The hour has flown by.  Thanks for all the great questions.  If your question was not answered, please contact us by email at

On Sunday this weekend, 10/7, we'll be operating trains for the Annual Clifton Day. Check out their website at for more information and the train schedule.  We hope to see you out there.

Be safe, 

Rich, Chris, al.


  • Debbie from Broad Run, VA asks
    Why is it that whether the passengers are getting on the train or getting off the train your conductors always either stand by the doorway in the morning just talking and watching everyone gets on the train or they stand across from the train doors and watch everyone get off the train. Would it kill the conductors to actually provide some great customer service and help the passengers with getting on and off the train with or without their bags or by taking the hands of passengers to help them de-train? They act like we all have the plague. I have encountered two of your conductors that provide this exemplary service and truly exhibit what train travel should be like. Why don't you consider making it a standard requirement of all your conductors to provide this type of service. Not everyone is a young spring chicken and not everyone is as easily able to get on and off the trains either with or without bags. Just a thought.

    VRE Response
    Thank you for your thoughts Debbie.  If assistance is needed while boarding or detraining, please let one of the conductor know before arriving at the station. 

  • Be Polite from Stafford asks
    When has it been acceptable to allow 2 passengers to queue from Woodbridge to L'Enfant, blocking people from getting out and then getting in the vestibule with the conductor to talk? This is a reoccurrence on 300. It is rude, they have been asked to move and the conductor says nothing.

    VRE Response
    We will ask the train crew on 300 address this issue.

  • Fred Line from Fran/Springfield asks
    Each afternoon on the 303 train 1-2 individuals board the last car and stand in the stairwell (in the way of others at Lorton) until Woodbridge. Can you please ask anyone entering the train at Springfield to please follow the rules and sit down?

    VRE Response
    Thanks. We will have the train crew on 303 address this issue.

  • Big D from 300 Express - Detrain Crystal City asks
    Each morning some individuals line up to get off of the train at Crystal City (next to last car) and stand in the vestibule. They are getting in the way of people still trying to get off the train in Crystal City. Can the standing means detraining rule be enforced? Then I am told they back in the car to get in front of the people who waited until everyone else detrained correctly.

    VRE Response
    We will have the train crews address this.

  • Sonny from Spotsylvania County, Virgina asks
    How often are the rail cars thoroughly inspected? I ask because the car I ride in has had a speaker out for several months despite several reports by me to conductors. While under way, people in the aft section cannot make out what is being said over the intercom. Communication can be essential for the safety of riders.

    VRE Response
    We will have the equipment maintenance team look into this. If by chance you have the car number can you send that to us at ? This would expedite the process. Thanks.

  • W from Woodbridge asks
    There is a huge pushing and shoving problem getting on the trains. A lady with way too many bags pushed me with bags causing me to trip up the stairs. She then proceeds to threaten metaht she wasn't the one to mess with. Your conductor took her side - because they were the same race

    VRE Response
    If you can provide us with more information by filling out a complaint form (, we can investigate this situation further.

  • Davin from Woodbridge, VA asks
    I see that CSX has finally started construction on the bridge that collapsed near Alexandria. When should we expect the third track to be back in service?

    VRE Response
    The bridge replacement and associated track work is projected to be completed by the end of this calendar year.

  • Dave from Fredericksburg asks
    Is there any way to get the Fredericksburg station cleaned on some more frequent basis? It would be less offensive if the litter on all levels of the station were picked up occasionally, and the sidewalks and stairs washed by something other than falling rain.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Dave. We will have our Manager of Facilities Maintenance address this with the City of Fredericksburg.

  • Sprigfield from Springfield, VA asks
    I heard the fares are increasing. Is it true and if so how much is the increase? Thank you.

    VRE Response
    We have information posted on our website about the proposed fare increase:

    If this doesn't answer all of your questions, please contact us directly at

  • Bob from Woodbridge, VA. Rippon asks
    What is the current timeline for the opening of the Potomac Shores station?

    VRE Response
    Please find the enclosed link to the Potomac Shores website:

    Check back here periodically for updates and other information.

  • Bill from Alexandria asks
    Almost two months has gone by and the crumbling stairs at the Alexandria station(side opposite the station) are still crumbling. Any plans to fix the stairs?

    VRE Response
    Concrete repair work is scheduled for this coming weekend.

  • Andrew from Leeland asks
    At what point will the VRE take responsibility for it's poor communication. A few weeks ago, Leeland riders got notice, after a train blew through our station, that trains would not be stopping there, and that we had to go else where. The VRE later said that CSX had "informed at the last minute that the crosswalk at Leeland hadn't yet been replaced due to tie replacement trackwork." How do you guys not know what the status of the stations and the tracks around the stations are. Maybe CSX should have told you sooner, but I feel you need to be proactive and be aware of your own stations are.

