Thanks for another great set of questions.

If we didn't get to your question, please submit it to

We hope everyone made it through the windstorm safely. For those of you waiting for this weekend to get after some storm cleanup, and for those thinking about spring maintenance; remember that nothing on or around your property is worth your health. Climb with three points of contact at all times and call a professional if you have doubts about your ability and stay safe.

Thanks, Rich, Chris, et al

  • Dave from asks
    Good afternoon. Any chance in the near/distant future the 300 Express could depart Spotsy 10-15 minutes sooner?

    VRE Response
    We have no plans in the near future.

  • Marie from Manassas asks
    The issue of passengers holding the vestibule doors open, letting the heat out of the cars, LOOONG before the train reaches the station is still on-going. There have been no announcements to discourage the practice and the crowds in the vestibules queueing to detrain between stops is also on-going. Is this a safe practice?

    VRE Response
    Tyreese says...Thanks for your concern. This is a concern in which we do not want passengers to hold open doors.  We will continue to address this.

  • Tom from Catlett, VA asks
    I enjoy my commute on your trains, they are clean and the conductors are super friendly!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Tom!

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    CSX needs to stop delaying VRE trains in the morning, putting Amtrak and CSX freight trains in front of VRE causing my train to be delayed. At Woodbridge, an Amtrak train came on the track VRE normally uses and yesterday a CSX train used that train. They should be on the other track. This caused VRE Train #306 to 5 minutes delayed yesterday and 10 minutes today. It is important for VRE to go first as people cannot be delayed to work. They should hold the CSX train and left VRE go ahead of it

    VRE Response
    Train dispatchers make every effort to keep the trains on time. In an effort to maintain network fluidity given unexpected events (mechanical, weather, etc.) that put trains off of their schedules, sometimes dispatchers have to route trains with the purpose of minimizing delays to the overall network. This is similar to how air traffic controllers have to adjust and prioritize traffic to maintain overall performance.  This morning's delay occurred when the dispatcher was trying to move the southbound freight train over to Track 3 to clear the route for VRE trains.  Unfortunately, an air hose separated, requiring the train to be inspected.

  • Federal Worker - Ms Thompson from Lorton asks
    If you are not getting off the train at Alexandria - SIT DOWN - I just about miss my stop every morning thanks to the red head and her crew who que in advance to get off at Crystal City !

    VRE Response
    Queuing is still an issue.  Feedback from one of your fellow passengers.

  • David from Woodbridge asks
    Saw headlines saying Amtrak will have to shut down service because of Positive Train Control. Is that true for VRE?

    VRE Response
    Amtrak has indicated it will review service on routes that are not equipped with PTC. VRE is working closely with our host railroads CSX, NS and Amtrak to install the technology on our equipment and routes.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    Is VRE considering extending the Woodbridge east platform like you did Lorton? It only fits 5 cars and the West platform is wider

    VRE Response

  • Lady from Spotsy asks
    Conductors are not telling NEW passengers about taking up seats with their bags, bodies, etc. New passengers who don't ride regularly are getting on and straddling the 2 seats or putting their luggage legs or meals in the second seat, conductors stroll thru - express train and first evening train, smile and don't say a word

    VRE Response
    Tyreese says he'll address this with those specific crews.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    On Train #306, some conductors chat with passengers and not checking tickets. Please tell them not to hold the vestibule door open while chatting. This lets the cold air into the passenger compartment. I prefer the door stay closed until we arrive at the station

    VRE Response
    Thanks Davin,  We'll address this with the crew.

  • 300 Express from Fred Line asks
    Is the standing means detraining policy still in effect? If so please pay attention to the next to the last car each morning. Both sides start cueing prior to the Alexandria and Crystal City stops and make it very hard for others to detrain.

    VRE Response
    Will do. Thank you for the heads-up.

