Archive for July, 2011

Train Talk July 26, 2011 1:57 PM

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
July 26, 2011 1:57 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Meet the Management Tomorrow at Woodbridge
2) Broad Run Platform Extension begins on Wednesday, August 3rd
3) Fredericksburg Traffic Flow Modification

1) Meet the Management Tomorrow at Woodbridge

There are only three Meet the Managements left and tomorrow’s takes place for all morning trains at Woodbridge.

As always, management and staff from VRE and Keolis will be on hand to field any questions you may have or to hand out some early morning snacks.

Please feel free to stop by and say hello. We hope to see you there.

2) Broad Run Platform Extension begins on Wednesday, August 3rd

Work on the platform extention at Broad Run will begin next week, August 3rd. The platform will be extended approximately 200 feet which will allow access for two more rail cars. This work should not effect riders and the current platform.

Work is expected to last four to six months.

3) Fredericksburg Traffic Flow Modification

The No Left Turn 5-8pm Monday-Friday change to the traffic pattern on Frederick Street east bound at Charles Street in the City of Fredericksburg has been in effect for approximately three weeks.

The restriction was implemented on a 30 day trial basis, to be able to determine its effectiveness. The city will be making a decision in the coming weeks whether to make the restriction permanent. Please provide any comments you have on the subject by this Thursday, July 28th, to Mr. Doug Fawcett, City of Fredericksburg, Director of Public Works at 540-372-1023 or dfawcett@fredericksburgva.gov.


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 July 22, 2011 3:36 PM

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

This message is for Union Station riders:

Union Station Congestion

Because of a track issue, there is some congestion and trains will be using different tracks than normal. Please check the station monitors for track information. You can also double check with conductors to ensure that you are boarding the correct train.

Train Talk July 22, 2011 8:38 AM

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The elevator at Rippon is back in service.

Train Talk July 22, 2011 5:45 AM

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The elevator at Rippon is currently out of service. A technician is en-route. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Train Talk July 21, 2011 11:48 AM

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Train Talk:News You Can Use
July 21, 2011 11:48 AM

Heat Advisory

Temperatures today and tomorrow will be soaring to 100 degrees with a heat index that feels much, much warmer.

At VRE, we are always concerned for your safety, whatever the weather. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:

*Keep a bottle of water (or two) with you any time you are outside for long periods of time.
*Wear light (both in color and weight) and loose clothing. Fabrics that breathe are most recommended.
*If you have health problems, consider taking transit or a taxi to the nearest VRE station with a waiting room where you can wait indoors (Union Staiton and Alexandria).

Stay cool and until the heat dissipates, think cold thoughts (ice cream, snowmaggedon, etc.)!


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 July 21, 2011 10:08 AM

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Train Talk:A Message from the CEO
July 21, 2011 10:08 AM

Good News and Bad News

One of the questions I hear often is about the legacy Gallery cars and when VRE is going to get rid of them. The answer to that question is, “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.” Since this is only a one way form of communication, you don’t get the choice of which one comes first. Truthfully, the good news leads to the bad news, so I’ll start with the good news.

On July 1, VRE issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 8 new rail cars with toilets. The RFP also has options for 42 additional cars: 5 cab cars, 22 cars with toilets and 15 cars without toilets. The cars are required to be compatible with our current fleet of cars. VRE has been very successful at this “option style” bidding. In 2004, VRE issued a proposal for 11 cab cars with an option for 50 additional cars. Ultimately, VRE was able to procure all 61 cars (we now actually have 71 new rail cars). In a similar procedure, VRE issued an RFP for 2 locomotives with options of up to 18 more. I am pleased to report that we were successful in this endeavor as well. Our 15th locomotive is currently in service and the remaining 5 are on their way.

Currently, I have the funding in place to definitely order the first 8 cars. I have found that it is easier to find funding for these types of purchases when the contract is already in place. There is no doubt in my mind that we will once again be able to cobble the money together to buy all 50 rail cars.

What’s the bad news, then? The bad news is that there are no “off the shelf” rail cars. You can’t walk onto a show room floor and drive home with the floor model. All of the cars have to be built specifically to VRE’s specifications. This process, unfortunately, takes time. As a result, if the RFP process goes according to schedule, the new cars won’t be available for VRE to place into service until 2013. This means that the legacy Gallery cars that are in use now will be in use for a few more years. I know that for many of you, it would be an understatement to say that you do not like these cars. Yet, there are others that I know enjoy the legacy cars (mostly for their warmth).

All I can ask is that you continue to be patient as we work through our funding options. Our future is bright and more new cars are on the way.


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 July 20, 2011 11:50 AM

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Train Talk:News You Can Use
July 20, 2011 11:50 AM

On the Lookout

Right out of the pages of the 1997 American movie classic, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” comes the next chapter in the saga staring VRE in the lead role, or at least the unlikely victim.

In the movie you’ll recall that our cast of characters faced the daunting task of doing the right thing. Who can ever forget those immortal lines when Julie expressed that moral dilemma to Barry:

Julie: Yeah but this is insane now Barry look at us, this secret’s killing us.
Barry: I’m not going to the police and you’re not either.
Julie: Barry please, we could put an end to it and maybe salvage some small fraction of a life.

So you ask, perplexed and somewhat confused, what does a B rate horror film have to do with VRE? Great question. The answer is nothing really other than both are the targets of a “slasher.” In the movie, of course, it was for the dramatic effect. Unfortunately, in VRE’s case, it’s someone who for the past 6 weeks has taken the liberty of cutting seats on your trains. Yes, we said your trains because you ride the trains everyday and, just like us, we’re sure you don’t appreciate someone destroying taxpayer’s property.

