Archive for March, 2011

Train Talk March 31, 2011 7:34 AM

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

Update #3:

Trains have permission to operate normal speed over bridge. We do not anticipate any further delay because of this issue.

Train #306 30 minutes late, next station Alexandria. Train #308 15 minutes late, next station Franconia/Springfield.

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Update #2: 7:18a

Trains have been allowed to proceed at restricted speeds. Delays will continue to grow. Train #306 currently 30 minutes late, Train #308 currently 15 minutes late.

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Update: 710a

Metro Rail Option is open for VRE riders. Please show your VRE ticket to Metro personnel for entry.

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7:07a

In addition to speed restriction delays this morning, a tractor trailer hit a railroad bridge in between Woodbridge and Lorton. Bridge must clear safety inspection before trains are allowed to pass.

Train #306 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:05a) is holding at Woodbridge and currently 20 minutes late. Train #308 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:30a) will most likely be affected as well as it will hold at Rippon once it arrives there, only 10 minutes late currently.

Train Talk March 31, 2011 7:18 AM

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

Update #2:

Trains have been allowed to proceed at restricted speeds. Delays will continue to grow. Train #306 currently 30 minutes late, Train #308 currently 15 minutes late.

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Update: 710a

Metro Rail Option is open for VRE riders. Please show your VRE ticket to Metro personnel for entry.

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7:07a

In addition to speed restriction delays this morning, a tractor trailer hit a railroad bridge in between Woodbridge and Lorton. Bridge must clear safety inspection before trains are allowed to pass.

Train #306 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:05a) is holding at Woodbridge and currently 20 minutes late. Train #308 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:30a) will most likely be affected as well as it will hold at Rippon once it arrives there, only 10 minutes late currently.

Train Talk March 31, 2011 7:11 AM

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

Update:

Metro Rail Option is open for VRE riders. Please show your VRE ticket to Metro personnel for entry.

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7:07a

In addition to speed restriction delays this morning, a tractor trailer hit a railroad bridge in between Woodbridge and Lorton. Bridge must clear safety inspection before trains are allowed to pass.

Train #306 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:05a) is holding at Woodbridge and currently 20 minutes late. Train #308 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:30a) will most likely be affected as well as it will hold at Rippon once it arrives there, only 10 minutes late currently.

Train Talk March 31, 2011 7:07 AM

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

In addition to speed restriction delays this morning, a tractor trailer hit a railroad bridge in between Woodbridge and Lorton. Bridge must clear safety inspection before trains are allowed to pass.

Train #306 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:05a) is holding at Woodbridge and currently 20 minutes late. Train #308 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:30a) will most likely be affected as well as it will hold at Rippon once it arrives there, only 10 minutes late currently.

Train Talk March 29, 2011 1:59 PM

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
March 29, 2011 1:59 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Tie Replacement Update
2) Brooke Road Project – Begins April 4th
3) Fare Collection Survey, Please Fill Out By April 1st
4) Catalytic Converter Theft
5) Parking Courtesies

1) Tie Replacement Update

For the last few weeks, CSX maintenance crews have been working on a track that VRE trains seldom use.

Later this week and next, they will return to tracks that affect us (working between Brooke and Rippon). As a result, the slow orders that had largely gone away will be back.

While there may still be some congestion issues, especially for the first few trains in the morning, we expect the delays due to speed restrictions to be approximately 10-15 minutes.

2) Brooke Road Project – Begins April 4th

We mentioned last week that VDOT is replacing a bridge deck on Brooke Road in Stafford County.

This was scheduled to begin on March 28th, but has been postponed a week to April 4th.

Est Completion Date: July 2011

What’s Being Done: This project will replace the existing deck on the bridge over Potomac Creek with a new concrete deck with steel beams. When the project is complete motorists will have a wider and safer structure that will withstand the weight of larger vehicles, (i.e. school buses, emergency response vehicles, etc.).

Project Detour: Brooke Road will be closed to through traffic at the bridge over Potomac Creek for the next few months. Motorists will be detoured around the work zone by way of Leeland Road. Signs will direct motorists through the detour. Riders will not have any access problems if they use Courthouse Road to Andrew Chapel to Brooke or if they use Eskimo Hill Road to Brooke Road.

For the vast majority of passengers, it should not affect them at all. Drivers can still access the Brooke station at all times during the project using Courthouse Road-Andrew Chapel Road, and Eskimo Hill Road, which connects Brooke Road and U.S. 1. Also, drivers traveling on the portion of Brooke Road east of the train station, approaching the intersection with Andrew Chapel Road, will also not be affected.

