We enjoyed all the questions; however, our hour is up. If your specific question was not addressed, please email it to where we answer all inquiries within one business day. You may also wish to check our FAQ page for common questions.

Reminder that July 1, our fares will go up 3% and Amtrak Step-Up tickets will increase to $7. The increase is to cover escalating operating costs; more details can be viewed here.

Safety message for the month: Almost half of train/vehicle collisions happen at grade crossings. NEVER cross the tracks when the gates are down. If you think the gates are malfunctioning, there is a phone number posted on or near the gate to inform the railroad.

We hope to see you at Franconia/Springfield this evening or later this summer at one of our smaller pop-up events.

If not, we will be back on here the first Wednesday of next month.

Rich, Chris, et al.

  • Betty from Manassas asks
    Thank you for extending the meet the management to the outer stations this year. It is difficult to leave work early to see all of the wonderful displays you had for us this year when you were at L'Enfant. Where on your webpage do you have this information? Thank you again for providing us a safe commute. FYI.. great articles in the May RIDE magazine.

    VRE Response
    No problem, we love going out to see the passengers. They are not full size Meet the Management events, rather, we are calling them Pop-Up events. There will be less staff and fewer giveaways and addressing projects or issues that affect that particular station. Also, we are glad to hear your positive comments about RIDE and will keep up the good work.

  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Why do you put a map in the mobile app to show the train status instead of just a list of times?

    VRE Response
    VRE Mobile has a link to where you can access the Train Status map. The list of times is specific to the station you are boarding at and how long your train will take to get there.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    The speaker is too low in car #865 on Train #306, so we cannot hear the conductors announcements and on car #713 on Train #309 the speaker is too loud. Please fix these speaker volumes.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the specifics, we have pass this along to our mechanical operations team to look into it. As you may know, you can submit train issues here which are sent directly to the mechanical team for faster resolution.

  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I missed the Meet the Management at L'Enfant Plaza and I see you don't have any events at the Woodbridge station. Why are you doing Lorton and not Woodbridge?

    VRE Response
    Sorry we missed you, Davin. We are having a pop-up event at Lorton to discuss the platform extension project. Pop up events aren't going to be as big as Meet the Management, but staff will be there to discuss projects or issues relevant to that station. In the spirit of pop-up, we just might have an event at Woodbridge, so stay tuned.

  • Queue from the Q Continuum (Star Trek NG Reference) from Manassas, VA asks
    On Manassas 322 in the south end of the Quiet Car, there is an OCD-addled clown who gets into the queue between Alexandria and Crystal City to detrain at UNION STATION! I understand that queuing means detraining. A number of us have fairly tight connections to other transportation and it would help if this gentleman would stay out of the way. Can the conductors assist and is queuing two stations ahead a negative VRE record?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the trekkie reference, Q. Because we wish we could end queuing that easy. In all seriousness, we have formed a Anti-Queuing Committee to formulate a plan to combat this continuous issue. We will also discuss this specific issue with the crew on 322.

  • Gee from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Why didn't VRE send email notices about the cancellation of Amtrak trains this week, so STEP UP riders could plan accordingly?

    VRE Response
    Amtrak 174 was canceled between Richmond and Washington DC through June 8th due to track work in Richmond.  A Train Talk notice was sent on June 2nd.

    If we know in advance, we put out a Train Talk.  Last night, when 85 was canceled, we put out a Train Talk to that effect.

  • Christian from Alexandria VA asks
    I am going to be a new rider and i am going to try to get my workplace to help me with the expenses, how big of a discount will i have when if i get my job to join by using SmartBenefits?

    VRE Response
    Welcome Christian, we're glad you have chosen VRE for your commute.  Discounts are applied to multi-ride tickets, regardless of how the fare is paid.  The biggest discount is for monthly passes.  Please feel free to call our office at 703-684-1001 if you have questions on how to use your SmartBenefits, or if your benefits are handled in some other program.  Check out our pricing here:

