Thanks for another exciting hour.  We appreciate the opportunity to answer these great questions.

Since Winter has now officially arrived, please remember to put safety first and be prepared for the inclement weather.  Dress appropriately, wear sensible shoes or boots as well as hats and gloves, and always walk slowly and carefully through parking lots and on platforms.

We'll see you again back here in February!

Rich, Chris, al.


  • Evelyn from Alexandria asks
    I've noticed that the automated announcements on train 304 sound distorted and out of whack. Other than that, keep up the great work!

    VRE Response
    We will look into it.

  • Elaine from Manassas, VA asks
    Do the handicapped riders need to follow the same rules as the other riders? I notice every morning one lady in particular puts her personal items on the seat next to her so no one else is able to take advantage of the seat.

    VRE Response
    All riders must follow the same rules as other passengers.  Please notify your Conductor for assistance.  


  • Ashley from Woodbridge asks
    The rider consist information for the freddy line still shows that it will be updated on 12/7. It's been a month now. When will this information be provided?

    VRE Response
    We will look into this.

  • Jeanie from Woodbridge asks
    Regarding Shannon's question about traffic crossing Route 1 from Dawson Beach Road. There is a sign indicating that between the evening hours (4-6pm I believe) the center lane AND the right lane can go straight across the intersection. If drivers are "drifting" from the center lane in to the right lane while crossing they are simply negligent, and are not adhering to indicated traffic patterns.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the clarification Jeanie, that is very helpful information.




  • Tom from Manassas asks
    I seem to remember that at one time there was a "town horn" on the locomotives as well as the very-load one; the former would be used within city limits and although still loud wouldn't blast your eardrums (like when you're sitting outside at restaurants in Manassas)

    VRE Response
    We currently have one standard horn.



  • L from Prince William County, VA asks
    Any thoughts about having no announcements at all in the quiet car? The constant station stops are very disturbing. (and are sometimes erroneous and therefore misleading)

    VRE Response
    We do not plan to eliminate announcements in the quiet car.



  • Jessica from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Who should I contact to request that recycling bins be placed at the Fredericksburg VRE station?

    VRE Response
    We will pass along your request to the City of Fredericksburg. Thanks.


  • Jennifer from Stafford, VA asks
    Have you thought about having an earlier train for the S schedule; specifically for the Fredericksburg line or at least making the earliest train an express train on the S schedule?

    VRE Response
    We have no plans to change the "S" schedule.



  • Jacques from Stafford, VA asks
    Is the VRE planning to introduce WiFi on its trains and, if so, when?

    VRE Response
    No not at this time. 



  • Brian from Fredericksburg asks
    What can be done to prevent passengers from putting their feet on the seats? This is especially concerning when people put smelly socks on a seat and stink up the air.

    VRE Response
    The conductors should be enforcing the no feet on seats policy.  If you see this issue occurring, please speak discreetly with a conductor or send us a note to and we'll get it addressed.



  • Brian from Fredericksburg asks
    Why are announcements not made for all stations? In the older cars what can you do to make announcements clear or verbally callout?

    VRE Response
    Station announcements should be made on all trains at all stations, including on the legacy equipment.  If this is not happening, please give us a call or send a note to with specifics.

  • Luke from Manassas asks
    The split payment feature seems to work every other month. Please fix.

    VRE Response
    We have an app update that should hit the app stores in the next week or so.  One of the improvements is a change to the split payment screen that removes the sliders and allows for input of dollar amounts.  In addition, we are adding a confirmation screen that will allow users to verify that the split payment has been done properly before the purchase is finalized.



  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Is VRE going to get the next batch of new railcars this winter to replace the old ones on the Fredericksburg Line?

    VRE Response
    We have 7 cars that will be arriving this spring (2016) to replace one of the legacy sets on the Fredericksburg line.  An additional 5 cars is on order and should be delivered in the Spring of 2017 to replace the remaining legacy cars.  In addition to those, we have also ordered 9 new cars which will allow us to lengthen some of our shorter trains.  Those should be delivered by the end of 2018.


