Virginia Railway Express

Virginia Railway Express

Infobox SG rail
railroad_name=Virginia Railway Express
logo_filename=Virginia Railway Express Logo.pnglogo_size=193
locale=Northern Virginia
hq_city=Alexandria, Virginia
The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a commuter rail service that connects the Northern Virginia area with Washington, DC. VRE is a transportation partnership of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).

The VRE operates on two lines, the Fredericksburg line, which starts from Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the Manassas line, which starts from Broad Run/Airport station in Bristow, Virginia. Both lines end at Union Station in Washington, DC. Fredericksburg is considered the southernmost suburb of Washington. Service to Manassas began on June 22, 1992; service to Fredericksburg began on July 20, 1992.

Organization and operations

The VRE Operations Board oversees all operating aspects of the VRE. It has seven commissioners - the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT), three commissioners from NVTC, and three commissioners from PRTC. The VRE Operations Group, which reports to the Board, handles the daily operations of the VRE.

The fare structure is distance-based, with stations grouped into nine zones. Unlike some other commuter rail services around the country, such as Caltrain and MBTA Commuter Rail, VRE does not operate on weekends. Service is suspended or reduced on select holidays.

Through a [ cross-honoring agreement,] VRE and MARC allow passengers to transfer to a train on the other system provided that it is going in the opposite direction of the rush-hour commuters (for example., heading away from Washington, DC in the morning).

The VRE owns its locomotives and passenger cars. A typical six-car train can carry up to 1,500 passengers. Amtrak has operated the trains since VRE began, with Amtrak employees wearing VRE uniforms.

VRE does not own its own track. Its trains operate on a collection of lines owned and maintained by Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, and CSX Transportation. In the summer of 2005, VRE began to slow trains so operators could detect bends that occur when steel tracks absorb too much heat. CSX, which owns VRE's Fredericksburg line, places heat restrictions on the tracks it shares with VRE when temperatures hit the mid- to high 80s Fahrenheit (approximately 30 °C and up). Each delay can add up 10 to 20 minutes in total trip time. In the summer of 2007, CSX changed its policies on heat restrictions affecting train speeds; Fredericksburg Line trains were on time 86 percent of the time in June, and 87 percent in July. [Kelly Hannon, [ "Virginia Railway Express has improved on-time record"] , "Free Lance-Star" (Fredericksburg, VA), August 16, 2007]

Ridership on VRE increased an average of 13 percent each year from 2000 to 2005. But in the fiscal year from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2005, ridership fell two percent compared to the prior year. VRE said the decrease was because passengers affected by delays due to track maintenance and heat restrictions were taking other forms of transportation. [ "Virginia Railway Express Sees Decline in Ridership"] , WTOP news, July 25, 2006] The trend reversed itself the summer of 2007, with ridership up nearly 2 percent in June and 4 percent in July compared with the corresponding months in 2006. [Dan Genz, [ "VRE ridership up; commuters likely to ask for later trains"] , "Washington Examiner", August 15, 2007]

VRE trains are limited to seven passenger cars because of the limits on what locomotives can pull and the platform lengths at VRE stations. VRE has two eight car train sets, one each line, to relive crowding. In early 2008, the Virginia Department of Transportation proposed using highway toll revenues to extend train platforms in Fredericksburg.Eric M. Weiss, [ Toll-Lane Revenue Proposal Gets a Rewrite in Richmond: State Plan Diverts Funding From Regional Projects"] , "Washington Post", March 23, 2008]


VRE operations began in the mid-1992. In its first year of operation, it had an average daily ridership of about 3,500, with fares paid by passengers ("farebox recovery ratio") just above 50% of costs.Vantuono, William C., [ "VRE: a model commuter road", "Railway Age"] , April 1, 1993]

On January 5, 2006, at 6:45am, VRE's Fredericksburg line train #304 bound for Washington, D.C., derailed at Possum Point just north of the Quantico section of Prince William County. Four people, including one conductor suffered minor injuries and were treated and released by medical personnel. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the derailment was an excessively worn and chipped switch point, which caused the lead truck of the fourth passenger car to derail. Contributing to the accident was CSX’s delay in replacing a switch point that had been repeatedly identified as deteriorating. [ [ "Railroad Accident Brief - Derailment of Virginia Railway Express train near Quantico, Virginia, January 5, 2006"] , National Transportation Safety Board report NTSB/RAB-06/06 (includes link to pdf document with full report), retrieved March 22, 2008]

Fredericksburg Line

The Fredericksburg Line runs north-south along trackage owned by CSX Transportation. This track was at one time the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad. Amtrak service to Richmond, Virginia and points south also uses this line.

Manassas Line

The Manassas Line runs east-west along trackage owned by Norfolk Southern. Amtrak's "Crescent" to Atlanta and New Orleans also uses this line.

ee also

*List of Washington, DC railroads
*List of United States railroads


External links

* [ Virginia Railway Express] Official site
* [ VRE Schedule (unofficial)]
* [ System Map]
* [ VRE Profile]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Trinity Railway Express — An F59PHI used on TRE Overview …   Wikipedia

  • Virginia State Route 123 — For former State Routes numbered 123, see State Route 123 (Virginia 1923 1928) and State Route 123 (Virginia 1928 1933). State Route 123 Route information Maintained by VDOT …   Wikipedia

  • Virginia — This article is about the U.S. state, the Commonwealth of Virginia. For other uses, see Virginia (disambiguation). Commonwealth of Virginia …   Wikipedia

  • Virginia Service — Infobox Amtrak name=Virginia Service map filename= map size= numbers=66 67; 75 78; 81 88; 93 96; 99; 194 195 route=Washington, DC Richmond, VA Newport News, VA distance=188.4 mi (303.2 km) outside the Northeast Corridor start=June 14, 1976… …   Wikipedia

  • Virginia — Para otros usos de este término, véase Virginia (desambiguación). Commonwealth of Virginia Mancomunidad de Virginia Estado&# …   Wikipedia Español

  • Virginia State Route 7 — Infobox road state=VA type= route=7 length mi=72 length ref= [ [ log/va007 012.htm VA 7 to Former VA 12 ] ] length round=0 established=1933 direction a=West direction b=East starting terminus= junction= in… …   Wikipedia

  • Railway post office — In the United States a railway post office, commonly abbreviated as RPO, was a railroad car that was normally operated in passenger service as a means to sort mail en route, in order to speed delivery. The RPO was staffed by highly trained… …   Wikipedia

  • Railway station layout — A railway station is a place where trains make scheduled stops. Stations usually have one or more platforms constructed alongside a line of railway. However, railway stations come in many different configurations influenced by such factors as the …   Wikipedia

  • Railway signal — Not to be confused with Railway signalling. A signal is a mechanical or electrical device erected beside a railway line to pass information relating to the state of the line ahead to train/engine drivers. The driver interprets the signal s… …   Wikipedia

  • Charlottesville, Virginia — Charlottesville redirects here. For the small town in Indiana, see Charlottesville, Indiana. Charlottesville, Virginia   Independent City   …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.