Thanks for joining us today. Please pay attention to this freezing weather. This is not an overly typical temperature range for our region, so be aware there are components in your car (batteries, hoses, etc.) that could fail as a result. Prolonged exposure to skin at these temperatures can be risky, so plan accordingly and have some cold-weather gear capable of keeping you warmer for longer than something you'd rely on to just walk from the car to the train.

Also, be aware that the ground is now frozen down several inches with such low overnight ambient temperatures. Compounding this inconvenience, with an as of yet unknown level of snow in the forecast, anticipate quick refreeze of any snow that may melt in the sunshine, and expect it to stick around. Drive cautiously, pay attention to the water pipes in your home, and when you climb stairs (including those on our railcars) use three points of contact at all times. Handrails will keep you from falling.

Oh, and one more thing. This low temperature will interfere with the refrigerant in the refrigerator in your garage. You may find food softening so move meats and dairy to indoor freezers.

Stay safe and we'll see you next month.

  • Dave from manassas asks
    Regarding FRC use for monthly-ticket holders: I used mine last year to take an out-of-town visitor into the city for the tourist thing.

    VRE Response
    FRCs are useful to monthly ticket holders for many aspects such as; if you lose your monthly ticket or if you use it for the reason you stated. 



  • GK from Springfield, VA asks
    How can a passenger know what car he or she is in? This is important information I wish is easily known because sometimes the car I am in does not reach the platform and when the conductors don't announce anything (as it happened a few times) I have to rush at the last minute through several cars to get to an open door.

    VRE Response
    The car numbers are on the inside of the end doors in each car and displayed in the vestibule area, in addition to being displayed on the exterior of the car.


  • Dave from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    If you're sending your staff to check on Fredericksburg station lights, take a look at the failed lights on the walkways under the station platforms as well.

    VRE Response
    Will do. Thanks for the feedback.


  • Ken from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    What is the current status of the Arkendale to Powell's Creek Third Track Project on the Fredericksburg line? The last update on the VRE website was posted on August 1. When is this project scheduled to be completed?

    VRE Response
    The latest updates we have received indicate the project could be completed sometime in 2020. We will confirm and update the VRE website.



  • Dave from Manassas asks
    For mobile ticket validations, why not include a time-stamp for each validation? That way the conductor could easily confirm whether it was done before boarding.

    VRE Response
    The mobile ticket expires two hours after validation, so the expiration time can be used, however there is also a time stamp for when it was validated underneath the QR code.



  • Robin from Mobile App asks
    Your Mobile app does NOT give a breakout of what is being charged to our credit cards. The app history only says how much you paid but not what it actually charged to your personal credit card.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comment Robin.  We have asked one of our mobile specialists to contact you to see if we can get the information you need in an acceptable format.



  • David from Woodbridge, VA asks
    CSX has been causing too many delays to VRE lately. CSX should know better than to operate their trains during VRE service hours. Last month they blocked the Woodbridge station when their train broke down. Can't they hold their trains until after VRE service?

    VRE Response
    CSX attempts to keep train delays to a minimum. Unfortunately, there have been some mechanical issues that have caused delays. Train dispatchers take into consideration not only delays to individual trains, but also traffic fluidity that affects the region as well as the network.

  • john from fred asks
    Just a comment; I was on train 302 last Thursday during the delay due to the disabled freight train on the Long Bridge. Why was train 302 removed from the Train Status page (both GPS and manual tracking) before we had even arrived at Crystal City?

    VRE Response
    302 was accidentally timed out when staff were attempting to manually adjust the delay times, unfortunately this removed 302 from the map.



  • Vienna from Hanover, Va asks
    Is there any way you can turn the heat up on the trains. To sit by the window is like being outside. You can actually feel the air coming in the window.

    VRE Response
    We continue to monitor the operation of the climate control systems on all cars. If you remember which car number or even train number and date, we will look to see if there was any defects reported or repairs made.


  • Matthew from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Will VRE ever install WIFi? With greater use of phone tickets customers hit many dead area. Therefore, tickets cannot be shown.