  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    How do the crews know where to stop the train at the station? The crews are not always stopping the 8 car train (#306/309) in the right place on the platform. It is either to far back or to far up front.

    VRE Response
    The engineers use visual spots for lining up the trains when stopping at particular stations.  While it is not an exact science, they do their best to stop at the same spot consistently.


  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I board Train #306 at Woodbridge and for the last month, I haven't seen a conductor checking our tickets.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback David, we'll follow-up with the crew.




  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    A popular Android App, GoVRE shut down in November and it would be nice to see it's features added to the VRE Mobile App: Train Status Map, Train Schedule, Alerts & Twitter integration.

    VRE Response
    David, we agree.  Enhancements to VRE Mobile are underway.  In the meantime, please check out the new website at , it is optimized for mobile use and you can save pages to your phones home screen for easy access to alerts and train status information.


  • Leanne from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Yesterday on train 310, it was so cold that there was ICE on the INSIDE of the windows in the first car. My toes were numb and painful and it literally took hours to warm up. Why is it that during the winter, the heat is so low that ice forms and people must keep their hats, gloves and coats on... and during the summer the air conditioner is so high that people need to bring coats and blankets to keep warm? Surely there must be a happy medium!

    VRE Response
    We will check to see if there is a heating issuen on train 310.

  • Diane from Burke Centre asks
    At some point I thought VRE stated that they would implement a more informative video display. Train status as well as current times, etc. Any idea when the new info output will be available?

    VRE Response
    The new displays we installed at the Spotsylvania station have the capability of showing multiple windows for different data feeds.  Our IT department is working with the manufacturer,Samsung, to create an enhanced version of our information displays.



  • Chuck from Annandale, VA asks
    What event occurs on the weekends in the Backlick Road parking lot? I assume some sort of used clothing sale, based on the hangers left behind. Hopefully VRE is getting a fee for use of the property and mess left behind.

    VRE Response
    There are various events that are approved and managed by Fairfax County. 

  • K from White West asks
    Please continue to take good care of riders like Julie, Margie, Kate, Star, Vera, Vincy, and Winston. They may be riders to you, but they're the better memories I have of DC (precious cargo). BTW, it's supposed to snow again out here in a few days -- not that the Christmas snow has melted.

    VRE Response
    Thanks K, we will do our best. 

  • Linda from Triangle, VA asks
    More than a month after a schedule change, some southbound trains are still overcrowded (standing room only)drastically slowing down entrance and exit at each stop until reaching Rippon station on Fredericksburg line. Really, passenger consensus is that you should move the 305 departure from L'Enfant from 3:33 back to 3:45. Recommend management staff be assigned to a southbound train and ride it daily until overcrowding issue is resolved. It is too cold to use us a guinea pigs while you figure it out!!! And, frankly I am tired of going north to catch a southbound train just to have a chance at a seat!

    VRE Response
    One of the effects of the new schedule is that more people are taking train 307 that were on the old 305.  On January 4th, we changed the consist to make 307 an 8 car train.  That should help the crowding issue.  As mentioned previously, we will continue to monitor ridership by train to see if other adjustments are necessary.  Chris, Rich, and several other VRE staff members do ride daily to and from Fredricksburg.



  • Woodford Commuter from Woodford VA asks
    Let's see if this makes any sense. Union to FBG (1 Ride): Average $11.55/ride Union to FBG (10 Ride): Average $10.56/ride Union to FBG (5-Day): Average $9.18/ride Union to FBG (Monthly: Average Less than $9.18 I board Amtrak on a Single fare and buy my stepup. Amtrak says no good! And yes, yes, yes, I did see this on your website. However, please enlighten me as to your illogical and mathematically backwards reasoning on this. I pay more for a 1 ride than I do anything else. WHY do you not accept 1 Ride Stepups?