  • Concerned from Woodbridge, Va asks
    The same 4-5 individual each day cross over rt.1 to Occoquan Rd from the right lane illegally before 5pm. Please notify PW County Police to monitor.

    VRE Response
    We'll alert PWC again.

  • Tim from FBG VA asks
    Lot E in Fredericksburg has 2 craters that were once potholes...have these been previously reported and is there a plan in the near future to fill and repair?

    VRE Response
    Lot E is 40 spaces we lease from a private property owner.  We will ask our Facilities Manager to follow-up with the owner.

  • A. Satified Ryder from Manassas, VA asks
    Comments from a passenger of fourteen years in lieu of questions. 1. Thank you for the safe, reliable VRE service. The conductors on 322 and 331 are uniformly friendly, helpful and professional. 2. Please remind passengers utilizing text or instant messaging in the quiet cars to silence their notification tones in addition to ringtones. This is consistent with the Quiet Car policy to silence personal electronic devices. The rest of the passengers don't need to know that you have received a text message. Thanks again.

    VRE Response
    Thank you for the feedback, we are happy you like the service.

  • Tessa from Woodbridge asks
    Read your article on saving us money with VRE Mobile. I switched from to VRE Mobile and the amount of hoops I had to jump through did not make it an easy transition. First I had to find someone in your office that 1) knew what to do and 2) would speak to me instead of directing me to a youtube video. Once I did reach your support expert, she was nice but again the process was long. I felt a warm human element with the mail provider. They even hand delivered my ticket to my office when there was an issue! Well worth the price.

    VRE Response
    Great feedback Tessa.  The process of reallocating SmartBenefits is cumbersome.  We continue to work with WMATA (Metro) on simplifying the interface with the SmarTrip and SmartBenefits systems, and our Passenger Support staff are working to become more proficient at assisting in the reallocation process.  They should be walking you through the whole process, not just referring you to a video.

  • Gregor from Broad Run asks
    Thank you VRE for everything that you do!

    VRE Response
    Thanks Gregor, we love what we do and hope it shows in the quality of service we provide.

  • Alexander from Fairfax asks
    How come we can't rate the app through VRE Mobile in your fancy new feature?

    VRE Response
    If you have comments about the app specifically, please add those to the Extra Comments box on the final screen.

  • Sandy from Fairfax, VA asks
    I have noticed a lot of debris and garbage along the train route that I take from Burke station to L'Enfant station on the Manassas VRE line. You obviously can view this debris near the train tracks and on the outskirts in the grass and wooded areas. I was wondering if the VRE performs any type of cleaning of this debris, comparable to cleaning performed on highways and roadways travelled by cars? It gives an impression of a slight uncleanliness to the train system in general. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    While efforts are made in this area, much of this issue is due to recurring, illegal dumping from properties adjacent to the tracks. Norfolk Southern Police Department and the police in the communities work together to combat this, but it remains a problem. If you see any of this taking place, contact NS police at 1.800.453.2530 and note the location. The same goes for our riders on the CSX-owned portion. Call CSX's Public Safety Coordination Center at 1.800.232.0144.

  • Bryan from Fred'burg asks
    How come your "Daily Performance" doesn't reflect a canceled service day on March 2? When airlines cancel scheduled flights for weather reasons, it is reflected negatively in their on-time performance. We get communication that service is not running, but performance communication hides it?

    VRE Response
    The information has been added to the Daily Performance page on our website.  It is not reflected in our overall On Time Performance.

  • Sandy from Fairfax, VA asks
    I've noticed that I can't always hear the announcements made on board the trains by the conductors. Even just this morning, an announcement was made that the train was stopped. A conductor made the announcement and I think he was speaking too low into the phone/microphone/intercom system. Anyway, I couldn't hear the reason why we were stopped? It lasted about 6 minutes, but in that time I was hoping a conductor would walk by so that I could tell him that the announcement was not clearly heard? Anyway, it seems based on the conductor's loudness of voice and clearness of voice, some announcements are not clearly heard by the passengers. Also, the conductor's are not aware of this issue.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Sandy.  We were on Train 300 this morning and had a similar issue.  We'll check the audio levels in all the cars and make sure they are properly set, and we'll ask the Conductors to walk through when available during disruptions to make sure everyone heard the announcements.

  • Lou from Spotsy asks
    How's the parking counter project going? Do we get to see any of the data?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for asking Lou.  The data we are seeing from Spotsylvania, our proof of concept location, is very accurate; so we are moving forward with installation at other stations.  We hope to have the real time data accessible on our website soon.  Stay tuned.

  • Marty from Louisa Va asks
    Why was the decision to cancel all VRE Service made with less than 50 minutes notification to riders ? Many of us that commute to the Spotsylvania and Broad run stations live more than an hours drive to get to those stations. I spent over 2 hours commuting to and from Spotsylvania station in high winds, downed trees and debris only to find a text sent while I was in route. There needs to be at least 90 minutes notification prior to 1st train leaving your stations.

    VRE Response
    We are part of a coordinated effort with regional agencies and the host railroads regarding the safety of the roads and of the rails and other possible service related issues. As such, each weather event is different and our goal is to make service related decisions as soon as possible.

  • Cynthia from Manassas Park asks
    I enjoy your app, its a very convenient way to purchase tickets and I never have to worry about lost tickets again. On March 3, when you canceled service, VRE mobile had no indication on there service was not running. I opened my app that morning, checked Train Status and looked to me like a service was running since it displayed the trains arriving in so-and-so minutes like it normally did. I timed my arrival to the station with VRE Mobile as I normally do and didn't realize I wasted my time until I arrived to an empty parking lot. I learned my lesson and signed up for Train Talk. I think if get all your communication platforms with the same message, you could improve on your 2.9 rating on the App Store. At least it's better than the scores the Portland and Chicago apps have! LA Metro has you beat though, with a 3.0.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Cynthia, we'll get with the developers and make sure their feed is picking up on service changes.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Shannon from Manassas VA asks
    Can you provide an update on the parking deck development at the Manassas Park station? Thanks!

    VRE Response
    The Conceptual Design for the garage has been completed. The Preliminary Design and the Environment Clearance plans are currently in progress.  See more on our Development page about this, and all of our projects:

  • Micheline from Fredericksburg, Virginia asks
    Are there wheelchair facilities on every train in both direction, on the Fredericksburg line. Thank you

    VRE Response
    Yes. Every car has a wheelchair lift and every car has priority seating for wheelchair passengers.

  • Raymond from Broad Run asks
    What did the PW County people have to say about that light at the entrance to the parking lot that is never on? You said last month you would follow up with them. It is still not on when we arrive in the morning. Apparently they are not responsive to a legitimate concern? Thank you.

    VRE Response
    PWC is aware of the light issues but we'll revisit the matter.



  • robert from dumfries asks
    Is there an official policy about using headphones/earplugs when listening to your personal electronic device (and not in the Quiet Car). I thought they were required but have recently had several incidents of people not using them. It seems to me a) they should be required and b) it should be stated so in your On Board Policies. Crews do not enforce it - act like they don't hear anything.

    VRE Response
    The Quiet car is the only car where headphones are required. If you ever have a courtesy concern, please contact the Conductor and they can address the issue with the passenger.

  • Debra from Woodbridge, VA asks
    When will all the lights in the back parking lot be repaired? It is very dark the further you go back to park.

    VRE Response
    The repairs have been made and the temporary lighting we added last week has been removed.  Our Facilities Manager will be out there this evening to confirm everything is working properly.

  • Doug from Broad Run, VA asks
    Train 324 is supposed to leave Broad Run at 5:35 AM. The train rarely makes it to the platform before 5:32. This week it has arrived at the platform after 5:35 every single day. On time performance starts with leaving the very first station on time. And that is certainly helped by arriving at the platform before you are supposed to have left. Why is the train so chronically late getting out of the yard?

    VRE Response
    Once safety checks and job briefings are completed, trains can be brought up to the platform for boarding. Depending on circumstances or issues on the railroad, some job briefings can take much longer than others.

  • Janie from Bristow, VA asks
    Now that my work schedule has changed to 10 am - 7pm, there is no way I am able to catch the last VRE out of DC, which leaves at 6:58 pm to Broad Run Station. All commuting choices leaving DC do not meet my needs except the Metro. This requires another vehicle on 66. With the changes to 66 that are coming - can the VRE extend its service to another train out of DC later than 6:58, so I can go back to riding the VRE, keep another vehicle off 66, and avoid the drive to/from the Vienna Metro Station?

    VRE Response
    Our current agreements with our host railroads only allows us to operate trains during a certain window of time. As a result, we have no immediate plans to extend our service beyond its current schedule.

  • Spotsy Ryder from Spotsylvania Ba asks
    Why does the female train conductor on the 302 train talk so much over the PA system.... she seems to be talking just to hear herself speak....

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback. While relaying information to our passengers is necessary, we can remind crews to keep those announcements simple and to the point. 

  • Fed up with being ignored from Falmouth, Virginia asks
    What is the status of improvements at Leeland Road? You have failed to respond to questions about Leeland Road Station for four months. Is there a problem that needs to be addressed at a higher level? Where is parking lot, walkover, stores, etc. Something is very fishy and someone has fish on his hands.

    VRE Response
    Check out our Development Page for updates on all projects, including Leeland Road.

  • Heidi from Spottsylvania, Va asks
    Is there anyway possible to increase handicapped parking at Spottsylvania VRE a it seems on many mornings if you don't take early trains you don't get a parking spot. Thank you.

    VRE Response
    All of our stations meet the Federal ADA parking requirements, however, we understand that our passenger population sometimes has more individuals who need special assistance than the general population. Unfortunately, our lots are first come first serve so finding handicapped parking for later trains may be an issue.

  • Axel from Spotsy asks
    I get wanting people to slow down and 35 seems reasonable. But the speed bumps you out in at the Spotsy station are ridiculous. These are bone-jarring pylons that virtually require you to stop moving. Furthermore is data leaving the lot that relevant? And traffic conditions make driving much faster than 35 a bad idea when people are usually coming and going. So thanks for punishing everyone to get a few knuckleheads to slow down. I guess it takes a knucklehead to catch one. No offense. This is the worst thing you've done at the new station and maybe the only bad thing about it.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Axel.  Regardless of the need to slow cars down for the counters, keeping speed down in and around the parking lot is important.  Yes, counting cars coming in and out is relevant because it allows us to know how many spaces remain available in the lot, especially at locations where there may be a high number of drop offs.  The speed bumps used may change as we look for a more permanent fix, but the end result will not be something which allows higher speeds.

    Fredericksburg, Brooke, Leeland Road and Broad Run are next.  We'll continue to utilize traffic management devices where necessary.

  • Alex from Broad Run asks
    To raise income for the VRE what are the chances of a business class car with larger seats or priority departure when pulling into a station. Sort like the airlines.

    VRE Response
    We have no plans to add class levels to our service at this time.  Every VRE passenger should receive the same excellent service.

  • Tammy from Springfield, VA asks
    Would it be possible for VRE to put pressure on whatever agency has jurisdiction over the Rolling Road Station parking lot to PLEASE restripe the lot? It is impossible to see the lines, especially when the pavement is wet.

    VRE Response
    Our Facilities Manager will address this with Fairfax County.

Welcome to the March version of VRE's Online Forum.  Joining Rich and Chris in studio today are: Greg Deibler, our Chief Safety and Compliance Officer, Brian Barton from CSX, Tyreese Goodson from Keolis and Kim Combs from Amtrak.

Let's head straight to the questions!