    VRE Response
    Communication and planning was continuous concerning the crosswalks at the stations in the work areas as the tie team progressed. The tie replacement project took place at night, with crosswalks removed after the last train through in the evening and replaced after the team went through before morning service. This particular morning the tie team had cleared right before the morning service, with a track inspector having traveled through the area performing his safety inspection prior to the first train. After the inspector passed Leeland Road Station, a tree had fallen blocking the track closest to the platform less than a half hour prior to the first VRE train. Knowing that the tie team would clear just prior to service, the crosswalk was scheduled to be replaced at 9:00 am after the morning service.

  • Lloyd from Broad Run asks
    When Amtrak left the scene several years ago, your predecessor took advantage of that change in providers to commit to bringing the trains to the platform at Broad Run ready to board passengers no less than 10-15 minutes prior to departure time. Are you aware of this? Under your watch this practice has steadily eroded to the point where train 322 is just about no better than a 50/50 bet to leave on time just like the old Amtrak days. When this subject has been raised before, your typical boiler plate verbiage about the crews will get the trains to the platform as soon as they have performed all of their pre-trip tasks has typically been your response. You may not require your crews to begin their tasks early enough to provide this service or to even be on time, or perhaps they don't care enough about customer service to actually provide good customer service. You may not be aware of how casual your crews are about that prior get-the-trains-to-the-platform-early commitment and to on-time departures or perhaps that commitment is no longer a priority for you. What specifics can you provide please?

    VRE Response
    Thank you Lloyd for your concern.  We require trains to be on the Broad Run and Spotsylvania platforms at least five minutes prior to departure time, if possible.  We will pass this on to the transportation managers.

  • James from Fredericksburg asks
    The VRE recently announced plans to raise rates. This has come at a time when the VRE has had less than good service, reliability, and communication. It also receives tax payer money in order to fund itself. Would the VRE ever submit to an audit of it's finances to show exactly why the fair increase is needed, where the money goes, and how the tax payer money is being spent?

    VRE Response
    We will be hosting a series of public hearings about the proposed fare increase.  Please visit for dates and times.

  • Mera Cole from Manassas, VA asks
    I catch the 5:18 VRE at Manassas Park. This morning there were 3 service trucks in parking lot. Is it possible for service trucks to park in the very back row of parking spaces as not to take premium/preferred parking spots?

    VRE Response
    If the trucks were from our Facilities contractor, we'll ask them not to block parking spaces. Thanks Mera.

  • Andrew from Fairfax County, Virginia asks
    I have a question about "standing is detraining"; "no sitting in stairwells"; and "no bags on seats" rules. Once they were enforced and now not. What gives?

    VRE Response
    The train crews will be briefed about enforcing these three rules. We will also emphasize consistent enforcement on all trains.

  • Stephanie from Fredericksburg asks
    Please consider adding wifi to the train - it would be very helpful considering all of the dead zones along the line.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the comment Stephanie. The dead zones along the line are the primary reason we do not currently offer WiFi.  We would be utilizing the same technology through the mobile networks, so the service would not be reliable.  We continue to look for a solution and will keep everyone posted when we have a plan.

  • Matthew from Burke, VA asks
    Not a question but a compliment. I am very thankful for the conductors on trains Man324 and 327. They make the journey to Union Stations comfortable and enjoyable. Specifically I want to mention Curtis and ASA, two exceptional conductors. I enjoy following ASA stories about him as a Marine and his daughter? being deployed. A very BIG thank you to the VRE team.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Matthew, 

    Gerald from Keolis is with us today, and he'll share your comments with the conductors and express our gratitude.

  • Davin from Woodbridge asks
    I don't know if you saw this option in the Potomac Local saying the Legislators should focus on expanding VRE in Prince William County instead of trying to bring Metorail to the county. I agree with the article.

    VRE Response
    Thanks Davin

  • Davin from Woodbrige, VA asks
    Why is VRE doing public hearings in the fall? In previous years they did public hearings in the late winter/early spring for fare increases. I wish VRE did not have to do fare increases every 2 years. Metro might also be raising fares next year

    VRE Response
    We have moved the hearings to the fall this time to give our Operations Board members time to review the comments and feedback prior to submitting the proposed budget to the jurisdictions in December 2018. Please visit our website for information about the proposed fare increase at

  • Richard from Brook asks
    Lately, it seems whenever this is a massive disruption to the VRE, and riders comment about it on your facebook page, there is a user who posts an animated gif of Billy Crystal holding out a box of tissues. I'm not sure if this user is affiliated with you or not, but the fact that the VRE doesn't do anything about this behavior that is basically mocking folks who are stuck on the train, trying to get home to their families. It's disrespectful and the fact that the VRE doesn't moderate those comments out is highly disrespectful to it's riders.

