Thanks for another great set of questions.  Enjoy the remainder of your Summer.  Stay Safe and stay hydrated.  College and Professional football season is rapidly approaching, so make sure your grills and tailgating materials are ready to go. And for the local baseball fans, GO NATS!

We'll see you back here in September!

  • William from Leeland Station asks
    May we PLEASE have a canopy over this entire platform? Improvements seem to be everywhere. but we are unable to have basic shelter from the elements on this platform. Unless we ALL huddle under the tiny piece of canopy where the ticket machines are.

    VRE Response
    Additional canopy modules will be included as part of the future platform extension and second platform station improvement projects.

  • Joe from Rippon asks
    Can you give us an update on the Potomac Shores station? The most recent information I can find is from January and that stated the station isnt expected to open until 2018 now. Is that true? Is there a more specific timeline available?

    VRE Response
    See previously answered question.

  • Michael from Burke, VA asks
    Seconding the plea for more cars to be added to the Manassas Southbound trains. 327 and 329 are frequently standing room only out of Alexandria, and an excess of people sliding around the area near the exits and the vestibule because there are no seats doesn't make for a very safe environment.

    VRE Response
    327 is a 7 car train, so we'll make that one an 8 car train as soon as we receive the new cars.  329 is already 8 cars, so it will not be lengthened.


  • Rick from Fredericksburg,VA asks
    Why doesn't the Guarantee Ride Home program apply to people who only use the VRE trains, as opposed to van pools, etc. We missed the last train yesterday due to an airline being late and were stuck in DC overnight. Thanks, Rick

    VRE Response
    Thanks Rick,  Commuter Connections operates the Guaranteed Ride Home program and VRE riders are welcome to register.  The only stipulation we know of is you must be registered for the service in advance of your need to utilize the service.


  • Rick from Woodbridge asks
    Can VRE publish info on which cars will not make the platform at each station? Seems that if folks have this info before boarding, it would make de-boarding more efficient.

    VRE Response
    Good point Rick, however, the platforming may change based on whether we have folks in wheelchairs or who otherwise are unable to move between cars to detrain.



  • Joe from Rippon asks
    Do you have any plans to lengthen/expand the Rippon platform? Adding a second access point from the platform to the parking lot would greatly improve passenger movement once we've de-trained.

    VRE Response
    Good question Joe. Yes, we do plan on upgrading the Rippon station to include longer platforms, adding a second platform and enhancing the egress points. We are currently in the preliminary engineering/design phase. We will continue to push out more information on this project as we progress further.


  • Lonnie from L'Enfant asks
    Did you know we have a "VIP" passenger? She detrains each morning at L'Enfant. She is so special that she MUST be the first one to queue after Crystal City (not a queueing violator) and if you are unfortunate enough to be in front of her, the incessant bully tactic begins with "you must be a new rider or new to this car" I have a pace maker, don't use your cell phone around me. I know all of the undercover officers on the train. I can get you in trouble. I am the first in line here, don't get in front of me. etc, etc, etc, etc. No apology is accepted (not really sure one is due) as she is going to bully you into doing it her way. and she has backup. like a mini gang. Most people just comply (take the easy way or respecting their elders, not sure which) but this is just ridiculous. Perhaps a public service reminder that this is public transporation, not private rail service would get the message across to her and her supporters. I have been riding vre for many years, having seen much. This display has happened more than once within my space and this week it was just too much.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Lonnie. We believe all of our passengers are VIPs.  Drop us a note at with the specific train info and we'll ask the conductors to look into this.



  • Dwight R. Morgan from Triangle, VA asks
    Why are there so few trains running in the morning and why does service end so early in the evening. Why is there no service on the weekend?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the questions Dwight.  VRE was developed as a commuter rail service, to augment the regional transportation services.  As a commuter service, our focus is limited to the peak commuting timeframes, morning trips into the District, and afternoon trips to get folks home.  We are different from other public transportation providers which offer more frequency and travel in multiple directions concurrently.