And just like Julie and Barry, we don’t expect this person(s) to turn themselves into the police so we’re calling upon on you, our riders, to be our Officer Dave (yes, another character from the movie) and help us keep a watchful eye on our trains so we can put an end to this vandalism.

We’ve been out there with staff and the Undercover Law Enforcement Officers but no luck so far. Now, we ask you to help us keep watch during your commute to make sure we end this drama without any further sequels.

If you see anyone cutting a seat or damaging any other part of your train please get a hold of a conductor on board. Be sure to give a good description of the individual and where this person is seated.


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 July 19, 2011 2:00 PM

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Train Talk:Weekly Newsletter
July 19, 2011 2:00 PM

The following is in this edition of Train Talk:
1) Meet the Management Tomorrow at Rolling Road
2) Manassas Celebrates it’s Sesquicentennial
3) Fredericksburg Lot C Location
4) Safety Reminder

1) Meet the Management Tomorrow at Rolling Road

VRE continues our Meet the Management series tomorrow morning at Rolling Road. Come by and ask questions or grab yourself an early morning snack. VRE Management and Staff from our Passenger Support Services, Communications and Operations and IT departments will be in attendance. In addition, Keolis employees from Management and from the train crews will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

We hope to see you there.

2) Manassas Celebrates it’s Sesquicentennial

For four incredible days, July 21-24, 2011, Manassas will take the national spotlight. It is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). The First Battle of Manassas in 1861 was the first major land battle of the Civil War. During the war, the North generally named a battle after the closest river, stream or creek; and the South tended to name battles after towns or railroad junctions. Hence the Confederate name Manassas after Manassas Junction and the Union name Bull Run for the stream Bull Run. Visitors will be able to watch the Blue and Gray clash on the fields of Manassas, hear the Lincoln- Douglas debate that was a prelude to the war, and get a look at what slave quarters looked like in 1861.

80 Events are scheduled throughout the four days at various locations. On Thursday, July 21st at 4:00, witness a recreation of the 1911 National Jubilee of Peace with President Taft, Civil War Veterans, peace maidens, along with vintage automobiles, at the Old Manassas Courthouse, intersection of Lee and Grant Avenues. After the Jubilee, local dignitaries will host Welcome Ceremonies at the Harris Pavilion, followed by live Civil War period music with dance instructors at 7 pm. 9116 Center Street.

On Friday, July 22, the largest reenactor parade in Northern Virginia will begin at 10 am. Civil War reenactors from around the country are invited to camp and participate in a military parade through Old Town Manassas streets to Liberia.

Throughout the entire event, the City of Manassas Historic Sites will be having continuous demonstrations including living history demonstrations, blacksmithing, soap making, cooking demos, horse training, military drilling, lectures, camp medicine, African-American art, story-telling, music, mock cannon firings, and lectures including how espionage affected the battle outcome. For more detailed information and locations visit www.manassascivilwar.org.

Because city officials expect up to 30,000 visitors a day, July 21 – 24, there will be no public parking at the Manassas Museum, Liberia, Cannon Branch or Mayfield Forts, the Cemetery or Jennie Dean Historic Site. Drivers will not be permitted through event areas. Entrance to Sesquicentennial events in Manassas City is by shuttle bus only.

Visitors may park for free at the Prince William County Fairgrounds, 10624 Dumfries Road, and board a shuttle bus to the Manassas Train Depot, where they can purchase a shuttle bus ticket package of $20 per person per day (children up to four years old ride free). The daily ticket purchase provides access to all City sites, bus transfer and a $5 Manassas gift card. Shuttle buses will take visitors from the depot directly to all the sites.

The Old town Parking Garage will remain open for VRE commuters and for those who want to shop and dine downtown.

Road closures for this event could mean some congestion on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday.

*Prince William St. CLOSED from Grant Ave. to the parking garage

*West St. CLOSED between Center St. and Prince William St.

*Battle St. CLOSED between Center St. and Prince William St.

The Kiss and Ride area will be moved to the intersection of Prince William and Main Streets.

For a complete list of road closures and other information, visit http://files.manassascivilwar.org/Road-Closures.pdf .

3) Fredericksburg Lot C Location

The new lot C at 400 Charles Street is now able to be used. Remember, please only park in those spaces that are specifically marked with a VRE parking sign.

A map of the lot c parking locations can be found on our website at http://www.vre.org/graphics/service/lot_c_fbg.jpg.

The owner of original lot C (which has been replaced with the new above Lot C in Fredericksburg)

begins towing parking violators today.

4) Safety Reminder

Conductors ask that you do not use the emergency door valves to open up the exterior doors.

These valves are meant only to be used in an emergency.

Thank you.


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 July 18, 2011 11:15 AM

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Train Talk:News You Can Use
July 18, 2011 11:15 AM

Manassas Street Closures

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), and the City of Manassas is gearing up for the festivities. For Manassas station VRE riders, all VRE lots will be open for VRE riders. However, road closures could mean some congestion on Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday.

*Prince William St. CLOSED from Grant Ave. to the parking garage
*West St. CLOSED between Center St. and Prince William St.
*Battle St. CLOSED between Center St. and Prince William St.

The Kiss and Ride area will be moved to the intersection of Prince William and Main Streets.

For a complete list of road closures and other information, visit http://files.manassascivilwar.org/Road-Closures.pdf .


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 July 13, 2011 5:43 PM

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Reminder: 335 is canceled, 337 should depart Union Station on time.