Brooke Road is closing completely only at the bridge over Potomac Creek. That bridge is south of Eskimo Hill Road and north of Deacon Road. A detour will be in place for drivers coming from points south of the bridge closure on Brooke Road. If there are riders who approach the Brooke station from south of Eskimo Hill Road on Brooke Road, they will still have a path to the train station. (Although, they will be driving past the Leeland Road station to get there, so that station may be more convenient until the project ends in late July).



3) Fare Collection Survey, Please Fill Out By April 1st

If you utilize one of our Ticket Vending Machines at one of our stations, please fill out our survey.

Our current Fare Collection System was put into operation in October 2002.

As recently as January 2010, the system was experiencing a large number of validation failures that affected passenger’s ability to purchase or validate tickets. We have taken a number of steps over the past year to address the system’s performance and those steps have reduced validation errors significantly, to an average of less than one per week, and minimized the number of ticket capture incidents.

While the passenger experience with the VRE fare collection system is much improved from where we were a year ago, VRE continues to assess the current system as well as evaluate options to keep up with current technology and enhance passenger convenience and their interaction with the system. As major stakeholders in the success of this evaluation effort, we are asking our passengers to assist us by answering a short survey concerning the VRE Automated Fare Collection System. To participate, visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7QGR837

4) Catalytic Converter Theft

VEHICLE LARCENIES – VRE LOT, BRISTOW (Broad Run)

The Prince William County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in providing information about a series of vehicle tamperings which were reported at the VRE commuter lot in the Bristow area of Prince William County.

On March 24th at 7:53PM, police responded to the VRE lot located at 10637 Piper Ln in Bristow (20136) for a vehicle tampering. Police discovered that between 7:10AM and 5:40PM, three vehicles were targeted and all had their catalytic converter, valued around $500 each, stolen while parked in the lot. No entry was made into any of the vehicles.

Anyone with information relating to this case is urged to call Crime Solvers at 703-670-3700 or 1-866-411-TIPS. You don’t have to give your name, just the information. You could earn up to a $1,000 cash reward.

For tips on how to minimize Catalytic Converter theft, please visit http://www.vre.org/service/newsletter/2010/february.pdf

5) Parking Courtesies

“Please do not to park in the spaces reserved for handicapped parking, even for “only a few minutes.” At my station, couples often park in such spaces, while waiting for the arrival of a train, when one person will get out to catch the train and the other will drive off. This can cause a rider who needs that space to miss the train – it’s happened to me. There are always other non-reserved spots available. Thanks.”

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“Parking at Leeland Road is becoming more limited and so people are forgetting their courtesy in regards to where they park. People need to be aware that parking on the paved walkway from the gravel lot is unacceptable. If these people want to park beside the walkway that is one thing. However, to park on the walkway intended for pedestrians is quite another. Please stay off the walkway and please stay on the gravel.”

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“Please remind the riders who use and park at the Leeland Road station that the blacktop strip from the gravel overflow lot to the main lot is intended to be a WALKWAY and not a blacktop strip for them to either park on because they don’t want to walk down the hill OR to avoid parking their cars in ruts or big holes along that strip. Many mornings, we have to walk almost in the bushes and weeds to make it past many cars–and when it rains or is icy, are forced to walk in the mud and ice because some have parked completely on the blacktop/asphalt walkway.”

*******

“At Burke Centre each morning I have observed several practices which could be dangerous. Car often enter the garage through the exit (which, of course, is clearly marked “DO NOT ENTER”) in order to get ahead of cars entering the garage through the entrance. Often times drivers decide to hold up a long line of traffic waiting to park in the garage so that they can back into spaces, supposedly so that they can make a fast getaway in the afternoons. Last week we had to wait while three vehicles backed in, straightened up, backed in again! Often the cars entering the garage in those last few minutes prior to the train coming are driving much too fast when people are trying to cross over the lanes to get to the platforms. In the afternoon there are people who race (literally run) to get to their cars so that they can beat the other vehicles out of the garage. I am really surprised that we have not seen accidents resulting from this discourteous, unsafe behavior, but I am sure that it is only a matter of time.”

*******

“Please remind folks who park at Broad Run that the pedestrian cross-walk area is not a place where you can invent a parking spot just to get closer to the station. With the addition of the new lot, there’s no good excuse for this behavior. Thanks.”


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)2011 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

Train Talk March 24, 2011 7:20 AM

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Station riders:

The elevator is currently out of service. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Train Talk March 24, 2011 6:58 AM

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

Update #2:

Train #306 (Departs Fredericksburg at 6:05a) is currently 20 minutes late due following a freight train and temporary speed restrictions. Next station, Rippon.

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639am
Fredericksburg Line #304 (Departs Fredericksburg at 5:40a) has departed and on the move.
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620am
Fredericksburg Line #304 (Departs Fredericksburg at 5:40a) is stopped holding for southbound freight train north of Quantico. Delayed 20 minutes and should be on the move after freight train clears.

