses a scooter and who refuses to remove her person items from the seat next to her so that others may sit down. One such question occurred last month. The response is always to tell the conductors. Please understand that we ARE telling the conductors, and the conductors are not doing anything. How about management telling the conductors that you have a problem rider? This is a woman who throws people out of what she deems to be "her seat," including people who are also disabled or who are pregnant. You have a problem rider, and VRE staff are unwilling to confront her.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the input Jane.  We have forwarded your comments to the Keolis Transportation Managers so they can address the situation with specific conductors.  Seats are all first come, first served basis.  Passengers who need assistance or require additional space are provided priority seating on each half of every car near the vestibule entrance.  The conductors should be managing any seating issues. 

  • Train Schedule/Additional Train from Manassas asks
    Do you all see adding an additional train for the Manassas Line in the near future? It would be nice if the Manassas line could get a southbound train about 315 or so. Right now the Fredricksburg Line has 6 trains between 1255 and 410 (including Amtrack) and Manassas only has 3 between 115 and 425. An extra train would go along way in making both lines more equal.

    VRE Response
    While we do have plans to lengthen some of the existing trains to add capacity, there are no immediate plans to add a train. 

  • Valerie from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    There are multiple ways conductors check my ticket on my mobile device. Some want the code enlarged, some want me to tap the screen to show that the ticket is active, some just look at it. Is there a specific way that I'm supposed to show my ticket to a conductor? Thank you

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Valerie.  The tickets on VRE Mobile were designed to be visually inspected, just like paper tickets.  You may see some conductors who simply want to see the active ticket, and are looking at the moving train and the day code as a security check.  Tapping the screen is an additional security measure, as is enlarging the QR code to be scanned.  The inspection process could include any of the above.

  • Rosemary from Manassas VA asks
    Are there any plans for a parking structure at Broad Run? It seems to me that the VRE is limiting Manassas Line passengers because of the lack of available parking at it's Manassas Park and Broad Run stations. I am probably not alone; but I tend to not even consider taking later trains from Broad Run; specifically because there is likely to be lack of parking.

    VRE Response
    Broad Run parking, as well as midline station parking is being considered as part of the Gainesville/Haymarket Extension study.

  • David from Manassas Park asks
    On 322 each morning in the last car there is a gentleman who sleeps across two chairs. Some morning we are short on seats. Can you please just use one seat so everyone has a place to sit? Thank you!

    VRE Response
    We just passed your comment on to the Keolis management team so they can share with the conductors.

  • SubGman from Woodbridge asks
    Now that Positive Train Control implementation has been delayed by several years, what's the outlook for Wi-Fi on board?

    VRE Response
    Please see our earlier response to Dave.  PTC isn't the only technological improvement which may help us get to a point of offering WiFi. However, the quality of the signal still remains an issue.

  • Pat from Stafford, VA asks
    I take Train 300 to arrive early and make critical bus connections (Bus 74. Train 300 is consistently late arriving at L'Enfant and slow down consistently begins at Alexandria and/or Chrystal City. There are a lot of my fellow riders that experience the same delays. What can be done to resolve this issue? Please advise and thank you in advance. BTW, I have been a advocate for VRE. I have been riding since day 1 of your operations.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Pat for your support through the years.  We know 300 was facing some delays initially, as all Fredericksburg Line trains were, between Spotsylvania and Woodbridge due to speed restrictions related to the third track work along that line.  In December, the trains were able to make up most of the time between Lorton and Alexandria.  Since our stations at Crystal City and L'Enfant are single platforms on the Track 3 side, our trains have to travel single file from just north of Alexandria into Union Station.  We'll take a look at the scheduled spacing between Manassas Line train 322 and train 300 to see if there is any way to keep them moving more quickly through that area.  We will also see if we can work with the bus operator to help the connection.

  • Dave from Manassas asks
    How are the number of passengers counted on and off at each station, when all doors are opened. Is the method used at every station, every day, with every train?

    VRE Response
    Good question Dave.  Periodically we do full on/off counts at each station.  That allows us to build a formula that will calculate ridership by station based on the daily physical counts performed by the conductors at the maximum load point on each line.

    We are beginning a project this year to install an automatic passenger count system on the trains which will give us real-time data on how many passengers boarded from each station, and how many passengers are on each car.  That could give us the opportunity to inform passengers waiting on a platform where the empty seats are on the next arriving train.

  • Diane from King George, VA asks
    Who takes care of the Leeland VRE Parking lot? They left the snow piled in the aisles (not just parking spaces) so you can not navigate down several of the lanes in the middle of the lot. Suggestion for next time, put it all on one far side of the parking lot instead of the middle. Also couldn't they go back and spread it out to melt instead of leaving it there for weeks?

    VRE Response
    We will advise our facilities department of your concerns and have them contact VDOT and Stafford County.  We will also see if we can remove existing snow.  Thanks.

  • Whip Lashed from Rocking to Fredericksburg asks
    First thank you for adding the early train going home. However, these old cars shake, rattle, jerk when the Engineer puts on the brakes to stop and then releasing them to go. How long do we riders have until these old clunkers are replaced. I get off the train with a sore back and neck and no nap. Forget trying to nap, as these cars are un-napable.

    VRE Response
    We have 7 new cars scheduled to arrive in the next couple of months.  That will replace one of the Legacy sets.  Another 5 new cars are currently scheduled to arrive early next year, which will allow us to replace the one Legacy set remaining.

  • Dave from Fairfax asks
    Please don't get distracted by calls from folks who want wifi on the trains. I'm sure that our ticket prices would go up at some point to absorb the costs. We'd rather have a comfortable ride, great service and on-time performance!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Dave, we would love to be able to offer Wifi service on the trains, but with the current lack of connectivity on large portions of our service area, the end product would not be of the quality we want to offer.  We will contiue to look for cost effective ways to offer Wifi, as long as the result is a service that we can stand behind.