    VRE Response
    VRE subsidizes part of the cost of the Step-Up ticket so we can provide additional options to our regular riders and add capacity to our system.  Amtrak will not allow us to compete with them for less than occassional riders (single-ride tickets). Therefore, we require the use of a properly validated mult-ride ticket to be used in conjunction with a Step-Up ticket.

  • Dave from Fairfax asks
    The pothole at the Burke station is getting worse. It's pretty deep and I'm sure will start causing damage to cars once road salt is dropped. Any update from Fairfax County on filling it?

    VRE Response
    Our Facilities Manager has contacted Fairfax County to look into making the repairs.  They plan to visit the site today to investigate. 

  • Amanda from Woodbridge asks
    Conductors often keep only one door open until departure time - and that door is often not the door closest to the stairs/elevator. It seems like a loophole that the are "keeping the doors open" but still leaving many people stranded who would've easily made the train had the closest door (or all doors) been open until departure instead of having to run halfway/all the way down the platform. Can this be rectified?

    VRE Response
    The conductors should have all doors open until departure time.  Once that time arrives, the conductor should close all doors, except the one where he/she is stationed.  He will then verify that all doors closed and the train is safe to depart.  He/she will then close the last door and give the engineer the signal to depart.  No one should be left on the platform if they arrived prior to the scheduled departure time.  We will share your concern with the crews.  Please contact us at if you can cite a specific example.



  • Gerry from Spotsylvania asks
    So far this week I've heard 13 wrong station announcements, and it's only Wednesday. (I usually ride 308, 310, 313, and 315.) This has been a problem for at least ten years, and it's worse when we're riding in the dark. Please turn off your "available electronic device" and have the crew announce the stations.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Gerry, we'll address this with the crews.




  • Adam from Manassas VA asks
    Are you planning on adding more informational features to your VRE app? Currently there is no "supported" app that display rail times, updates, or alerts.

    VRE Response
    We will be adding more features to VRE Mobile.  In the meantime, though, our updated website is optimized for mobile use, so you can go to, select the schedule or train status page and then save that to your phones home screen for easy access.



  • Joe from Spotsy asks
    I use the App for tickets. This morning, the conductor scanned my ticket with his smart phone. I assume he was verifying my ticket was real. How does this work. I think its a great tool

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Joe.  The mobile tickets were designed for visual verification by the conductors, like the paper tickets.  One of the security features is the QR (Quick Response) code.  That allows conductors to also scan tickets when they have the time.  It is just another layer of security to help prevent fraud.


  • Sandra Hamill from Fredericksburg, va 22405 asks
    In the winter it would be nice with weather related train delays etc that instead of saying union station in the morning on the side of of the trains it said 300 or 302 or whatever. When schedules get off it would be nice to know you got on the right train.

    VRE Response
    Good suggestion Sandra. The current technology we have for the side destination signs do not allow for this, but we will look into the feasibility of having this option.



  • Barbara from Manassas Park, VA asks
    How did we do on the annual VRE Toys for Tots drive? What were the stats?

    VRE Response
    This year, VRE along with the help of our passengers raised over $15,000 and 100s of toys were donated to the Marine Toys for Tots.

  • KEITH from BROADRUN, VA asks
    It seems like riders are much more likely to be seriously injured or killed by a speeding or wreckless motorist in the Broadrun parking lot every evening than by any other threat to the rail system. Who's jurisdiction is the parking lot and what, if anything, can be done to monitor and enforce safety rules and/or laws? Periodic safety reminders are ineffective.

    VRE Response
    Prince William County has responsibility for the parking lot.  We will be happy to share your concerns with them. 

  • Mario from Haymarket, VA asks
    Thank your for the great service you guys provided. I've been an user for 10 years, and wondering when the Haymarket station will be done. Thanks again.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the nice comment Mario, we're happy that you enjoy the service.