  • Feeling Neglected from Stafford, VA asks
    I've inquired about this before and the answer I feel was unsatisfactory. Why have the "Meet the Management" stopped coming any further south than the Franconia/Springfield station? You have many, many riders who do not travel that far north and it is not fair to those of us who don't. I ride from Leeland to Quantico. I have no means now to "Meet the Management" or get any of the 25th Anniversary promotional goodies. I sent an email to on 05/10/17 as instructed and received no email response except the auto response so I know it was received. I've checked your site for info on the improvements to the Quantico Station (primarily the overhead footbridge) but there is none. One area I'd like to discuss at a "Meet the Mgmt" but I don't get the chance since I don't travel far enough north. In May's forum we were told there would be "Pop-up Events" and to stay tuned for the complete schedule of events. The only schedule I received was the Meet the Management schedule, there were no Pop-Up events scheduled. Clearly, the people who only ride for a few stations are not the big money makers and therefore are not as important as the riders who ride further north. Feeling like the train just left me behind at the station...alone and stranded.

    VRE Response
    We do have several pop-up events currently scheduled, including:

    06/14 - Lorton - Platform extension project

    06/20 - Manassas Park - Parking expansion

    06/21 - Quantico - Station improvements

    6/28 - Rolling Road - parking

    7/12 - as mentioned earlier, Broad Run - Parking Lot safety

  • Angie from Manassas, VA asks
    Are you able to contact the City of Manassas about an abandoned car in the parking garage? There's a car on level 3 parked right next to the South stairwell that's been there for about a month; has a full coat of dust/pollen on it. Thank you!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Angie, we'll pass this on to the City.

  • Amanda from Manassas asks
    There is a big pothole by the parallel parking spots entering the Manassas Park Station. I'm not sure if Manassas Park or VRE is responsible for that area, but can you look into getting it fixed? Thanks!

    VRE Response
    The City of Manassas Park has been notified.

  • Charlotte from Manassas VA asks
    What happened to the quiet car signs from the quiet car? There used to be signs posted every 3rd or so window stating that it was the quiet car and what the rules were. The quiet car hasn't ended, has it?

    VRE Response
    No, we have not discontinued the quiet car. We will direct our mechanical operations team to ensure the quiet car signs are prominently displayed in the quiet car for each train.

  • Dave from Woodbridge, Va asks
    The 300 Express is a very popular train. Any chance that train can depart Spotsy an additional 10-12 minutes earlier in the morning in order to get ahead of the 1st Manassas train? On most days this train gets caught behind that train and has to creep from Alexandria to Crystal City.

    VRE Response
    Not at this time Dave.

  • Kent from Fredericksburg VA asks
    Can you improve the signage at the stops? They are impossible to see in the evening, and some of the car's PA systems do not work well. In the winter it is very hard to know what stop you are at. I have asked this in other forum's and was told each time that VRE was looking at it and it would be solved "soon". Not impressed with your definition of "soon".

    VRE Response
    Kent, we do have a new station signage package which was developed for the Spotsylvania station.  All stations will be upgraded to the new signage in subsequent projects.

  • Rosemary from Bristow, Virginia asks
    Will VRE wait until a really bad accident happens before they do a HUGE safety crack down at Broad Run? The riders, pedestrians and drivers are some of the biggest idiots in the world just to be 'first out' of the parking lot. Pedestrians pay little to on attention to cars or their surround while pushing, shoving and running across the parking lot; then there are the slow walker that are obvious angry that YOU are in your car and not them because they will do everything to keep you from pulling out of your spot; the cars are parking along the green at the AP blocking our views to get onto the street; cars are literally parked everywhere to pick up..(where is the kiss and ride? bad thing to have the uber desperate to leave cars and pedestrians in the same place) AND THEN there are the que balls that will literally push you down the train steps to start running. They will jump over the rails, fences, plants, push down YOUR grandma, kick my cat...and any other thing that they can do to be first. PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!! Maybe an all out push to get VRE folks out there for a few downs to educate and bring attention to proper behavior? Yes, Broad run people act like children; or maybe just morons. Let's all remember we ALL want to get home quickly but most important SAFELY!! PLEASE HELP VRE!!!

    VRE Response
    Thank you for the comments Rosemary.  As you know, we have shared the repeated comments with Prince William County and we are working with the county on ways to have a positive impact on this behavior.  On July 12, we will be at the Broad Run platform for a pop-up event, similar to Meet the Management.  The focus of the event will be parking lot safety and we have invited representatives from Prince William County PD to join us so they can witness the issues first-hand.  We will be there for all afternoon trains, so please stop by and share your comments in person.

