Archive for October, 2012

Metro Option For Springfield Elevator

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

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Metro Option For Springfield Elevator

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The Metro option has been opened for passengers unable to board or dis=
charge at Franconia due to the elevator outage on the VRE side. Passenger=
s who wish to detrain at Franconia should ride to Alexandria and transfer=
to a Blue Line Metrorail train. Show your VRE ticket to station agent to=
gain free access to the system.

Passengers who wish to board VRE at Franconia but are unable due to th=
e elevator outage should show your VRE ticket to Metro station agent to g=
ain access to the system and ride to Alexandria to connect to VRE.

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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Five-Day Passes

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

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Five-Day Passes

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Riders with Five Day passes can show their passes to their crew-member=
to have the missed rides from 10/29 and 10/30 exchanged for FRCs.

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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Elevator Outages: Franconia/Springfield & Woodbridge

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

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Elevator Outages: Franconia/Springfield & Woodbridge

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For morning service, Wednesd=
ay October 31, 2012, the following elevators are out of service:

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Fredericksburg Line

Franconia Springfield, VRE Side Elev=
ator

Woodbridge, Parking Garage Elevator

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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VRE Full Operations Wed 10/31

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

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VRE Full Operations Wed 10/31

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Full Schedule of Train Servi=
ce – Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy spared the tracks, bridges, signals and stations that VRE uses f=
rom the full brunt of the storm. Therefore, we plan on operating our full=
normal schedule tomorrow (Wednesday, October 31, 2012) without the e=
xpectation of delays related to flash flooding or power outages on either=
line.

While our system fared very well through the storm, the areas surround=
ing our stations may not have done so well. Take extra precaution driving=
along dark arterial roads as you head to the VRE stations as many trees =
weakened by the storm may have yet to topple and traffic signal outages a=
re common throughout the areas.

Another significant caution to be aware of is hydroplaning. Manassas L=
ine passengers have seen what happens when leaves get between the wheels =
of our locomotives and the railhead, but the same can be said for the roa=
dway. A huge amount of leaves were shed from trees, coating slick roadway=
s. When vehicles drive over them, even at reduced speeds – the adhesion b=
etween your tires and the roadway is quickly reduced, leaving you suscept=
ible to uncontrolled sliding.

Bottom line, please be careful. You made it through a hurricane, don’t=
let a wet leaf get you.

Thanks for riding VRE.

 

 

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Tuesday 10/30

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Tuesday 10/30

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VRE Service Cancelled Tuesd=
ay 10/30

Sandy has impacted VRE service territory and as a result, VRE will not=
operate trains for today – Tuesday, 10/30.

 

Also, throughout the day today, we’ll be assessing the property as the=
storm moves out of the area to determine our ability to

run on Wednesday. We’ll make an announcement as early as possible rega=
rding Wednesday.

 

For detailed information on VRE service as this storm unfolds, stay t=
uned to your Train Talk account or call our automated information line 1=
.800.RIDE.VRE (1.800.743.3873)

 

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

Don’t have Train Talk? Its free, secure and essential for important V=
RE service information. To subscribe your email or wireless device visit=
: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/VAVRE/subscriber/new

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Tuesday 10/30

Monday, October 29th, 2012

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Tuesday 10/30

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VRE Service Cancelled Tuesd=
ay 10/30

Sandy is expected to slam the VRE service territory directly this even=
ing and create the potential for significant problems to our

tracks, stations and the region in general. As a result, VRE will not =
operate trains for Tuesday, 10/30.

 

Also, throughout the day tomorrow, we’ll be assessing the property as =
the storm moves out of the area to determine our ability to

run on Wednesday. If we cannot run, we’ll announcement as early as pos=
sible.

 

For detailed information on VRE service as this storm unfolds, stay t=
uned to your Train Talk account or call our automated information line 1=
.800.RIDE.VRE (1.800.743.3873)

 

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

Don’t have Train Talk? Its free, secure and essential for important V=
RE service information. To subscribe your email or wireless device visit=
: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/VAVRE/subscriber/new

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Monday 10/29

Monday, October 29th, 2012

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Monday 10/29

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The Virginia Railway Express will not operate any trains for Monday, O=
ctober 29, 2012. Additionally, as we see how the weather

impacts our region, we’ll make an announcement by 6pm Monday night wit=
h regards to our operating status for Tuesday.