    Additional study of the proposed VRE Gainesville-Haymarket Extension (GHX) is underway. The GHX study team is currently analyzing station sites and service options to determine the preferred station locations and estimate potential ridership. The results of those analyses will be made public in March-April 2016. For additional information see the project website at, Facebook at or Twitter @VRE_GHX.




  • Scott from Fairfax, VA asks
    Train 326 out of Manassas seems to be maxing out . . . Standing room only. Are there plans to add more cars?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Scott.  We're currently looking at all of the ridership patterns since we started the new schedule.  If needed, we'll make consist adjustments later this month.  We just wanted to give everyone a chance to get back from vacation and into their normal patterns before making any changes.



  • Ed from Fredericksburg asks
    Has VRE ever considered a Friday night train? sometime around 9pm it would be nice to be able to enjoy the city on a Friday evening and still be able to take the train home.

    VRE Response
    The question has come up before Ed, but as it stands, that would be outside our operating window with our host railroads. Our System Plan 2040 has some later trains built into the long-term plan, but nothing is planned for the immediate future.



  • Pat from Stafford, VA asks
    Does VRE issue refunds for tickets if you have transferred with your job and moved out of the area?

    VRE Response
    Pat, give us a call at 703-684-1001, and we'll see what we can do.




  • Mary from Manassas asks
    The light to turn into the manassas park station is very short;4 cars a light cycle to be exact. Does VRE have any pull to get this light reset to accommodate the moring commute?

    VRE Response
    We'll be happy to pass this on to the city of Manassas Park.



  • J from Woodbridge asks
    It's been a month with the new schedule and riders on 300 feel we are still the last priority for VRE. We use to get into Union Station at a time where I could be ONTIME for my JOB, now I'm always 5 minutes late. Thank you for now running VRE as if it was METRO. Will any of this be fixed?

    VRE Response
    J, the scheduled arrival time for train 300 at Union Station is 6:32 am.  Looking over the GPS data for the past month, 300 is arriving between 6:23 am and 6:30 am each morning.  We only found one instance where 300 arrived 4 minutes late at 6:36 am.



  • Jamie from Woodbridge,VA asks
    The afternoon 305 train is always arriving to early! Is there a chance you can get it to arrive at it's scheduled time?

    VRE Response
    We do not see that 305 is arriving early, or more importantly departing early from any of the origination stations.  Remember, the times listed on our schedules are departure times, so the train should arrive a few minutes before it's scheduled departure.


  • Marie from Manassas, VA asks
    Could the conductors remind riders that it's cold out & holding the vestibule doors open let's the heat escape & instruct them to not hold the vestibule doors open until the train reaches the station, please?

    VRE Response
    Consider them reminded. Please let us know through if you continue to see an issue. Sorry for the misspelling of



  • Don from Fredericksburg, Virginia asks
    Any chance that trains 303 and 305 depart 30 minutes instead of the 15 minutes time frame between the two trains

    VRE Response
    Good question Don.

    The schedule, as it is set right now, is what we determined would work not just for VRE, but also for CSX and Amtrak.  The main reason 305 is departing 10 minutes earler than the old 303 is to get seperation from Amtrak 125.  We will continue to work with all of our host railroads to see if any adjustments need to be made, but we need to let the schedule run as is for now.



  • Mark from Manassas Park, VA asks
    Could the "Transit Subsidy" from the I-395 HOT project help fund some of the unfunded capital projects in the VRE FY2017-FY2022 CIP (ex. Long Bridge)? The I-395 HOT project could yield an upfront Transit Subsidy between $200-$700 Million plus a yearly transit subsidy based on revenue projections.

    VRE Response
    While we're unsure if you are speaking to construction mitigation funding for transit or actual revenues generated by the future HOT lanes, we will work with VDOT to identify funding  sources that can help VRE fund its capital program. 