  • Vienna Jordan from Washington, DC asks
    I have Step-up tickets that I bought at $5.00. Will I be able to use them after the price increase July 1, 2017?

    VRE Response
    Great question.  As with all of our tickets, the step-ups don't expire until one year after the date of purchase.  If you know you're going to be riding Amtrak frequently, pre-purchasing now, before the price goes up may be a good strategy, as long as you will use the ticket within a year.  VRE pays Amtrak the full price of the ticket at the time of purchase, not when it is used, so there are no refunds or swaps for unused or expiring tickets.

  • Yay from FXBG, VA asks
    Where can I find the new TLC rates? Thanks!

    VRE Response
    Due to the timing of WMATA's fare increase in relation to VRE's, Transit Link Cards will experience two price changes. You can find the new TLC rates here:

  • Redha from Burke, VA asks
    Is there any plan to expand the parking lot at rolling road station?

    VRE Response
    Fairfax County is looking at possible solutions.  For now, we suggest trying the Burke Centre station which has ample parking availability in the garage.  We'll keep you posted as we hear more about Rolling Road.

  • Myrna from Manassas, va asks
    I have a reduced rate ten ride ticket for seniors Which I use occasionally. When will it expire at the present rate?

    VRE Response
    Hi Myrna - any unused rides expire one year from the date of purchase.

  • Brad from Lorton, VA asks
    With the new platform in Lorton, will there be more than one access point from the parking lot onto the platform? It would seem like a waste to put in the new parking lot and new platform and still make people walk the length of the train back to the only access point. Thanks.

    VRE Response
    Great question Brad, there will be an additional entrance/exit area towards the north end of the platform. Check out our project page here. We will provide diagrams in the near future.

  • Mike from Manassas asks
    It appears that it will be many years before the Long Bridge is expanded to 4 tracks. You have stated that is the limitation to adding more trains. The new storage area in Washington will allow VRE to store more and longer trains. Is there any way for VRE to lengthen some or all station platforms so longer trains can in the future to be operated ? That way no more trains in near future but longer trains have more space for passengers.

    VRE Response
    Good question Mike.  Our plan is to extend all platforms to accommodate 8 cars, and to expand all trains to 8 cars.  Lorton platform is currently in the process of being expanded with others following shortly. You can learn more about our projects at



  • Kevin C. from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    just a suggestion - your scrolling alerts in each car - could you also configure them to provide snapshots of the local time as each notice moves through ? it would be beneficial I think for all riders - keep up the good work!!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Kevin, great idea.  The lack of connectivity to synch the time may be a challenge with the current system, but we'll explore the possibility.


  • Dale from Lorton, VA asks
    I have posted this question multiple times and the issue still has not been resolved. The Lorton VRE parking lot (and grassy areas) is disgusting. There is trash strewn throughout the walkway areas and the portable restrooms used by the Connector bus drivers. Is it VRE's goal to just keep adding new stations and not enforce / maintain the existing stations? I keep hearing "it's the Counties problem", but it is your station. Why doesn't VRE take more of a proactive role in helping keep their stations / parking lots clean? The rates keep going up; so I'm sure you can find a resource or two to assist with this problem since your calls to the Counties have gone unanswered.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Dale.  We have a facilities maintenance crew which handles the platform and trash cans there.  The remainder of the lot is the responsibility of Fairfax County.  We will share your comments with the County and ask our Facilities Manager to see if we can work with them for a solution.

  • Mike from Spotsylvania asks
    Amtrak has apparently cancelled train 174 completely. They made no announcement, nor has VRE, as far as I can tell. It is hard to find information, even through Google. There is a cryptic notice on "Schedule changes from July 10-September 2017," but it's only June. The announcement just said three trains were being cancelled between DC and New York. It didn't say which trains or for how long. Can you give us some information? Thanks

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Mike.  Amtrak 174 was cancelled between Richmond and Washington, DC due to major track work in the Richmond area.  The train still operates from DC to Boston. The schedule change is effective through today, June 7th, so normal service should resume tomorrow.

    We sent a Train Talk out on June 2nd about this change when we were notified by Amtrak.

  • Steve from Burke asks
    Did the kids throwing rocks at trains north of backlick road ever get caught?

    VRE Response
    Norfolk Southern Police and Fairfax County were investigating, but we have not heard of any resolution.


  • Leeland Rider from Stafford, VA asks
    Myself and others have noticed that the last several weeks the train ride has been much rougher. It used to be a fairly smooth ride but these last few weeks after I arrive at work in the morning or home in the evening I feel like I've been beat up. We're being tosseled around in the seats and the stops are not smooth either, more like stops are a bit too fast and slammed brakes at times. Is this related to new conductors, track 3 or something else?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback.  The third track construction and engineer training may account for some of this, but we'll pass your comments on to the train crews and CSX to see if there is anything we can do to mitigate the effects.

  • Greg from Burke asks
    Not a complaint,just a question. I've noticed that train 331 idles at Union Station much longer before opening its doors than any other train. I've seen it arrive 30 minutes prior to departure but not open its doors for 20 minutes or so. Whats unique about this train? Sometimes I don't make 329 and have wondered. Thanks and keep up the great service.

    VRE Response
    Train 331 (Departs Union Station at 5:05 PM) usually arrives at the station early because it is stored at our Broad Run yard after morning service.  It then makes a deadhead move (no stops, no passengers) back up to Union Station for the afternoon service.  If the deadhead train encounters no delays, it will arrive at Union Station early and then won't depart until 331's scheduled time.

  • Q-Ball Ranter from Broad Run asks
    WHY are we standing behind people NOT getting off at the current stop? Every day, the same guy, stand up at Crystal City and he does NOT get off the train until Union Station. Chronic Q-balls should have to get off the train at the next stop!! To que-up 2 stops prior to where you are actually departing the train is not only rude; but could cause problems for others when they don't realize there isn't actually a line waiting to get off the train. PLEASE HELP STOP THE WAY EARLY Q_ING!!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Q, we will reiterate this again with the train crews. We will ask the train crews to position themselves at specific cars where they know there is an issue.

  • Jeffery from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    The ticket validating/purchase machine on the north end of the Spotsylvania Stop doesn't work a lot of the times and we have to take the long walk to the other end to validate our tickets. Is there any chance of placing another machine on the north for use when one isn't working?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Jeffery.  We directed the technicians to get this resolved today, and just heard back, the repairs have been made.

  • Christine from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    I would like to know why VRE policy allows extra spacing for a person with a disability (i.e. wheelchair, scooter, or walker takes up additional unpaid seating spaces), allows extra spacing for a bike (i.e. passenger pays for 1 ticket, bike takes up additional 2-3 unpaid spaces), but no policy with respect to a service dog who is accompanying a disabled passenger (service dog is forced to the confined space under the seat of the disabled passenger). There is a gentlemen with a service dog who rides the 311 train home on certain days of the week. His service dog is forced to remain under his seat with little to no space. The service dog remains on heightened alert due to the fact that there is no separation with surrounding passengers. Please consider this a request that VRE consider revising its policy to include additional space for a disabled person's service dog. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    Thank you for the input Christine, we will further review and consider your request.

  • Just me from Spotsylvania asks
    Are Ecigarettes and vape considered the same as cigarettes as far as use only on the north end of the platforms? Will there ever be total smoking ban on the platforms? Can vape units be used on the trains as I've seen?

    VRE Response
    E cigarettes are treated the same as any other form of smoking.  As such, E cigarettes are permitted at the North end of the platforms not onboard the trains.

  • Amber from Fredericksburg asks
    What can we do to get the light fixed over the stairs in Alexandria? The light would greatly detract people from peeing all over them. The constant urine smell in the morning is nauseating.

    VRE Response
    The City of Alexandria has been notified about the light fixture and we will ask our facilities maintenance crew to pressure wash/clean the area again.

Thank you for joining us for another edition on the Online Forum where VRE Senior Operations Management: Rich Dalton - Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer and Chris Henry, Director of Rail Operations, Brian Barton from CSX and others answer as many service related questions for the next hour.

We have enjoyed seeing you over the past few weeks at our Meet the Management events and hope you enjoyed the chats (and the goodies)! Our last Meet the Management is this afternoon at Franconia/Springfield. If you don't get a chance to see us, don't worry, we will have smaller pop-up events throughout the summer at other stations to address any projects or issues affecting that station.

Now onto the questions!