Archive for July, 2012

Franconia/Springfield Elevator Operational Again

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator Operational Again

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Update: The power issue is resolved and the elevator at Franconia/Spri=
ngfield is operational again.

There is an electrical issue at Franconia/Springfield which means the ele=
vator at the station is out of service. We will send out another alert wh=
en it is operational again.

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

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There is an electrical issue at Franconia/Springfield which means the =
elevator at the station is out of service. We will send out another alert=
when it is operational again.

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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1-800-RIDE-VRE

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Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

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Weekly Newsletter

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Meet the Management, Tomorrow morning at Rolling Ro=
ad

There are only four more chances this year to come =
on out and meet the staff and management of VRE and Keolis. Tomorrow’s ev=
ent takes place for all morning trains on the platform at Rolling Road.

Come by and ask questions or grab yourself some ear=
ly morning snacks and goodies. On hand will be Management and Staff from =
our Finance department, Construction and Facilities department, and Passe=
nger Support departments. Management from Keolis will also be attending, =
so please drop by and say hello.

We hope to see your there!

 

********************

Reminder: A ticket validation is go=
od for one way only. To cover a round trip, you can purchase a 2 Ride tic=
ket and validate that ticket once on the first leg of your trip, and then=
once again on the return portion of your trip. Tickets can only be valid=
ated approximately 1 hour prior to boarding. Ticket validating machines a=
re located on the waiting platform at each station.

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

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The elevator on the Metro side of the Franconia/Springfield station is=
back in service.

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

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Franconia/Springfield Elevator

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The elevator on the Metro side of the Franconia/Springfield station is=
out of service. We will send out another alert when it is operational ag=
ain.

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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1-800-RIDE-VRE

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Reminder: Track Work on the Manassas Line on Monday

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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Reminder: Track Work on the Manassas Line on Monday

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Norfolk Southern tie gangs will be working over the weekend and sev=
eral hours on Monday. Last Monday’s work saw delays to our morning trains=
ranging from 10 – 27 minutes. Train 321 which is a turn train that=
comes back from Union Station to operate as the final northbound morning=
train, 332 was delayed getting back to Broad Run because of the need to =
work back through the speed restricted areas. That resulted in a 42 minut=
e delay for 321 and a 60 minute delay for 332.

 

Again, track work Monday, expect delays.

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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1-800-RIDE-VRE

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On-Line Forum Today at Noon

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

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On-Line Forum Today at Noon

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Join VRE Man=
agement to discuss VRE service 

Today’s edition of our monthly on-line forum will feature our acting=
CEO, Rich Dalton, as well as our Director of Rail Operations, Chris Henr=
y. They will answer as many service-related questions for one hour beginn=
ing at noon.

Riders wishing to ask questions can visit ww=
w.vre.org/chatterbox in order to participate. Simply click the &ldquo=
;Ask” button to submit a question, or you can just sit back and wat=
ch the conversation flow.

If you can’t join us, you can submit your question early and =
check back later to see if it was answered. Transcripts are also availabl=
e after the fact on our Web site at www.vre.org/feedback/forums/archives.htm


3D=

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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Online Forum Today at Noon

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

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Online Forum Today at Noon

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Join VRE Management to discuss VRE service

We invite both new and veteran riders alike to our monthly On-Line F=
orum where our Acting CEO, Rich, and our Director of Rail Operations, Chr=
is, will answer as many service related questions as possible in an hour.=

Riders wishing to ask questions can visit ww=
w.vre.org/chatterbox in order to participate. Simply click the &ldquo=
;Ask” button to submit a question, or you can just sit back and wat=
ch the conversation flow.

If you can’t join us, you can submit your =
question early and check back later to see if it was answered. Transcript=
s are also available after the fact on our Web site at www.vre.org/feedback/forums/archives.htm

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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1-800-RIDE-VRE

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Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

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Weekly Newsletter

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Weekly Newsletter

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Heat, track work and trains….
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Tie Gangs

Norfolk
Southern surfacing and tie gangs are currently working on the track, begi=
nning
at Broad Run and working their way northward through VRE territory. This =
work
began on Saturday, July 7 and will continue until Monday July 23rd. Work
will take place primarily on Saturdays and Sundays, with a 5 to 6 hour pe=
riod
on Monday that will be used to finish the area and turn it back over to
passenger and freight traffic. As we saw yesterday, the work is focused o=
n
Track 1, which is the track nearest the platforms and the one we use for
boarding passengers. This, unfortunately, resulted in some delays for our=

morning trains ranging between 10 to 27 minutes. Train 321 which is a tur=
n
train that comes back from Union Station to operate as the final northbou=
nd
morning train (332) was delayed getting back to Broad Run because of the =
need
to work back through the speed restricted areas.  That =
resulted in a 42 minute delay for 321
and a 60 minute delay for 332.