    Our Mission Statement:

    The Virginia Railway Express (VRE), a joint project of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission will provide safe, cost effective, accessible, reliable, convenient, and comfortable commuter-oriented rail passenger service. VRE will contribute to the economic development of its member jurisdictions as an integral part of a balanced, intermodal regional transportation system.


  • Joey from quantico asks
    thanks for the attempt to curb seemed to be better for about 2 weeks on the F303. lately, the SAME people are in the way (one man also places his bag on the floor blocking both side of the aisle so we have to step over it) when we try to board in the pm. i have put aside my daily puzzle and have taken to queue watching to see if they are detraining at Brooke (the next station) and SUPRISE !! they are not getting off the train until leeland road. Since we get on at Quantico, we do not know when they begin queueing, but ..... and the conductors surely see them, because most days we have a rider that uses the lift. I don't know if the car # changes daily, but we ride the 4th car from the engine.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Joey, we'll ask the conductors to pay special attention to that car, especially at Brooke.  If Donz is riding with his scooter, the conductor should already be there and should be able to assist with the queuers.


  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    In the mornings, Train #306 doesn't put the last 2 cars (behind the locomotive) on the platform due to extension project). However, this morning the conductors failed to make an announcement and people are seeing running through the cars to get off. Some days they do make announcements and some days they don't

    VRE Response
    Thanks Davin.  The announcement should be made on every trip.  We'll follow-up with the crew.


  • David from Woodbrige, VA asks
    Last month, CSX parked one of its trains at the Woodbridge station blocking the platform. They should not be doing that and they should not be operating during VRE service hours causing delays to VRE trains. The railway should not be used as a parking lot. CSX has caused too many delays lately to VRE

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comments Davin.  The CSX freight train was disabled and could not move, which did result in some delays and single tracking while repairs were made.  We apologize for the inconvenience.



  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Finally train #306 was on time this morning. It was delayed 5-10 minutes Monday & Tuesday and a few times last week. There have too many delays lately. Dispatchers need to stop making the train go slow delaying us and delaying VRE for Amtrak trains. Let VRE go first. We do not have time so slow when people are in a hurry to get to work. Also, CSX should not be operating its trains during VRE service hours because the delay VRE when they break down.

    VRE Response
    CSX dispatches their railroad with an emphasis placed on safety and network fluidity. This is a network of freight, passenger and commuter railroads operating in concert with each other in a very congested corridor, especially during the peak commuting hours. VRE does communicate with CSX regularly during VRE operations and understand the dispatching decisions they make. That said, when we see opportunities for improvement we discuss those with CSX as well. 


  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Why is taking so long to finish the L'Enfant storage tracks?

    VRE Response
    Almost there David.  We hope to begin utilizing those tracks in a couple of months.

  • Larry from Spotsylvania, VA asks
    Is there a plan to replace the VRE and Brooke signs at the Brooke Station? Other signs along the route are in good shape; Brooke is a big exception. Sent an e-mail to who said they would forward to the appropriate folks but never got an answer. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    We do have a plan to replace the station signage, and Brooke is one of the first stations we will address.  As soon as we have an expected completion date, we'll let you know.


  • Dave from Woodbridge, Va asks
    In the future can you all explore having the 300 Express leaving Spotsy 10 minutes earlier in the morning. Most mornings the 300 Express gets caught behind the 1st Manassas train and has to crawl to DC once it drops off at Alexandria.

    VRE Response
    We're happy to explore all opportunities to improve service Dave. Despite 300 being an "Express", or limited stop train, it still has to travel a further distance than the Manassas Line train, 322, meaning that it will be behind 322. When we began operating 300 as a limited stop train, the intent was to allow it to get to Alexandria with as few stops as possible, decreasing the trip time.  The intent was not to ensure 300 was the first train to Union Station. The congestion from Alexandria is unavoidable for now, until more tracks and platforms become available.  In the meantime, we would not advocate delaying one train (322) to benefit another train (300).


  • Harley from Woodbridge, VA asks
    The bicyclists that come on the train with their big old bikes are some of the rudest, entitled people I have seen. A man was sitting facing the fold up seats and one guy was putting his bike in that spot and kept hitting the guys leg a few times while putting the bikes up. Personally - you need one designated place for these bike people. They are very rude.