    VRE Response
    We have no immediate plans to add WiFi, because of the many dead areas you mention.  We are in the process of releasing a Request For Information to the market, to see if there are any realistic solutions which could provide the service necessary given the constraints we face.

    VRE Mobile tickets may be validated without a cell signal.  The system was designed specifically to account for the frequent loss of signal.  Purchases, however, need a connection.  Tickets may be purchased anytime, anywhere you have a connection so when you arrive at the platform, you simply need to validate.


  • Richard from Bristow asks
    Can you please give us an update on the L'Enfant project that will enable train 327 to gain another coach? Is it a red tape delay? Still in construction? You haven't forgotten about us, have you?

    VRE Response
    Our tentative date to begin utilizing the L'Enfant storage tracks is February 5th, 2018.  327 will be expanded to 8 cars as soon as we begin utilizing the new storage tracks.



  • Kevin from Manassas asks
    Hello, after experiencing severe delays, can you please give monthly pass holders an option of a step-up ticket rather than a free ride certificate (or allow use of the FRC as a get out of jail free card for occasions when you play gotcha after they forget to switch their monthly pass after the start of a new month). We realize you've heard this before from monthly riders that the free ride certificate is of little use whereas we actually may have a need for a step-up ticket sometime to take Amtrak since you have no mid-morning inbound trains on the VRE schedule. Your free ride certificates seem to be an insincere apology if you're slighting monthly riders, please at least consider some other options that might be useful for everyone.

    VRE Response
    Monthly passes are discounted 34% so that riders essentially ride the train one week for free. This added discount helps to cover riders for any holidays, cancellations due to weather and/or extreme delays.



  • Fabricio from Manassas Park, VA asks
    Two small suggestions/questions: I think some VRE ads for cold/flu season would be great! There are some open mouth coughers/sneezers on the train that could use a reminder that catching germs is not part of anyone's journey. Sneezing/coughing into your elbow is the way to go! Also, I'm not sure why the standing means detraining problem even exists. Are people just so antsy to get out of the station? So weird that people do that. Anyways, just to let you know, I am a NYC transplant who has taken the MTA for years. Since riding VRE two months ago, it is a DREAM-- polite staff, easy ticketing, timely trains, and comfortable cars. I just wanted to add some outside perspective feedback and let you know that some of the customers who complain need to take the MTA for a couple of years and be thankful that they aren't packed like sardines (like, literally pressed up against strangers) on trains that aren't on time. Happy new year!

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Fabricio, and welcome to Virginia.  We'll add some messaging about cold and flu season.  We appreciate the positive feedback on your experiences with VRE and are pleased that you have chosen us for your commute.




  • Gee from Woodbridge asks
    Happy New Year! The VRE staff and crew are fantastic! Can the engineer sound the whistle upon entering the station? It's cold and many of us are in the station store keeping warm then rushing once the train approaches.

    VRE Response
    Happy New Year, Gee.

    The trains do sound their horn when approaching the station platform.



  • Richard from Bristow, VA asks
    My question is a follow up to your answer from last month. There is a SUV that parks directly in front of the walk up to the platform at Broad Run when dropping off his passenger which is quite annoying. The curb is painted yellow which should indicate to the driver not to park/stand there but it doesn't seem to register. Please follow up and remind this SUV driver to pull up where the curb is not painted yellow in order to allow the remaining passengers access to the platform instead of having to walk around and breathe in his car's exhaust each morning. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    Richard, please drop us a note at with information on which train you're catching.  We will have our staff check it out.


  • Keith McElfresh from Spotsylvania, VA asks
    Newly installed speed bumps at the Spotsylvania Station Parking Lot: Was there consideration for snow removal prior to installation or was it simply a way to slow the speed to even a slower crawl while departing the station parking lot in the afternoon?

    VRE Response

    The speed bumps are there to help control speed over the new parking counters, but will also keep speed down in general.

  • Joe in Spotsy from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Why was a speed bump installed at the entrance of the Spotsylvania Parking lot. Really no need for it.

    VRE Response
    Joe, the speed bump is designed to slow cars down as they enter.  It was installed to help us test the new Automated Parking Count System, which is more accurate if cars are going less than 35 mph.



