Thank you for your patience today.  If we did not answer your question, please submit them to

Rich, Chris, et al

  • Randall from Lorton asks
    I appreciate this forum and the in face communication at the stations. Lance, what is the biggest everyday challenge from a mechanical perspective?

    VRE Response
    We don't consider them as challenges but always looking for ways for improvements.

  • Dan from Burke, Virginia asks
    I've been a monthly rider for more than 10 years now, riding virtually every day. Yesterday when I pulled out my ticket sleeve to show the conductor my June monthly pass, I discovered I had not yet inserted it into the sleeve. The conductor, who has seen me most of those days over those 10 years, each and every time with a monthly pass, wrote me a summons. That he wrote the summons is certainly within the letter of the law and the scope of his duties. However, my question is do the conductors have any leeway in whether or not to write a summons? And what value of goodwill does VRE put on long time, every day riders, who conductors recognize by face if not by name, that that goodwill can be damaged by the need to write a summons for one lapse of forgetfulness in 10 years?

    VRE Response
    To combat fair evasion, conductors are asked to check all tickets throughout the entire trip and write summons for invalid tickets.  Passengers have the right to appeal the summons.  Please contact VRE if you have any other questions. 

  • Curtis from Brooke asks
    L'Enfant storage?

    VRE Response
    Currently, we hope to have the North L'Enfant Storage open for service by the end of this month.

  • Greg from Burke asks
    What does the schedule mean if it said "4:33PM"? I have noticed twice that the train 329 Manassas Southbound left L'Enfant station a minute before 4:33PM. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    Thanks. We will look into this.

  • Jim from Fredericksburg, VA asks
    Why is it the Conductors on 303 cannot close the air ducts before going thru the tunnel? The diesel smell is not what I enjoy.

    VRE Response
    We will address this with the Conductors.

  • Stephen from Fairfax, VA asks
    If you had to rate your communication on a scale from 1-10, what would you give yourself?

    VRE Response
    8 - there is always room for improvement.

  • Jack from Burke asks
    Regarding discontinuation of the Metro Option, I think Metro didn't like seeing all those potential cu$tomers passing through free. Thank You VRE for providing as long as you could.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback.

  • D from Manassas asks
    Dear VRE: How much does it cost to produce the Ride " Magazine"? Why not go digital? Complete waste of paper and money!! Filled with "news" we've already heard. Good grief.

    VRE Response
    RIDE magazine is provided in both paper and digital formats as not everyone likes digital. The cost to produce the paper RIDE magazine is covered by ad revenue.

  • Ken from Fredericksburg VA asks
    What are CSX's plans to replace the bridge in Alexandria that was demolished by the freight train derailment last month?

    VRE Response
    Different plans and options are being reviewed. It is still too early for a timeline on repairs and replacement.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Why does VRE have to left Amtrak in front it causing VRE to be delayed? Instead let VRE go in front of Amtrak. Amtrak riders are not commuters going to work, so they are not as important to get to DC on time as VRE is.

    VRE Response
    As you know Davin, CSX dispatches all trains within the CSX corridor we operate. As such, CSX will dispatch trains to not only maintain train schedules, but also maintain network fluidity.

  • Dale from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Some people like to chat with the conductor, the only problem is they hold the vestibule door open while doing so.

    VRE Response
    We will work with our conductors to ensure the vestibule doors do not remain open unnecessarily.


  • Tom from Catlett, VA asks
    So it's been almost a year with the queuing policy. What's your perspective on how well it works, what doesn't, how to improve it?

    VRE Response
    We believe the queuing policy/campaign has been effective on some trains. We continue to work to ensure compliance system-wide.


  • Brettany from Manassas asks
    "Gray Line Tour Bus is CLOSED!" has been on your website for three years. Maybe better communication on the site would be the status of the vendor(s) you are pursuing. But forget about me, as a regular rider, I know my fare buying options. However, don't you have a responsibility to serve the unbanked riders not familiar with those options at this station? There are probably more opportunities at Union Station since it is a major transportation hub.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback. We are currently working on other potential ticket vendor solutions.

  • Linda P from Manassas, VA asks
    I use the Manassas Park Station most of the time over the Manassas Station. I noticed there are new road rectangular bumps entering into the Manassas Park Station (one bump on each side). Is that a counter of who comes in and out? Just wondering. Also, I notice a great deal of pot holes there too, I think the rain may have popped out some asphalt. Thought you should know. We have to drive around them to get by in the parking areas. Thanks, Linda P

    VRE Response
    The rectangular bumps are sensors. They are used to detect the inflow/outflow of vehicles to determine the capacity/usage of the parking lot.