    VRE Response
    We don't generally edit or delete posts on our social media accounts, either positive or negative.  We appreciate all feedback as it can only help in our efforts of continuous improvement.

  • Mike from Spotsy asks
    First, THANK YOU for changing out the speed bumps. Second, the stop signs at the perimeter road two center lanes leaving the station should be changed to yield signs. Nobody stops unless there is a car literally teed up in front of them. Finally, the north most car on train 311 no longer stops at the platform at L'Enfant. Can you board bikes there? How? And I'm guessing it's impossible at Crystal City, right?

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the feedback Mike.

    Glad the speed bump situation has improved.  We'll look at the stop signs. When you wish to board with a bicycle, just let the conductor know your destination and he/she will direct you to a car which will make the platform.

  • Connie from Spotsy asks
    I have noticed that there are piles (if you will) of railroad ties along the track north of Fred which is usually an indicate of upcoming track work. When do you anticipate this track work beginning? Approximately how long might the track work take and what might be the anticipated delay for this work.

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the question Connie.  Most of the track work has already been completed.  There is more clean-up work to do.

    This is part of a project by CSX to replace over 30,000 ties along a 30 mile stretch of railroad.  This project is also why many of our trains have experienced speed restrictions over the past couple of months.  Once the ties are replaced, speed restrictions are placed on that section of rail until a certain tonnage passes over, to allow the new ties and ballast to settle properly.


  • Ronald from Springfield VA asks
    Last month the below question was asked: "Michael from Bristow asks Good afternoon, Recently, trains pulling into Union Station sit idle on the platform for quite some time before the doors are opened and passengers are allowed on. Yesterday, passengers riding Train 331 waited for approximately 15 minutes before being allowed to board. Any idea behind the seemingly recent change?" You responded you would follow up but this is still an issue with 331. Yesterday the train was at the station for 20 minutes but didn't open the doors until 7 minutes before departure. This leads to long lines of folks waiting and Amtrack cart beeping at us to move. Kim has also didn't have an answer why this specific train waits so long to open the doors. Any follow up? Thanks

    VRE Response
    Thanks for the follow-up Ronald, 

    Train 331 is actually the train which is currently being stored in the storage track north of the L'Enfant platform.  When it arrives into Union Station, the engineer is operating from the northernmost car, the Cab Control car.  The engineer must then switch ends to operate the southbound trip from the locomotive at the south end of the train.  Switching ends includes a brake test and other safety checks which normally take 10-15 minutes.  Once the brake test is completed, the conductors will open the doors for boarding.  Gerald to follow-up with the crew to make sure they are allowing access as soon as they complete their safety checks.

  • JP from Fredericksburg asks
    Has CXS issued a date when they will have the bridge and track repaired outside of Alex? Is there any word on the completion of one track in and around Quantico?

    VRE Response
    Track and bridge repair work on Track 1 south of Alexandria is currently underway.  Since the bridge structure itself had to be replaced, the lead time has been longer than simply track repair (see the picture in our latest issue of RIDE onboard the trains this Friday.)  CSX plans to have work completed at or around the end of the year.

    The third track project through Quantico will be completed concurrent with our Quantico Station project.  We hope to have the work underway by second quarter 2019.  On Wednesday morning, October 17th, we'll be doing a Meet The Management pop-up event at Quantico and will be able to provide additional information on the project.  Stop by between 5 am and 9 am for more information and free coffee from Ricks Roasters.

  • Bill from Burke asks
    Sometimes an on time Manassas line inbound train will be held to allow a late arriving Fredericksburg train to pass it. This hold can be several minutes. Had you allowed the Manassas line train to continue you would have had one late train, but by holding the Manassas line train up, you end up with two late trains. I'm guessing there's a reason, so I'm wondering what it is.

    VRE Response
    Great question Bill.  Situations like this generally occur when trains from each of our lines meet at Alexandria.  Usually, the CSX dispatcher will have the routes lined for each train based on when they are scheduled to arrive in Alexandria.  Since all of our trains have to utilize Track 3 north of Alexandria, the train on the Track 2 side has to be switched over.  If the switch is already aligned, and the train runs a little behind schedule, our train on Track 3 may have to wait, even if it actually arrived into Alexandria a little early.  The reason is it takes about 10 minutes for the switch to be repositioned and the associated signals to be synced. Our Communications Room staff monitor the trains coming in to Alexandria and work with CSX to realign the switch if we know a train is being delayed, but if it is less than 10 minutes delayed, we would simply be creating longer delays for everyone by making the change.

Welcome to October’s issue of the Online Forum.  Thank you for joining us. 

On the train this morning everyone was asked to complete a quick survey.  This survey is used to provide data to the jurisdictions which make up VRE on how many passengers board at the various stations, and their destinations.  The survey data is also utilized to determine each jurisdiction’s share of the operational subsidy. 

We appreciate everyone’s participation.


Now on to the questions.