  • Brad from Springfield, VA asks
    I ride my bicycle to the VRE station daily and lock it to the racks. I have noticed that there are several bicycles that have been abandoned and are taking up space. They have not moved in the 6 months that i have been using the VRE, the tires are flat and the gears and chains are rusted. Can you have these abandoned bicycles removed.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Brad.  We'll forward the comments to Fairfax County to address.




  • Rosemary from Broad Run asks
    Broad Run Parking lot - the 'do not enter' gate - WHY is VRE continuing to allow this to happen. There are a lot of people using that little satellite parking lot as a path to the bigger parking lot. This is incredibly unsafe AND it does say 'do not enter'. AND cars are parking along the road there again too. When is VRE going to stop these practices? AND How about those cars that park in the 'do not park' spot at the main gate and block the walkway to that little parking lot? There needs to be a LOT of parking lot education at Broad Run and nothing is happening.

    VRE Response
    Please provide more details to and we'll look into this.


  • Carol from asks
    Safety: When will the light be restored on the steps at Alexandria on track 2 side. Someone is going to get hurt because they can't see going down to the bottom

    VRE Response
    We have asked one of our facilities contractors to head out there again to address the light.


  • Spotsylvania from Lot asks
    What is going on at the Spotsylvania commuter lot, there are several church groups that set up at different locations around the entrances harassing riders and putting pamphlets on vehicles that end up on the ground does VRE allow that or is it a county owned lot? Also at the same lot what is with the speed bumps?

    VRE Response
    There are several groups who greet passengers at different stations.  They are allowed to be there, but are not to be on the platform, may not impede traffic flow, and should not be papering automobiles.  Generally, they just say "Good Morning" and will only have further discussion if approached.  If you see something to the contrary, please let us know through or call our office at 703-684-1001.

    The speed bumps added recently are to assist with the testing of our Automated Parking Count system installed in December.  The counters are accurate up to 35 mph, but unfortunately some drivers exceed that speed. 


  • Bill from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    The L'Enfant passengers in the morning are still queuing up even before we arrive at Crystal City and blocking the aisle on the express train. The conductors still do not catch this because they wait in the vestibule and step off once the train arrives at the stop. Please put a stop to this. It makes that standing means detraining sign a complete joke!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Bill.  We have shared your comment with the Keolis Managers here in the studio with us today.  They will address this in the daily job briefing.



  • Bob from Woodbridge , VA asks
    What do the conductors do during the time between the morning and afternoon trains? What is the average length of their workday?

    VRE Response
    For the most part, the crews have a mandatory rest period between trips at a hotel near the midday storage yard.  

    For information about Hours of Service, check out our Train Dictionary at


  • Debbie from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Are the car numbers located somewhere on the inside of the car? I see them in the outside, but not the inside. If not, I suggest they are added somewhere visible, like under the marquee. It would be helpful to be able to identify which car you are in in an emergency.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Debbie, the car numbers are located on the doors at each end of the car, as well as in the vestibule.


  • Bryan from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    As someone who experienced the "other side" of the ticketing process due to issues with the mobile app (the train conductor apparently thought that because I was opening the app I was validating the ticket while we were underway), can you clarify the reason for the two step purchase/validate process? I've ridden many other commuter rail systems and none of them seem to operate in a similar way to VRE in this regard. I can understand why paper tickets must be validated before boarding (because there is no other way to validate them other than at a TVM), but when the mobile app makes it as simple as clicking a button to validate a ticket, why can mobile tickets not be validated on trains?

    VRE Response
    Good question Bryan.  State law requires tickets to be validated prior to boarding the train.  VRE does not have a separate fare enforcement staff, so we ask our conductors to inspect fares.  Without being able to guarantee 100% ticket inspection, the opportunity exists for some to validate only if the conductor comes through.  As a subsidized operation, protecting the revenue from fares is very important.  One of the conveniences of VRE Mobile is allowing the passenger to validate anytime prior to boarding the train.

Happy New Year, and welcome to our first installment of the Online Forum 2018.  Joining us in the studio today are Brian from CSX and Paul from Keolis.  We are looking forward to a successful, productive 2018, and feedback from our passengers is a key factor in our success.  That being said, on to the questions: