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VRE to test 10-car trains


Virginia Railway Express will deploy two10-car trains on Wednesday as the commuter rail service tests whether a new engine can handle the load, officials said.

VRE is buying 19 new locomotives, with the last of the units going into service in 2012. One of the new V50 engines is currently in operation. The locomotive is designed to "easily pull a full 10-car set," officials said.

The first 10-car train departs Fredricksburg at 5:15 a.m. (Train 202). The second (Train 307) departs Union Station at 4:40 p.m. VRE is encouraging riders to fill the trains to test the engines capabilities.

The 19 new units are being built by Motive Power in Idaho and cost about $77 million in all, with funding coming from the state, local and federal governments. Although the first locomotive is in place, the next two will not arrive until November. The units will then arrive at a rate of two per month through May, according to VRE, with the last four arriving in 2012.

VRE officials have said the new engine will enable the rail service to add capacity in the future. VRE is the 10th-largest commuter rail system in the nation, with average daily ridership of more than 17,000.

-- Staff reports

By Michael Bolden  | September 28, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Metro, Northern Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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