Train Talk March 23, 2011 8:16 AM

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

This message is for Fredericksburg Line riders:

Train #310 (Departs Fredericksburg at 7:10a) is currently 20 minutes late arriving Woodbridge due to following two Amtrak trains earlier and speed restrictions.

Train Talk March 22, 2011 2:02 PM

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
March 22, 2011 2:02 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Route 608 (Brooke Road) Bridge over Potomac Creek Deck Replacement Project
2) VRE Automated Fare Collection System Survey
3) A Reminder to Validate Your Ticket
4) More Courtesy Requests

1) Route 608 (Brooke Road) Bridge over Potomac Creek Deck Replacement Project

Begin Date: March 28, 2011

Est Completion Date: July 2011

What’s Being Done: This project will replace the existing deck on the bridge over Potomac Creek with a new concrete deck with steel beams. When the project is complete motorists will have a wider and safer structure that will withstand the weight of larger vehicles, (i.e. school buses, emergency response vehicles, etc.).

Project Detour: Brooke Road will be closed to through traffic at the bridge over Potomac Creek for the next few months. Motorists will be detoured around the work zone by way of Leeland Road. Signs will direct motorists through the detour. Riders will not have any access problems if they use Courthouse Road to Andrew Chapel to Brooke or if they use Eskimo Hill Road to Brooke Road.

VDOT is replacing a bridge deck on Brooke Road in Stafford County. For the vast majority of passengers, it should not affect them at all. Drivers can still access the Brooke station at all times during the project using Courthouse Road-Andrew Chapel Road, and Eskimo Hill Road, which connects Brooke Road and U.S. 1. Also, drivers traveling on the portion of Brooke Road east of the train station, approaching the intersection with Andrew Chapel Road, will also not be affected.

Brooke Road is closing completely only at the bridge over Potomac Creek. That bridge is south of Eskimo Hill Road and north of Deacon Road. A detour will be in place for drivers coming from points south of the bridge closure on Brooke Road. If there are riders who approach the Brooke station from south of Eskimo Hill Road on Brooke Road, they will still have a path to the train station. (Although, they will be driving past the Leeland Road station to get there, so that station may be more convenient until the project ends in late July).

Brooke Road closes at the Potomac Creek Bridge next Monday, March 28. It will be closed for approximately four months.

2) VRE Automated Fare Collection System Survey

The current Automated Fare Collection System utilized by VRE to sell, print, and validate tickets was put into operation in October 2002. As recently as January 2010, the system was experiencing a large number of validation failures that affected passenger’s ability to purchase or validate tickets. VRE has taken a number of steps over the past year to address the system’s performance, including deploying a software update to specifically address the validation failures, implementing a more aggressive and proactive preventative maintenance schedule, and upgrading hardware for major system components. Those steps have reduced validation errors significantly, to an average of less than one per week, and minimized the number of ticket capture incidents.

While the passenger experience with the VRE fare collection system is much improved from where we were a year ago, VRE continues to assess the current system as well as evaluate options to keep up with current technology and enhance passenger convenience and their interaction with the system. As major stakeholders in the success of this evaluation effort, we are asking our passengers to assist us by answering a short survey concerning the VRE Automated Fare Collection System. To participate, visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7QGR837.

3) A Reminder to Validate Your Ticket

For a Monthly Ticket or a Transit Link Card (TLC) please remember to sign the back of your ticket in order to make it valid. We consider a signature to be a handwritten depiction of one’s name. It can be either printed or in cursive.

For a Ten-Ride, Two-Ride, Single-Ride and Free Ride Certificate, you must place these tickets into a vending machine (TVM) located on the platform. When the TVM prints a date stamp, the available ride is removed from your ticket and a validation is printed on the face of the ticket. These tickets must be validated each time you board.

To validate a Five Day Pass, place your ticket into the TVM located on the platform. Then the machine will print an expiration validation across the front of your ticket. This ticket only needs to validate the time it is used. Note: This ticket is AM/PM sensitive.

4) More Courtesy Requests

“My pet peeve is backpacks and huge purses. I’m constantly assaulted by people who seem to think that if it’s behind them it doesn’t exist.”

“Request when folks board and leave the train, that they remove any backpacks they are wearing and carry them. I have been almost knocked over while standing and smacked on the head while seated by people wearing overstuffed backpacks who swing around and are not conscious of the extra space they are taking up. Thanks.”


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)2011 Virginia Railway Express (VRE)

Train Talk March 22, 2011 1:35 PM

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

This Message is for Manassas Line Riders:

325 on the move.

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Train #325 (Departs Union Station at 1:15p) is currently 15 going on 20 min. late, still at Union Station with wheel chair lift issues.

Currently working to fix the issue.