    VRE Response
    The one designated place for bicycles is the flip up seats on specific trains.  This is more of a courtesy issue, which we are happy to share as such.

  • Queen from Manassas, VA asks
    We really need additional cars to accommodate customers. It is a little bit too much to have to stand up every evening on my ride home on the Manassas 4:05 train out of Alexandria. We have to cue, and then are TOLD to step off the train to let other riders off. You can't have it both ways VRE. Thank you listening!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the input Queen. We have some new cars which are expected to be delivered before the end of the year.  Manassas train 327 will be the first train to receive an additional car, making it an 8 car train.


  • Mark from Broad Run Station - Manassas line asks
    Hi, could we get more trash & recycle bins? People getting off the train have to cross-over a line of exiting people to get to the recycle bin. Collisions do happen.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Mark.  Our Facilities Manager has been looking for a new type of trash can for the platforms, so we'll ask him to also reassess the quantity.

  • Marc from Leeland asks
    On Monday, train 307, forth car from the tail end, the side with the bathroom, something was definitely wrong with the AC in that 1/2 of the car. It was at least 10-15 degrees hotter than the other cars. Can you please check the AC in that car?

    VRE Response
    Will do Marc.  We've forwarded your comment to the mechanical operations team to evaluate.  Thanks for the feedback.


  • Mel from Burke, VA asks
    The flip down seats in some cars are extremely hard to flip down - at least in the newer (2016) cars. I'm in decent shape and struggle to get the seat to flip down since there is no place to grip and there is a lot of resistance when you try to flip it down. I imagine that an elderly or handicap person would struggle even more and these are some of the priority seating them. Is there anything that can be done to make the seats slightly easier to flip down?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Mel. We will have our mechanical operations team look into this.


  • Jonathan from Fairfax, VA asks
    I want more VRE! There is a long term goal to get to service to every 20 minutes along the Manassas line. It's understandable that this will be the case until the long bridge replacement occurs, but that is years away. Can anything be done sooner such as renegotiating the agreement with CSX and Amtrak? Separately, is there any thing that we can do to assist with generating support for the long bridge replacement?

    VRE Response
    Thank you for your support of VRE. We are focused on efficiently adding capacity by lengthening the trains we are already running and by upgrading infrastructure to accommodate those longer trains (e.g. lengthening platforms).

    We have a great working relationship with our host railroads; CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak. They have always shown a willingness to accommodate our requests as we look to expand our service. But as you mentioned, there are important projects that have to be completed in order for commuter, inter-city passenger, and freight rail service to increase in this corridor, Long Bridge being at the top of the list.

    We certainly encourage anyone who understands the benefit of a robust rail network to reach out to local, state, and federal stakeholders and express your support.

    Again, thank you for being a loyal and engaged rider!


  • Ed C from Burke asks
    I've noticed that some drivers are again exiting the parking garage thru the entrance. A woman nearly got hit by a car illegally exiting this way. Can you notify Fairfax County police that they should resume monitoring the garage at peak hours until the message gets through. It worked before and hopefully will work again.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Ed. We will share your comments with Fairfax PD.

  • Marc from Leeland asks
    When are the ticket machines going to be updated? I have been riding for over 11 years and previously VRE would say when the smart card comes on line the TVM's would be changing. Well the haven't. They still don't work. People trying to purchase a ticket, one machine down and the machines are not taking the credit card. What are your plans to up grade the machines for those still using paper?

    VRE Response
    Great question Marc, and very timely.  We have a kickoff meeting scheduled for this Friday with the manufacturer for an upgrade of the Ticket Vending Machines.  The upgrade involves replacing every major component with new, more current technology including the touchscreens, pin pads, and card readers on the outside, and the computer, operating system, and printer/encoder on the inside.  In addition, we'll be adding an audio jack to assist those who may wish to utilize the audio commands, and we're including a place for a smart card reader so we can better adapt as technology changes in fare collection.  The entire project could take a year to complete.

