Archive for October, 2009

Train Talk, October 27, 2009 1:57 PM

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
October 27, 2009 1:57 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Last Call for Volunteer Victims
2) Elevator/Escalator Outage at Union Station
3) November 16th – CSX Signal Suspension
4) Daylight Saving Time

1) Last Call for Volunteer Victims

Saturday, November 14th, we will be conducting an emergency drill onboard our trains from 7am to 12 noon. If you are interested in participating as either an observer or as a victim, please let us know by this Thursday, October 29th.

Breakfast refreshments will be provided.

(Volunteers under age of 18 will be allowed to participate as long as they are accompanied by an adult).

Please contact gotrains@vre.org if you wish to participate.

2) Elevator/Escalator Outage at Union Station

The elevator at tracks 23/24 is currently out of service for approximately 3 weeks for repairs.

Also, the north escalator at tracks 25/26 is under repairs and should be returned to working order in approximately 2-3 weeks.

Passengers needing assistance as a result of these outages can call Amtrak customer service at 202-906-3260 where they can arrange for a redcap to assist them.

3) November 16th – CSX Signal Suspension

Late Friday, November 13th, (after the end of service) CSX will begin working on the tracks south of Alexandria. The work is not expected to be done until after Monday, November 16th. Because all signals will be inoperative, all trains will have to stop and wait until given permission to proceed. This suspension will only affect the Fredericksburg line trains on November 16th.

Because we expect delays up to an hour, we originally wanted to cancel service. However, we have decided to run a very limited schedule, but please be aware, we expect extreme delays and anyone who rides these trains does so at their own risk time-wise.

Only train 300, 304 and 310 will run in the mornings.

Returning trains will be 303, 307 and 313 in the evenings.

Again, because of the expected delays, we recommend riders find an alternative way to work for Monday, November 16th.

4) Daylight Saving Time

Seems like just the other day we were all springing forward and suddenly it’s time, once again, to fall back.

So don’t forget to change your clocks this Sunday, November 1st at 2am.


For the latest information, don’t forget to check out the VRE web site at:
http://www.vre.org. If you would like to unsubscribe yourself or change your
delivery information, simply go to the VRE website at http://traintalk.vre.org .

Copyright (C)2009 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

Train Talk, October 26, 2009 1:48 PM

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Train Talk:Leaf – That Other Four Letter Word
October 26, 2009 1:48 PM

Possible Delays Due to Leaf Oil

As many of you are aware, we experienced delays this morning due to “leaf slippage” and we expect possible delays this evening for the same reason.

For those of you unfamiliar with leaf oil and its affect on trains, here is some information:

This time of year trains all over the country have issues with slippage because of damp fallen leaves that have adhered to the tracks.

When the weight of a train runs over these leaves, it presses and extrudes pectin (a main component in what makes leaves waterproof) and smears it onto the railhead. This coating of caked leaves and slime acts like “black ice” on the rails which causes a train to slip from loss of traction thus reducing the train’s ability to brake or gain traction going up inclines.

When discussing leaf slippage we are not saying that leaves on the tracks cause trains to slide. We are saying that the remains of the leaves, the oils and the caked-like substance that has adhered to the tracks once a leaf has been pressed between wheel and rail is at fault. This mixture of caked leaf and leaf oil residue that causes slippage builds and accumulates upon the rails easily because it is so extremely difficult to remove. It can-not simply be blown clear by passing trains. Some railroads, in fact, spend millions of dollars a year trying to get rid of the residue, using anything from high pressure water hoses to lasers. We use sand with a high percentage of quartz in our locomotives. Although this does not eliminate the problem, it does perform better than other types of sand.

For more detailed information on this issue, Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive write up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_rail, or you can visit the Pittsburg Post Gazette’s website (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06326/740504-28.stm) which has re-run an old Wall Street Journal article on the subject.


For the latest information, don’t forget to check out the VRE web site at:
http://www.vre.org. If you would like to unsubscribe yourself or change your
delivery information, simply go to the VRE website at http://traintalk.vre.org .

Copyright (C)2009 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

Train Talk, October 20, 2009 12:16 PM

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
October 20, 2009 12:16 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Reduced Fare ID – Station Visits
2) Reduced Fare Sales Locations
3) Public Hearings on Youth Fare

1) Reduced Fare ID – Station Visits

This week will conclude VRE staff visiting stations to answer questions regarding the application as well as to take ID pictures. Starting on November 16th, any rider wishing to purchase a Persons with Disabilities ticket will need this ID.

Remaining times and locations are as follows:

October 20th Crystal City 3:00pm through 6:15pm (Today)
October 21st Alexandria 3:15pm through 6:30pm
October 22nd Springfield 3:15pm through 6:30pm

While not required for seniors (age 65 and older), we are happy to provide a Reduced Fare ID to seniors if they wish.

2) Reduced Fare Sales Locations

Reminder: Effective October 17th, the outer station vendors are no longer selling discounted tickets. For a complete list of vendors that can sell reduced fare tickets, please visit http://www.vre.org/service/vendorinfo.html on our website.

3) Public Hearings on Youth Fare

VRE is soliciting feedback on a proposal to eliminate the 50% discount for youth ages 7 to 21 and to modify the age limit on children who ride free with a fare paying adult. The age to ride VRE for free would be raised from ages 6 and under to ages 10 and under.

The following is some background information concerning our proposal. The Youth Fare discount should be one of our most under used discounts we have available since we have very few youths age 21 and under who regularly ride out train. A recent review, however, has revealed possible abuse of the discount program, as Youth Fares sales have increased significantly over time. We also have found adults are purchasing tickets under the guise of buying them for their children and then using them personally. As a result, the proposal is to increase the age of children able to ride free with a fare paying adult and eliminate the sale of youth fare tickets altogether, thus leaving only two forms of discounted tickets – those for the passengers with disabilities and those for our seniors aged 65 or older, both of which must carry an approved form of identification to make available during ticket inspections if asked.

VRE is currently accepting public comments through Friday, November 6, 2009 and can be made four ways:

• Via e-mail at publiccomment@vre.org

• Via U.S. Mail to:
Public Comment
Virginia Railway Express
1500 King Street, Suite 202,
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

• Via fax at (703) 684-1313, Attn: Public Comment

• In person at a public hearing on Monday, November 2nd at 12 noon at the VRE office.

Visit our website at http://vre.org/feedback/PublicHearing/main.html for more details.


For the latest information, don’t forget to check out the VRE web site at:
http://www.vre.org. If you would like to unsubscribe yourself or change your
delivery information, simply go to the VRE website at http://traintalk.vre.org .

Copyright (C)2009 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

End of Archive

Friday, October 9th, 2009

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