Thanks for all the great questions and your patience while we worked out our technical difficulties. If you did not have your question answered, please email where we answer all inquiries within one business day.

Safety tip for the month - Football season is back! Your face may be in your phone perfecting your fantasy line up, but be aware this behavior distracts you from your surroundings. Avoid unnecessary injury and keep your head up.

Rich, Chris, et al.

  • Sam K from Fred asks
    This is not a question but please post it. To all, Fellow commuters, we all feel the pain of not having a perfect system. We can always find something to complain about....Please Give the VRE management the credit they deserve, after all they are humans and doing their best to help Commuters. We easy get into the habit of complaining rather being positive (me first). I started taking the train since it started service and I have to say THEY HAVE COME A LONG WAY! Not everything is under VRE's control :-). Get involved and write to your Rep/Congress to fight for better services! To the VRE Management ( Ops director, IT Director, and CEO, COO offices, and the immediate VRE management), THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO GET US TO AND FROM WORK AND HOME SAFELY! If our Commuters knew how you spend your days, nights, weekends to ensure safe and smooth rail for the commuters, I am sure they will be humbled. OUR HATS OFF TO YOU ALL, SAM K.

    VRE Response
    Posting now!


  • dave from va asks
    how do I get on to the forum so I can watch what is asked?

    VRE Response
    On the page where the "Ask A Question" button is, click on "Click here" to see this month's forum happen live.

    This is also the link.


  • Robert from Woodbridge asks
    In the past, you could "follow along" on the on-line forums as the questions were being asked and answered. Now you have to wait a couple days to see what was being asked and answered. Doesn't this defeat the purpose? You can no longer follow up to a question that was asked early in the forum.

    VRE Response
    We had some difficulty in the beginning of the hour but now the questions are being posted real time. We are sorry if this is not the case for you. The page is set to auto-update so you may wish to check your browser settings to see if there is something preventing your broswer from doing so.


  • Mark from Burke asks
    Your previous answer about bikes conflicts with what is on the website. Bikes are allowed only in the northernmost car on the applicable train, NOT in all cars.

    VRE Response
    We need to update the website to state the bicycle will go into the car specified by the conductor.


  • Dave from Woodbridge asks
    I understand queing can be an issue if people get up way to early prior to their stop. But it does go both ways, people shouldn't wait until the last minute to get up for their stop. I don't know if they are sleeping or not paying attention but for those instances that is not the "queing" person's fault.

    VRE Response
    Agreed Dave, but there is no issue if everyone stays seated until the train departs the station.  If, at that point, someone tries to detrain, they have missed their opportunity, but as long as the train is sitting at the station with the doors open, everyone should remain seated.



  • B from Manassas asks
    I confirm what Mike says about the L'Enfant and Crystal City tickets.. I see it often.. I also see people get on at Alexandria and ride into DC.. No tickets at all.

    VRE Response
    Thanks, B.



  • Big D from WB asks
    The 300 Express is a very popular train. Any chance this train will ever depart soon in the morning? Maybe leave Spotsylvania 10-15 minutes earlier each morning?

    VRE Response
    No plans right now Big D to move that train to an earlier schedule.



  • Nikee from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Are there plans to add bathroom facilities at Rippon?

    VRE Response
    No plans to add a restroom at Rippon, however, we do have restrooms on every train.



  • Fredericksburg Rider from Dumfries, VA asks
    When an announcement is made regarding what cars/doors that will NOT make the platform -- can it be short and sweet? Suggest: Last two cars will NOT make the platform please move forward two cars. The message we currently hear at ever stop is: Last two cars will not make the platform so you will need to move up to see a conductor so Woodbridge station last two cars will not make the platform please move forward -- the conductor repeats it several times and long winded. Then there are other conductors that get to the point -- Last two cars will not make the platform please move up two cars. Suggest to shorten the message about cars not making the platform. Thank you

    VRE Response
    The conductors want to make sure that riders know so they don't miss their stop. We will work with the crews on consistent and concise messages.