  • Chelsey from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I have two questions. 1.Can the VRE please purchase outdoor heaters for the platform? I went to Busch Gardens this year and they must have had a hundred of those things. Four maybe five on each platform would be greatly appreciated. 2. Are there any plans to adjust the morning schedule? With the two 3pm trains coming practically 30 minutes apart I need to get to work earlier to be able to leave earlier now to make the afternoon train. I am already on the earliest train leaving Ripon. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    1. We will continue to focus on getting our trains to the platforms on time, so passengers do not need to stand out there for more than 5-10 minutes.  The outdoor heaters at theme parks and restaurants are usually provided in areas where guests are expected to be standing for extended periods of time in queue lines, or at tables.

    2. We have no plans to operate trains any earlier than our current schedule.


  • CanYouHearMeNow from Somewhere between Quantico and Leeland asks
    What's up with the VRE Rider app? It has not been updated with the new schedule for the Fred line. What's up with that? Are the VRE code monkeys still on vacation? And, how hard is it for cellphone companies to put up a tower or repeater between Quantico and Leeland so there is phone service? Don't you have any power with the companies who love to charge us hundreds to use their data?

    VRE Response
    The VRE Rider App is a third party app developed by someone using our publicly available data feed.  You can get to our schedules by using the Trip Planner link in VRE Mobile, or through our mobile optimized website. . Just save that to the home screen on your phone and you'll have quick and easy access.


  • David from Manassas asks
    This goes out to the passenger who rides 322 and feels it is "OK" to leave thier banana peel on the seat/floor for someone else to clean up. Each car has a trash can. Use it. As a rider on the later 332, I have had "privilage" of sitting in your seat. Seriously, take your trash with you....

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the courtesy reminder David.


  • Debbie from Broad Run, VA asks
    Is it possible that the street light on Piper Lane at the Broad Run Station be turned on when it is dark in the morning and evening? Also is it possible to put the current time on the tv screens at the stations?

    VRE Response
    We don't know anything about a street light on Piper Lane but we will be happy to check it out. The time may be added to the screens as future enhancements. 

  • Ken from Fredericksburg, VA. asks
    Is VRE expecting to integrate smart card technology on board its trains in the future ?

    VRE Response
    There are no current plans for adding smart card technology to our fare collections system,  VRE Mobile is available as a means of getting away from paper tickets.  As WMATA (Metro) moves closer to the completion of their new fare collection system, we plan to find ways to integrate as a region, but the method or form for that integration is yet to be determined.


  • Shannon from Woodbridge, VA asks
    What is the status of VRE working with PW County Police regarding passengers from the trains crossing Route 1 from Dawson Beach Rd to Occoquan Rd? Every day there seems to be a near miss in terms of a car hitting another due to drifting over a lane in the intersection. Also, can you please work with PW County Police to get the traffic lights timed better to deal with the traffic coming out of the VRE lot onto Dawson Beach Rd and Route 1? It seems lately that the signals are off and no cars get thru when it is green. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    The concerns raised here on the online forum and through GoTrains have been shared with Prince William County.  We will continue to forward your comments.


  • Diana from Leeland from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Love the earlier trains in the evening, but have one suggestion. Could train #303 that departs Union Station at 3:10 become an "Express" train making the same stops as the morning express train? Train #305 leaves 15 minutes later and could make all stops.

    VRE Response
    Great question, Diana

    Because the midday train (301) on the Fredericksburg line only carries a couple hundered passengers per day, we need all the capacity on the afternoon trains, for all stops, so we can get everyone home.  In our System Plan 2040, there are plans to include some express or limited stop service as we build capacity.


  • Janardan from Manassas Park, VA asks
    Don't see option to buy monthly pass in VRE Mobile app. Need that to be able to use my transit benefit through employer linked smartcard

    VRE Response
    The monthly pass is available between the 23rd of the previous month through the 9th of the current month on VRE Mobile.


  • Dave from Woodbridge asks
    Since the new station has been added to the Fredricksburg line the 300 train has been even more crowded. Can you all add an additional car to this train so people do not have to stand?