Also, VRE’s main offices will be closed for Monday 10/29.

 

Amtrak has cancelled train service for the Northeast Corridor and in o=
ther areas. For information on Amtrak service, visit www.amtrak.com

or call 1.800.USA.RAIL (1.800.872.7245).

 

Metrobus, Metrorail and Metroaccess service is suspended until further=
notice. Information can be found at www.wmata.com

 

 

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Monday 10/29

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

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VRE Train Service Cancelled Monday 10/29

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The Virginia Railway Express will not operate any trains for Monday, O=
ctober 29, 2012. Additionally, as we see how the weather

impacts our region, we’ll make an announcement by 6pm Monday night wit=
h regards to our operating status for Tuesday.

 

Amtrak has begun cancelling train service for the Northeast Corridor a=
nd for information on Amtrak service, visit www.amtrak.com

or call 1.800.USA.RAIL (1.800.872.7245).

 

Please stay safe.

 

www.vre.org
gotrains@vre.org

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Queuing in Aisles/Vestibules

Friday, October 26th, 2012

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Queuing in Aisles/Vestibules

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As a young Operations Manager at Walt Disney World, I struggled with t=
he balance between the constant focus on Courtesy, and the overriding imp=
ortance of Safety. I learned quickly that nothing took priority over Safe=
ty. Getting guests to understand the importance of Safety and the inevita=
ble rules and policies that resulted was tough. A veteran manager told me=
once that sometimes we have to protect people from themselves be=
cause they get into this place and they don’t see or understand the inher=
ent dangers that could result in injury if we did not hold fast to our gu=
idelines and policies.

Thirty years later, I joined VRE because of its reputation for excelle=
nt customer service and impeccable safety standards. I ride the train dai=
ly, usually from Brooke, Fredericksburg, or Broad Run. I have seen the pa=
ssengers alight at Broad Run and sprint to their cars so that they don’t =
get stuck in the inevitable long line of traffic on Piper Lane. I have se=
en passengers run to the stairs at Rippon to make sure they are first up =
and across the bridge to the parking lot. I have seen the Leeland passeng=
ers do the same because the parking lot exits on to Leeland Road and Prim=
mer House Road tend to back-up. We have sent out numerous courtesy and sa=
fety reminders to all passengers to drive safely through parking lots, no=
t to push and shove your way off the train, not to block access to the ve=
stibules so other passengers can exit at their stations and not miss thei=
r stop,…etc.

One of the major issues, where courtesy reminders have not had the des=
ired effect, is standing in the vestibules. Is it safe to stand in a vest=
ibule? Yes. Is it as safe as sitting or standing in the main body of the =
car? No. We recognize that there are times when the trains are very crowd=
ed and standing in the vestibule is necessary. On the Fredericksburg Line=
, though, that situation is resolved by the time we depart Rippon and Qua=
ntico (on the Manassas Line, the same is true after Burke Centre). Theref=
ore, the conductors ask passengers to clear the vestibule and aisles. Thi=
s is primarily for the safety of the passengers in the vestibules, and se=
condarily allows clear access so that passengers wishing to get off at th=
e southern stations are not blocked from doing so. In the past few weeks,=
we have received numerous complaints about passengers wishing to exit at=
Brooke, not being allowed access by the crowds already queuing and occup=
ying the vestibule for their own departure at Leeland Road. In efforts by=
the conductors to resolve this issue, we have had a conductor threatened=
with bodily harm, a conductor cursed at and verbally harassed, and a con=
ductor physically shoved by a passenger.

We understand the desire to get home as quickly as possible and put th=
e work day behind you. Like many of you, I ride one of the first two trai=
ns up in the morning, putting me in my office by 6:00 or 6:30 am. Since w=
e cannot offer a train at 2:30 or 3:00 pm, and if I am lucky enough to be=
able to leave the office, I ride 303, getting me back to Brooke at 5:00 =
pm. 12 hours from the time I arrived there in the morning. Unfortunately,=
that is the price we pay for working in the city and living so far south=
. Everyone on the train faces the same situation, and everyone would pref=
er to be at home enjoying what remains of their day. We strive to get eve=
ryone to their destination stations on time and, most important, safely.