    We are assessing the parking surface conditions at several stations after the weather we have been having. As such, we will deploy some level of repairs accordingly.


  • Gregg from Nokesville asks
    I am satisfied with the ticketing app, I buy a ticket, I can ride. Don't listen to all the naysayers who want more functionality, I say K-I-S-S. Once you get fancy, fancy gets broken.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Gregg.


  • Why before the roosters are up? from Manassas VA asks
    I very much enjoy the monthly Forum. Would it be possible to move the notification in txt message to maybe a couple hours later? This morning it was sent at 4:00am.. In the past VRE used this time slot for urgent messages and not for informational messages.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the suggestion.


  • Norrey from Disgruntled, Franconia/Springfield asks
    First you let Metro charge us more for parking. Now you let them take away the Metro option? This is so they can be financially responsible and safe? What about the bus transfers? I'm sure that is about to go away, too. When is the next planned fare hike, 2019? Far enough away we so we forget we pay more for less?

    VRE Response
    We understand your frustration Norrey.  We are actively working with WMATA on a solution for the parking fees at Franconia/Springfield and we will continue to do the same on the Metro Option.  We will let everyone know when we have more information.


  • Leigh from Burke asks
    I've thought for a while now that there is a problem with the annunciator in the train car I ride in every morning (on train 328). I was wrong. I happened to sit where I could see the conductor making an announcement and going on and on and on and on and on about the numbers of the cars that will not make the platform. The problem is conductor error. She is holding the handset so far away from her mouth that it barely picks up her voice, and when the train jerks or bumps, it moves farther from her mouth, prohibiting it from picking up her speech at all. There's a direct correlation between a bump, the movement of the handset, and a sound cut. That's why her announcements sound like "will --t make --e pla-f--m at Alex--dr-a." Would someone please show her the correct way to make an announcement? Her long, drawn-out announcements about car numbers (which no one knows anyway) are bad enough without the constant sound cuts.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Leigh, we will work with the Conductor on this.

  • Jack from Leland asks
    Leaving out of Union Station, we occasionally we see two locomotives on Fredericksburg bound trains. Why is that?

    VRE Response
    There are several reasons you may see an extra locomotive on the train including when one locomotive is being tested, or if we are simply moving equipment between our maintenance and storage yards.



  • Scott from Fairfax, VA asks
    Are there any plans to enlarge the platform at L Enfant? It gets so crowded in the evenings that you can not move along it and is a safety hazard. It probably won't be long before the masses accidentally forces someone onto the tracks.

    VRE Response
    Yes. Plans to widen the L'Enfant platform are currently in the design phase.

  • Dave from Woodbridge asks
    Are ticket prices increasing in 2018?

    VRE Response
    There will be no fare increase for this year. However, Amtrak has increased the cost of the Step-up ticket by $1, so the price to the rider will increase from $7 to $8.


  • B from Lorton asks
    What can be done to reduce people posting flyers on the cars parked in VRE parking lots? The sign clearly states no trespassing. Is that a police enforcement issue?

    VRE Response
    Send us a copy of the flyer and we can contact the business or agency and ask them to cease distribution within our parking lots.


  • Janet from Spotsylvania virginia asks
    Re the Spotsylvania station. Are you aware of the water intrusion IN that building as a result of recent rains? Is this building checked out before commuters arrive and risk slippery conditions due to the standing water?

    VRE Response
    Thanks.  We will pass this along to our Manager of Facilities.

Welcome to June’s edition of the Online Forum.  Joining us in the studio today are Brian from CSX, Lance from Keolis (Mechanical) and Kim from Amtrak.

Meet the Management season wraps up today at Franconia/Springfield.  We have enjoyed seeing many VRE riders over the past month out at the stations.  We have heard some great comments, and answered many questions.  Come see us this afternoon, or stay tuned to Train Talk to find out where we may be next.  With so many projects underway or upcoming, we will be visiting several of our other stations later this summer and into the fall.

As many of you have seen, The Metro Option will no longer be available to assist VRE passengers during service disruptions.  We recognize the challenges this will cause but are committed to working with Metro and MARC to find a solution beneficial to all involved.

On to the questions…