    VRE Response
    We will continue to watch the ridership as everyone gets back to their normal work routine.  As it stands right now, there is ample seating on 300, but the available seats are at the north end of the train.  We walked through the train this morning and found about 100 empty seats in the first three cars between Brooke and Woodbridge, and have asked the conductors to communicate that availability every day.



  • Mike from Woodbridge, VA asks
    All of the tables and chairs, and everything else, in the waiting room at the Woodbridge station have been removed. Curious as to what is in the works?

    VRE Response
    That space had previously been leased by our vendor, the Coffee Club.  We have asked that the space be opened in the mornings during the Winter so passengers may wait for trains in the room.  Long-term plans for that space have not been made at this time.



  • Juan from Woodbridge asks
    why do you all cram riders during the last week of the year on non-holidays. It is not safe and conditions are less than humane. It is better to by pass that to cram riders in unsafe conditions. The TSB will be made aware of your unsafe conditions as well as the County Board of supervisors in Prince William county. No seats for disabled patrons violation of civil rights. Your CEO is not doing his job. Absolutely not satisfactory.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Juan.  We operate on a limited schedule when we expect ridership to be low.  For the period of December 28th through December 31st total ridership was between 6,000 and 10,000 passengers per day.  We provided the longest trains we could, in case demand was higher than forecast.  What we saw was the morning commutes were fine, every train had ample seating for every passenger.  In the afternoons, we found on the Fredericksburg line, trains 305 and 309 were crowded on two of the four days.  The crowding may have seemed worse on the train, but that is typically because some passengers chose to stand rather than move through the train to the available seats.  We will continue to look for ways to provide additional capacity when necessary, and will ask our conductors to be more diligent in commuicating seat availability on the trains.



  • Thomas from Alexandria, VA asks
    Given the lack of evidence that the sounding of train horns, when approaching or departing a train station, promotes safety, and the finding of the recent London study that noise above 60 decibels dramatically increases stroke and subsequent death among the elderly, will the Virginia Railway Express stop sounding horns when approaching and departing the King Street Station in Alexandria?

    VRE Response
    In accordance with CSX Operating Rules, train crews are required to sound the horn approaching passenger stations between 0430 and 2330 hours. At all other times the horn shall not be sounded at passenger station unless people are present or as otherwise required by Operating Rules.

    To report complaints about horn noise, please utilize TellCSX (see the link below). Complaints about horn noise can be documented under the “Operational Issue” tab. This allows CSX to compile data and notify the appropriate CSX department/management to address issues.


  • Dan from Warrenton, VA asks
    On Manassas line southbound there is a large 2.5hr gap between the first two afternoon trains. Wondering the reason? Also, is there a plan to fill this gap (possibly with a train departing Union station around 2:45 PM)? I for one would like to have this option to plan my day around.

    VRE Response
    The time between our midday trains and the first afternoon trains is a window for the freight railroads to get their trains through the area to allow for a smooth afternoon commute for the passenger trains.  When we added a train on the Fredericksburg line in November, we were able to add it within that window.  We will try to do the same when we have the opportunity to add a Manassas line train.  Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to do so at this time. 



  • Glen from Fairfax, VA asks
    Does the time on the schedule refer to the time the train arrives at the station or the time it leaves the station. Until the recent schedule changes, I would catch the 6:08 train at Burke in the morning and the train was almost never there by 6:08 and certainly did not leave at 6:08. Now that train is supposed to come at 6:02 but it seems to arrive around 5:59 and leaves at 6:02. Every morning I see people rushing to board this train. Please clarify what the posted times mean. Thanks

    VRE Response
    The times on our schedules are station departure times, with the exception of the end of line stations, those are arrival times.  324 should be arriving at Burke Center at around 5:59 am, 2-3 minute station stop, then departing on time at 6:02.


Happy New Year, welcome to 2016.  We hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are ready to get back into the swing of things.  We want to thank each of you for your generous donations towards our annual Toys for Tots drive. 

We have Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up on January, 18th and VRE will not operate service. 

Now, on with the questions!