  • Madison from Dale City asks
    Just would like to say thank you to the staff that runs VRE Fredericksburg and Amtrak 86 & 125!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback. We will pass the kind words along to the staff.


  • John from asks
    What's the purpose of the new "ramp to nowhere" at the Rippon station? It's already been overcome by grass/weeds.

    VRE Response
    See previously answered question.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Sometimes when I open my ticket in the mobile app it gives the error "You need to connect to our servers to continue". I don't have an online connection on the train. Why is it doing this when the ticket is stored on our phone?

    VRE Response
    We're not sure Davin.  If you are just launching a ticket, no connection is necessary  We'll ask someone to look at your account and see if we can get it addressed.  Someone will contact you by the end of the day.



  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Now, that it is September and school and congress are back in session, the train is a little more crowded. Reminder to not put your bags on the seat next to you blocking someone from sitting there. Your bags did not buy a ticket and therefore is not entitled to a seat. Either put on the floor below you or on the rack above.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the courtesy reminder Davin.  We'll also ask the conductors to be more aware of this as ridership increases.



  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I saw the new signals north of the L'Enfant Plaza station and the old signals on the rusted poles are removed. However, they don't appear operational. Will it be turned on soon? I assume they are for the storage track. I also see that when the deadhead Manassas Train stops waiting to go to Union Station that it stops father back then before.

    VRE Response
    See previously answered question.



  • Bill from Burke asks
    Despite your intense messaging about standing equals detraining, there has been no enforcement of that policy on train 331, and queuing remains an issue.

    VRE Response
    Duly noted Bill.  This will be addressed with the conductors and their supervisors.

  • Jeffrey from Lorton, VA asks
    With all the new construction at Lorton Station, is there a chance that you would put in a few dedicated motorcycle parking spaces?

    VRE Response
    We'll share your comments with Fairfax County who manages the lot.



  • Joe from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Thanks for the common sense adjustment to the new CSX signal at L'Enfant. The engineer now stops to allow passengers in the last three cars to disembark without walking forward three car lengths and adding time to their commute. I'm also grateful for the step boxes at L'Enfant, especially in the quiet car. I quit jumping when I retired from the Army. My knees still remind me.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Joe. We will continue to monitor and look for improvements.



  • Joseph from Frederickburg, Va. asks
    I have been riding the VRE since 2014. I believe that fairs have gone up twice since then and Rider numbers have grown exponentially. The seats that are currently on the trains are worn and have no cushion or softness to them any longer. I am hoping that management could somehow see their way to upgrading the seats on the trains. I am in the seat for at least 1.25 hours but could be there for over two hours and the hard seats cause massive discomfort to my tailbone and spine. I believe that this is a fair request based upon the cost of our tickets and that we ride daily year in and year out.

    VRE Response
    It is certainly a fair request, Joseph. This is definitely on our project list to address and when we set a timeline, we will let our riders know.



  • Dave from Spotsylvania asks
    I have been riding 305 since the schedule last changed. All of a sudden yesterday 305 started changing where it stopped at Lorton and Rippon. The quiet car previously did not make the platform, but now it does and the last car doesn't. Why was this changed? If items like this change in the future can you notify people ahead of time?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Dave.  It may be because they needed to utilize the wheelchair lift in a specific car requiring a change in how the train stopped on the platform, or it may simply be a change in strategy by the crew to help better distribute passengers throughout the train.  We'll check.




  • Sandra from Batesville, VA asks
    I don't see Charlottesville VA listed as one of your stations. There is a train station there. Why can't I travel from Charlottesville to other parts of VA via VRE?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Sandra.  VRE is a commuter rail service, providing service into and out of DC from Northern Virginia.  We do not operate as far south or west as Charlottesville.  Try Amtrak (1-800-USA-RAIL).

  • Fred from Broad Run, VA asks
    I know this has been talked about before, but there is still an issue with parking lot safety at Broad Run. It happens in the morning too, but the evening is worse. People charge out of there as fast as they can without looking, and often go against the arrows marked on the pavement. I got hit in the parking lot once when I was walking to my car (no injury) by a guy who didn't even stop to see if I was ok. With the days getting shorter, I am worried what this winter will bring.

    VRE Response
    Prince William County is aware of this issue and participated in our Pop Up event held there several weeks ago. They have expressed an interest in helping us address this problem but as the parking facilities fill and empty during rush hour, they are often limited in resources. We'll continue to keep this topic present in our discussions with them.


  • Jeffrey from Lorton, VA asks
    Are going to do anything about preventing folks from driving the wrong way (against the arrows) at Lorton Station in front of the bus stop (bus turn around)? I have seen a few almost head on collisions and a bus had to wait for a vehicle to back up out of the way so the bus can get past. My suggest would be to repaint the arrows because they are faded and put up wrong way or do not enter signs.

    VRE Response
    We'll discuss with Fairfax County Police.



  • S from Manassas asks
    Thank you for establishing the "no queuing" policy. It is great to be able to get off without having to squeeze through a line of people waiting for the next stop. Also, thank you to all the conductors who help us get to where we need to go and keep us safe. We appreciate all of you!

    VRE Response
    Thanks S, it is great to hear positive feedback on the efforts.


  • Dan from Gainesville, VA asks
    I'm curious about the recent change in NB operations at L'Enfant. It seems the change to stopping well short of the end of the platform (resulting in some cars at the back being off the platform on longer trains) was a result of the signal being relocated to the south, which in turn appears to have been necessitated by the new siding track just to the north. However, that track was initially constructed a few years ago. How could they have not realized at that time that it would result in the signal relocation and the effective shortening of the L'Enfant platform--was something missed in the design process?

    VRE Response
    See previous question.



  • Jim from Burke asks
    Since the change to the stop location at L'Enfant, the Manassas 326 approach is very slow ... seems like we are losing a couple of minutes. Will the engineer acclimate soon so we arrive on time?

    VRE Response
    Good question Jim.  With the new signal location at L'Enfant, the trains have to approach more slowly so they can stop short of the signal.  We will continue to monitor and if necessary, make necessary adjustments to the schedule.


  • Bob from Burke asks
    Why did csx place the new stop signal where it essentially shortened the platform for longer trains?

    VRE Response
    Good question Bob.  The signal was relocated to allow CSX to control access to the siding at the North end of the platform.  While it has effectively shortened the platform for now, it will enable us to store a train on the track between morning and afternoon service.  This, along with the use of the siding south of the station, will give us the storage space needed to allow us to lengthen some of our more crowded trains, adding capacity.


  • Doug from Broad Run Virginia asks
    Your conductors on the Manassas line (at least those on the trains I ride) have basically given up on checking tickets. My ticket gets checked less than half the time. I have no idea what they are doing, almost never see them in the car I sit in, announcements other than the automated ones almost never happen. Might want to get out there and do some oversight.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Doug.  We'll address this with the train crews and their supervisors.  It helps to have extra eyes out there on the trains, so if you notice something like this again, drop us a note at so we can address the issue with the specific train crew immediately.

  • Petey from Manassas, VA asks
    Who maintains the Manassas City parking garage at the depot? Garage was recently flooded. Also, there's normally trash and broken glass until people run over enough to almost make them go away.

    VRE Response
    We'll ask our Facilities Manager to check the garage and coordinate any necessary work.  If and when you see specific issues, just let us know at and we'll make sure it gets addressed.

  • David from Fredericksburg asks
    I keep hearing the talk about standing means detraining but it's either not being enforced or just being ignored. I got off at Crystal City today and had to ask 4 people who were clogging up the door to move so I could get off. What should be the policy is for people to refrain from cuing until the train starts moving to the next stop.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the input David.  Please forward specific train/car information to and we'll address this with the crew on the train.  You are correct, passengers should not stand or queue until the train has departed the station prior to their destination.

  • Anne from Fred asks
    Knock Knock, Did you cancel the on line forum and forget to tell us?

    VRE Response
    We experienced technical difficulties but it looks good now. Thank you for your patience.

  • Dave from Future asks
    I know in the future VRE plans to have trains going north and south during the middle of the day. How many years in the future could that actually happen? Is it possible for maybe five years out or more long term?

    VRE Response
    We have no short-term plans to add reverse flow service.


  • Dave from Woodbridge, Va asks
    Starting last week the 300 Express has stopped at L'Enfant with the quiet car not reaching the platform. Since then there still seems to be some confusion and it is taking people longer to detrain thus making the train later arriving to Union Station. Any chance the 300 Express could go back to having the quiet car reach the platform? Or could you all look into having this train depart Spotsy 5-10 minutes sooner? Or finally can you all keep the communication going to insure people are informed?

    VRE Response
    Thanks Dave.  The signal at L'Enfant has been relocated closer to the North end of the platform, requiring the train to stop further back.  That means the quiet car on some northbound trains will not make the platform.  We will ask the conductors to make more announcements to allow passengers ample opportunity to move to the first available platforming car.



  • Kathy from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I was in Lorton Labor Day and the parking lot at the VRE station was almost completely full. Why are there so many cars at the Lorton Station? When I have tried to park there during a weekday, the parking lot has been full by 6:00 am. How many more parking spaces are going to be added to that station as renovation of the platform looks almost completed?

    VRE Response
    Many commuters, both VRE and bus commuters, leave cars in the lot overnight for their trip to and from their final destination.


  • Michael from Washington, DC asks
    I've noticed when the Manassas Line train pulls up to King Street and some VRE staff members who work at the King Street building board the train; they tend to just stand in the vestibule, chat with the conductor, and proceed to stand in the vestibule at the proceeding stops instead of detraining like the Queueing Policy is supposed to enforce. If they aren't standing in the vestibule itself, they are right inside the doors, instead of moving to open seats. Do VRE staff members (non-conductors) not have to abide by the same riding rules that normal VRE passengers have to follow?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the observation Michael.  When VRE staff stand, it is typically to make sure seats are available for any other passengers wishing to sit.  Standing is not against policy.  It is different from queuing, however, when the train arrives at a station, if the car is on the platform, the staff should detrain to allow everyone else through.



  • Mark from Burke asks
    There are regular announcements about making room for other riders by putting your personal belongings in the overhead rack or under your seat. Yet it is VRE policy to allow bike riders to occupy 4 seats (3 for the bike, and one for them). Shouldn't they have to pay extra for the space they occupy?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Mark.  VRE is happy to accept bicycles on our trains as we contribute to regional efforts to keep cars off the roads.  Full-sized bikes are permitted on the last three trains on each line, as those trains typically have enough capacity to handle the bike.  The flip down seats on the south end of each car have been designated as the proper location to accommodate the bikes.  



  • John from Woodbridge, VA asks
    What's the purpose of the new "ramp to nowhere" at the Rippon station? It's already been overcome by grass/weeds.

    VRE Response
    The ramp and stairs provide public access to the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge.  We have asked our Facilities Maintenance crews to make sure the access stays clear.  You can learn more about this national wildlife refuge by reading our blog post.

  • Bill from Woodbridge asks
    Mobile tickets. I am a user a love them but I saw the 303 train today (9/6) deny boarding to a fellow passenger who also uses mobile. Apparently his phone started doing an update from Verizon before the 303 arrived. He asked the conductor what he should do. The conduct you have no ticket you can't board. I was in shock, I thought VRE had a process in place to deal with things in like this or dead phones with the monthly tickets? I guess it is good to know, as I will be returning to paper tickets.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Bill.  While it is true you need a validated ticket to board the train, we do have a means for requesting a waiver for any summons issued to a monthly pass holder who either forgot their ticket or is unable to show their ticket.  We'll discuss this with the crew on 303.