We have now, what I believe is one of those situations where w=
e need to protect some folks from themselves.
Our cars are made =
to accommodate standing, the vestibules are not. When a train clears enou=
gh passengers to allow everyone onboard to have a seat, we will ask that =
all passengers clear the vestibules and take a seat, or at least stand wi=
thin the main body of the car. We will reiterate our request to not queue=
in the aisles until the train has departed the station prior to your ult=
imate destination.

Our conductors are some of the best in the industry and we are very pl=
eased with their overall performance, as are most of you, according to ou=
r most recent Customer Service Survey. The conductor is the person solely=
responsible for the safe passage of the train. He or she is the sole aut=
hority on the train for what is and is not acceptable. He or she also has=
the authority to remove passengers from the train if they choose to igno=
re or defy a request. We obviously do not want a situation to ever get to=
that point, but we will also not tolerate the kind of behavior that a ve=
ry small minority of our passengers has exhibited in the past few weeks. =
It would be a shame to have to change our procedures and inconvenience an=
entire trainload of passengers just to deal with a few who refuse to com=
ply with our requests.

To reiterate and make the point clear:

No standing in the vestibules,

Remain seated until the train has departed the station before =
your destination, and

Obey any requests made by the Conductors.

Failure to comply on any one of these issues could result in t=
he conductor stopping the train, not departing a station until everyone i=
s in a safe position, or removing passengers from the train.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy communication. I ho=
pe that this addresses many of the concerns that we see repeatedly throug=
h GoTrains and on the Online Forum. As always, we thank you for making VR=
E your commuting choice.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this or any other iss=
ues, please feel free to contact me through GoTrains@vre.org

Chris Henry

Director of Rail Operations 

 

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gotrains@vre.org

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News You Can Use

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

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News You Can Use

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— Weekly Newsletter —

For Immediate Release

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Spotsylvania Parking Impact Survey

This is a survey for those riders who park in Fredericksburg, Leelan=
d Road, and Brooke.

We are looking for feedback on how a future Spotsylvania station wil=
l impact those riders. If you utilize one of these three stations please =
fill out our survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZDQSWTL.

Effective, Thursday, November 22, 2012, Expired Tickets Will=
No Longer Be Replaced

VRE’s policy has always been that all of our tickets expire one year=
from the date of purchase. In the past, we had made ex=
ceptions on a case by case basis to replace expired tickets one time.&nbs=
p;That eventually led to a practice of replacing any expired tickets, one=
time.  

Effective, Thursday, November 22, 2012, we will discontinue the prac=
tice of replacing expired tickets.  

If you have expired tickets, you may exchange them between now and N=
ovember 21, 2012 by contacting our office at 703-684-1001, or by filling =
out the Ticket Echange form found under the What’s New section of our web=
site (www.vre.org).

During this one month grace period, tickets will be exchanged for li=
ke-kind tickets up to $100 in value. 

Amtrak Step-Up tickets cost VRE $10 each time one is produced, not w=
hen it is used, therefore, replacing an expired Step-Up ticket costs VRE =
a total of $20, for which we receive only $5 in revenue. Effective immediately, expired Amtrak tickets will not be replaced.

Effective December 1st, Amtrak Step-Up t=
ickets will be $3.00

In order to mitigate construction-related congestion associated with=
the construction of the I-95 Express Lanes Project, the Virginia Departm=
ent of Transportation (VDOT) has implemented a Transportation Management =
Plan (TMP) that provides for expanded transit options for commuters who u=
se I-95. As part of the TMP, VDOT has funded a plan to =
buy down a portion of the commuter=E2=80=99s cost of the Amtrak Step-Up t=
icket. The new price of an Amtrak Step-Up ticket will b=
e $3. As is currently the case, the Step-Up ticket must be used in conjun=
ction with a multi-ride VRE ticket for one-way travel on the Amtrak Cross=
-Honor Service trains listed on the VRE schedule.

We hope to have all of the agreements in place to make the new price=
effective December 1, 2012. VRE will not be trading in the current $5 ti=
ckets for the new tickets. If you have pre-purchased Amtrak =
Step-up Tickets, those tickets will still be valid through their expirati=
on date (1 year from the date of purchase).

We will keep everyone informed as we finalize the implementation of =
the new ticket price.

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