Surfacing
and tie gangs are critical to the safe and efficient operation of any rai=
lroad.
In this case, NS expects to replace around 20,000 ties in the VRE territo=
ry. The
tie and surface gangs replace worn ties and at the same time, work on the=
base
foundation and ballast that help hold the ties and rail in place. &=
nbsp;
Once the ties have been replaced, a certain
amount of tonnage has to pass over the rails at restricted speeds to make=
sure
that any needed settling can occur. Speed restrictions begin at 10 mph an=
d then
gradually increase back to regular speeds once enough traffic has been th=
rough
the area. That is why you will still find some speed restrictions on the =
line
today.
We
can expect similar delay issues for the next two Mondays on the Manassas =
line
as the gangs complete this work. The later morning trains have the most
potential for delays, so if possible, please try to adjust your schedule =
to
catch an earlier train and minimize the inconvenience. We will continue t=
o work
with NS and Keolis to do everything possible to keep delays to a minimum.=
As
mentioned above, tie gangs are critical to the safe operation of the rail=
road. The
extremely hot weather that we have experienced for the past couple of wee=
ks has
brought on the need for frequent heat restrictions. In July, 2010 we did =
an
article on heat restrictions and the potential damage of =E2=80=9CHeat Ki=
nks.=E2=80=9D The
periodic replacement of ties and firming of the base and ballast on a rai=
lroad
can help prevent the formation heat kinks. This is why we sacrifice On Ti=
me
Performance on occasion to get this work done.  As we h=
ave always stated, safety of our
passengers and crew is our number one priority.
The
unfortunate incident that occurred last Friday on Metro=E2=80=99s Green L=
ine is a stark
reminder of the potential danger of heat kinks. We have revisited our pre=
vious
article and are including it here to reinforce the point that extreme hea=
t can
cause real damage and we are more than happy to comply with heat restrict=
ions
issued by the railroads in the interest of safety.

From VRE Update, July 2010

This past year has bee=
n
the warmest on record, and in July and August in the DC area, that means =
hot.
For the railroad, hot can be a problem. If you=E2=80=99ve looked in the p=
apers recently
you might have found an article or two about heat kinks or an article abo=
ut
heat related speed restrictions. In the grand scheme of things, heat
restrictions do not really count for that great of delay (8 to 10 minutes=
at
the most which can often be made up). However, when it is hot enough for =
heat
restrictions to be needed, it is also hot enough for the temperatures to =
affect
mechanical equipment such as signals and switches along the tracks. The
combination of these two factors, possible switch or signal issues and sl=
ow
speeds can, unfortunately, result in some delays. But why the need for th=
e restrictions?
=
Trains ride upon two
ribbons of steel. This steel has been metallurgically engineered to be st=
rong
and stable, yet incredibly flexible. This flexibility, which serves well =
in the
creation of curved track and during periods of exceptional cold (when rai=
l
remains strong) can sometimes be a double edged sword.
When many miles of rail
are subjected to intense heat, the rail becomes extremely hot. Since the =
rail
is firmly anchored into the wooden or concrete railroad ties, it has litt=
le
room to move, keeping trains moving at great speeds stable. However, on h=
ot days,
heat causes expansion and the superheated rail can increase in length ove=
r a
great distance. Since there cannot be any gaps in a rail to allow for thi=
s
expansion, pressure builds up in the rail itself as it tries to expand
lengthwise but cannot. With no room to expand, the rail can bow outward l=
ike a
plastic ruler squeezed at each end between your fingers. It pulls the woo=
den
ties right out of the stone track-bed with it and creates a sharp curve. =
When
this occurs, the track has what is known as a =E2=80=9Csun kink=E2=80=9D =
or =E2=80=9Cheat kink=E2=80=9D. These
occur without warning and if unchecked, can create a very unstable operat=
ing
situation for a train. When railroad maintenance officials see that condi=
tions
may be right for such a situation, they issue heat warnings and our train=
s end
up traveling slower, since fast travel speeds add to the friction which a=
dds
to the heat. When trains slow down, there is less friction and therefore =
less
heat which reduces the bending of the rail.
W=
hile no one likes to be
delayed, even if it is only 8 to 10 minutes, the use of speed restriction=
s is
definitely a case of being =E2=80=9Cbetter safe than sorry=E2=80=9D.

Photo
from Friday=E2=80=99s Metro Green Line derailment.


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Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

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Weekly Newsletter

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— Weekly Newsletter —

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No VRE Service for=
Independence Day

In obser=
vance of Independence Day, VRE will not operate
service on Wed. July 4th. Service will resume on Thursday, July 5th.=

Manassas Line Ticket Contest Winner!

We are =
happy to congratulate Reed Stoner, Manassas line
winner of our 20th Anniversary ticket contest! Reed has won a VRE
model train set along with a power pack and track set!

A Frede=
ricksburg line winner will be selected on the July 20th,
the Fredericksburg line anniversary date.

Thanks =
to everyone for entering our contest!

Request for Public Comment Regarding Sm=
oking on VRE
Platforms

The VRE=
Operations Board has approved a request to solicit
public comment through email, letter, and phone on a proposed amendment t=
o the
VRE smoking policy.

If appr=
oved the amendment would modify the existing policy
to read:

Smoking=
of pipes, cigarettes, cigars or any other object is
prohibited at outdoor VRE stations and platforms at all times. Smoking wo=
uld
continue to be prohibited on VRE trains and at indoor VRE station facilit=
ies
consistent with the existing smoking policy.

VRE wil=
l seek comment via email, letter, or phone from now
until July 20, 2012.

Staff w=
ill report back to the Operations Board in August
with a summary of comments and recommendation for action.

To make=
your comments via email, please send them to:
publiccomment@vre.org OR by Fax to: (703) 684-1313.

Manassas Parking Permit Reminder

Manassa=
s parking permit holders remember to flip your
parking permits over to the July/December side.

Meet the Management Next Wed. at Burke =
Centre

The nex=
t Meet the Management event will be on Wed. July 11th
at Burke Centre.

=

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www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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1-800-RIDE-VRE

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