  • B from Burke asks
    I was wondering if there are any upcoming plans to re-paint the parking lines in the Rolling Road station. They are faint and difficult to see, especially in the dark and/or rain. thank you.

    VRE Response
    We are not aware of any immediate plans by Fairfax County, but will make an inquiry to see if they have any upcoming plans.

  • Christian from Spotsylvania, VA asks
    Are you planning or would you consider planning on adding service between 12:50pm and 3:10pm for the Fredericksburg Line?

    VRE Response
    Good question Christian.  We would like to be able to operate a train on each line in the window between our midday trains and the first afternoon train, but we have no immediate plans to be able to fill that gap.  Our next capacity improvements will come when we receive new cars later this year and are able to lenghten some of the trains which are currently seeing the larger crowds.




  • Ren from Spotsylvania asks
    Can you explain how the Amtrak stepup ticket works on VRE mobile?

    VRE Response
    An Amtrak Step-up ticket on VRE Mobile may be validated only after a qualifying multi-ride ticket is validated (Monthly, 10-Ride, 5-Day).  The step-up on VRE Mobile may not be utilized with a paper multi-ride ticket.



  • Obi-Wan from Kingstowne asks
    Has the queing policy been effective? Has VRE considered thatpart of the reason queing is a problem is the significant bottlnecks for both passengers and cars at VRE platforms and stations? With respect to platforms, when a new station is built is the platform constructed such that there is more than 1-3 access points for pedestrians? Living in Chicago and Southern Calfornia, this area seems to have given little forethought into providing access for pedestrians other than through narrow and restricted choke points. We notice that the Metro side platform at Franconia/Springfield had one access through way locked and apparently permanently, which makes the lines much longer when it is used. Why? That entirter retaining wall should be removed to provide better access to the platform for passengers.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comments Obi-Wan,

    The efforts to minimize queuing have been effective as we are seeing fewer issues with passengers missing their stops because they cannot get past the queuers.  That being said, we recognize the need to stay consistent in our efforts, or the issue will return.

    We also agree with your point about the benefit of additional egress points on the platforms.  When we built the platform at Spotsylvania, we made sure it had multiple egress points. As we lengthen existing platforms, like the current Lorton project, additional egress points are being added.



  • Mike from Union Station asks
    Conductors need to check tickets between L'Enfant and Crystal City. People regularly get on at L'Enfant and get off at Crystal City and don't appear to have tickets.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Mike, we'll share this with the crews.



  • Justin Haney from Stafford, VA asks
    Why doesn't the VRE post in its mobile app or online which track the trains will be arriving on?

    VRE Response
    We often do not know which track the trains will arrive on until they pass the last switch point before the station.  We put the information on the station monitors as soon as we know which track will be utilized.  We are, however, looking at enhancing our station displays and maps to be able to give the kind of detail you're asking about.  We recently issued a Request For Information to the market to see what types of technological solutions are available to enhance our communications.  This information will also be incorporated in VRE Mobile for everyone's convenience.

Welcome to another monthly edition of the Online Forum. Since September is normally the time we see an increase in new riders, this is one of our many avenues of communication with our customers in addition to Train Talk, Facebook, Twitter, and email. The online forum is a live web chat where you ask questions and senior VRE operations management, Rich Dalton – Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, and Chris Henry – Director of Rail Operations, answer in real time. We often have other guests who join us during this time. Today we have Kim Combs, the Station Manager at Union Station for Amtrak and Richard Black, Manassas Transportation Manager for Keolis. Feel free to direct any questions to them.

Our long-term riders are a vital stakeholder as well and always appreciate those who help newcomers navigate the VRE system. You may wish to check the FAQ section on our website to see what common questions people have. Of course, you are always free to call our office from 6am to 7pm (703-684-1001) for a quicker response, but we like to answer questions about any new initiatives or projects that may be coming up.

With that said, onto the questions!