  • JB from Brandy Station asks
    Yesterday, on train 327, two passengers were queuing before the Manassas Park station. The conductor asked them if they were getting off at the next stop, they said no, and he told them they had to take a seat. They then sat in the stair wells when there were plenty of open seats available. They also were queuing again before the Manassas stop, not to get off there. If your conductors are going to enforce the no queuing policy, please have them enforce it properly....that all passengers must be seated before the train leaves the station. I assume that this means in a proper seat, not on the stairs, as this caused an issue for passengers wishing to detrain at both Manassas Park and at Manassas.

    VRE Response
    We will follow-up with the conductors who were on 327 yesterday.  If passengers are standing, and it is interfering with other passengers getting on and off the trains, those passengers should be asked to step off the train and then board again once everyone who uses that station is safely on or off.  Passengers should not have to go through an obstacle course of people and backpacks just to get off at their station.

  • Elisiane from Burke , VA asks
    What station I need stop to go in The National Archives (700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 20408)?

    VRE Response
    L'Enfant station is closest to your destination.

  • George in Haymarket from Haymarket asks
    I would like to know why the rides home on the Manassas lines seem to get longer and longer. It seems there is an inordinate amount of time spent at each stop. Will this be refined in the future? Todays 4:25 train from Union Station got us to Broad Run at 5:45. And then the freight trains block the road so end to end it is a 2 hour trip. It's terrible.

    VRE Response
    Manassas Line Train 329 which departs Union Station at 4:25p is scheduled to arrive Broad Run at 5:44p, making it approximately 1 minute late. VRE does share the tracks with Amtrak and freight trains, so our schedules are also designed to work with the other traffic.  The goal is to get trains into their station as close to on-time as possible, however, in times of low traffic, we allow trains to leave the destination stations early when they can.  That helps shorten the trip time whenever possible. The stations where a train can leave early if all station work is complete are marked on the schedules with an "L".

  • William from Train 327 asks
    The quiet car on train 327 almost always has the speaker volume turned up much louder, jarring comes to mind, than is necessary. More than once a week a rider will ask the conductor to turn down the volume and the conductor thankfully does so. The next day the volume is invariably cranked back up to the max. I understand that we need to be able to hear the announcements, but we do not need them blaring so loudly in our ears. Can the announcement volume in the quiet car be left at that lower volume that the conductor frequently turns it down to, on a daily basis? This would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    The audio should be set to a specific level in each car and we will not lower below that level, even in the Quiet Car.  We can, however, make sure that the proper level is set each day.  If there is an issue with the adjustments on a specific car, we will have our mechanical team check it out.


  • Henry from Manassas Line asks
    Re: Train 324 - As of last week we now have a conductor who feels compelled to make an announcement at every stop whether there is meaningful information to pass along to us or not, and usually - not is the case. In my opinion, this is simply not necessary, particularly when so many passengers prefer to snooze on this early morning train. Would it be possible to put an end to these meaningless announcements please? It would seem that VRE would have standards associated with when to grab that microphone in routine situations. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Henry.  We do have automated announcements that should play throughout the trip announcing station stops.  The conductors are required to make manual announcements if a train is going to have specific cars that will not be on the platform, or if there is a safety message that needs shared.  We will not stop making those announcements.  We will ask the conductors to only make announcements that are necessary.

  • George from Broad Run asks
    Since the schedule change, train 324 seems to have adopted a rather leisurely approach to getting us to DC. Just about every day the train spends what appears to be an unnecessary 1-2 minutes at Burke Centre and then another 2-3 minutes at Rolling Road, long after the last passenger has boarded at each stop. And then once a week or more (more this week already) we now get to travel in the slow lane behind a Fredericksburg train from mid-Backlick Road to Alexandria, then on to L'Enfant. Why has this go-slow / apparent poor scheduling approach been adopted? Please do us the favor of providing a thoughtful response rather than your frequent abrupt, off-the-cuff, disrespectful-to-your-customers answers you often feel you must respond with. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    The schedules that were implemented on November 30, 2015 were the first schedule changes in more than 5 years.  During that 5 year period, we found the schedules were not flexible enough to accommodate consist swaps (changing the lengths of certain trains to better match the ridership patterns).  One of the major concerns we heard from our passengers was our on-time performance at the midline stations.  When we added a 7th or 8th car to a 6 car train, the dwell times at the stations increased, making it more difficult to stay on schedule.

    Since our plan is to lengthen all trains to 8 cars, we took the opportunity with the new schedule to treat each train as if it is an 8 car train.  That did add a few minutes to the total trip time, but it means that we can now move consists around without affecting the schedule, and we now have a schedule that does not need to change as we begin expanding our fleet.  This should help passengers better plan their personal and work schedules, knowing that we won't be changing them again next year.  It also allows for our partner bus agencies to adjust some of their routes to accommodate the needs of our passengers, again without the concern that we'll be changing frequently.

    That being said, we continue to monitor the train arrivals and departures at each station, and if we find some specific adjustments that make sense to help reduce dwell times and ensure better overall on-time performance, we will make those adjustments.  


Welcome back to another edition of the On-Line Forum. Hopefully everyone stayed safe during the Blizzard. We appreciate everyone’s patience during the clean-up. 

Coming Soon: VRE ticket vendor in Spotsylvania. The 7-11 store located at 4640 Lee Hill School Drive will begin selling VRE tickets Monday February 8, 2016. For a limited time they will be giving away free coffee or soda to VRE riders (no ticket purchase required). 

Now on to the questions!