    In the meantime, we have technicians from the manufacturer on hand daily to address specific issues with the current system.  If you email us at with the date, time, station, and TVM number, we can get a tech out to check the specific machine.


  • Doug from Broad Run asks
    It seems like a good time to take a turn on people using one seat for them and one for their stuff. I see a small but growing number of self entitled people doing this. Also growing is the number who wont surrender the second seat unless a conductor is standing there. Please ask the conductors to curb this behavior when they see it during their normal rounds through the cars.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Doug. We will add this to the crew briefings in the morning and ask them to be more aware of the issue.


  • Tom from Woodbridge asks
    Is it really necessary for conductors to announce every day at every stop that not all cars will make the platform? And if so, can VRE please come up with a standard message? Each conductor seems to have their own and some, like the 302 conductors just ramble on and on and on and on....

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Tom.  The short answer is yes, it is necessary.  While the announcements may seem redundant to many of our daily riders, we do have many first time riders who would not be aware of the different platforming procedures. We will ask the conductors not to ramble...



  • Unable to hear in L'Enfant from Washington, DC asks
    What are your plans to install more loudspeakers at the L'Enfant stations? The new lights are great but I think most of us standing on the south end of the platform (the quiet car side) would rather here the announcements. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    We'll pass this on to our IT department to get additional speakers added if necessary.  Thank you for the feedback.

  • Phillip from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    I need to know why you are not looking harder into fixing the queueing problem aboard the trains. I hate the fact that I have to get on and off and back on like a third world citizen. Please add more cars to the train.

    VRE Response
    While some trains may be crowded, there are more than enough seats available on every train by the time we pass Woodbridge.  More cars will not solve the queuing issue, if passengers do not move to the cars with available seats.  We are adding additional entrance/egress points to the platforms as we do platform extensions and station improvements.  This should ease some of the congestion in the specific cars where queuing is an issue, since everyone will not have to crowd the single car that opens nearest the platform entrance.  In the meantime, to make sure everyone has an opportunity to detrain at their station, we will continue to ask anyone queuing to step off the train, then reboard.


  • Jackie from Southbridge asks
    What is the latest news on the new station south of Rippon? I hear that ground has been broken on that true?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Jackie.  We have contacted the developer to get an updated project timeline.  We will let everyone know as soon as we hear back.


  • Johnny from Rippon asks
    Is there a reason train 302 is back to being consistently 5 minutes late arriving/leaving Rippon? The schedule says 5:49am...but 302 is leaving Rippon at 5:55 or later.

    VRE Response
    Currently, there are 2 track work related speed restrictions between Brooke and Rippon.


  • Patricia from Bristow, VA asks
    Why are you telling people in wheel chairs and scooters they can not board the train because they were not considered during construction at Union station to have access to the train? I would like equal access to a train like others passengers. Now that you are aware what is being done?

    VRE Response
    Thank you for the comment Patricia. There is a current project underway to add elevator access to Tracks 27 and 28 at Union Station, though the project could last for 6 months.  Those tracks are typically utilized for our turn trains (the trains which make multiple trips during the).  In the past, you have been able to access those tracks from the Track 25/26 platform, but the construction has now removed that access.

    We have asked Amtrak to not route our trains over to 27 /28 until access can be reestablished.  We appreciate your patience with yesterday's workaround utilizing a Fredericksburg Line train and then transferring at L'Enfant.  We will do our best to keep the inconvenience to a minimum as Union Station improvements continue.





  • Bob from Washington DC asks
    Can the 10 trip be increases to 15 or 20? Some riders work 9 hours to have every other Friday off or telework 2 or 3 days a week. A 20 trip ticket would better accommodate these work schedules. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Bob.  The 10-Ride ticket was implemented for the circumstances you describe.  The 5-Day pass requires passengers to ride on 5 consecutive service days.  The 10-Ride allows passengers the flexibility of validating only when they need to ride, so skipping a few days for telework is no issue.


Thank you for joining us for the monthly Online Forum.  We hope everyone has had a safe, enjoyable Summer so far, and any vacations yet to be taken are fun.  The questions have been coming in slowly, so feel free to ask more.  We'll get to as many as possible.  Here we go!