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VRE apologizes for delays

Mark Berman

Virginia Railway Express officials have released an apology and explanation for the delays that afflicted some Fredricksburg Line riders this morning.

VRE officials announced last month that the rail agency was taking steps to improve on-time performance, including departing stations on time, even if riders were running for the platform. This summer VRE was also plagued with heat restrictions and mechanical failures, and the rail service has been adjusting to being operated by Keolis, which took over from Amtrak in July.

-- Michael Bolden

Here's the VRE's take on this morning's delays:

For those of you who rode on a delayed Fredericksburg Line train this morning, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience today. While at first blush, it may look like all of the trains had mechanical problems this morning, in reality it was just one. The equipment originally scheduled to operate as Train #304 began having problems with the cab car (the lead car in the morning). When it was apparent that the problem could not be fixed immediately, we moved up the next train's equipment (#306) to operate Train #304. This switch happened again when we used Train #308's equipment to operate as train #306.

We thought the problem was solved and decided to operate Train #308 with the equipment that had been having issues. It was lined up to leave our storage yard right after train #306. As a result, we opted to implement our skip stop policy (at Leeland Road and Brooke) to ensure adequate temporal separation between the two trains. Normally, our skip stop policy is only enacted when we know that the trains are following close together. However, the equipment on Train #308 stopped again right after departing the yard, forcing us to cancel that train. Unfortunately, we could not contact the crew quickly enough to have Train #306 stop at Leeland Road, but we were able to stop at Brooke.

We understand that you depend on us to be on-time. Rest assured, we are still in the process of evaluating the entire situation from start to finish, because we know that thing could have done been done better.

FRCs were handed out on train #306, the only train eligible for FRCs. However, if you were bypassed at the Leeland Road station, please use the form on our website at

Were you affected by this morning's delays? Post a comment below.

7:10 A.M. UPDATE:
VRE riders can show their tickets to Metro personnel at the Franconia-Springfield station for access to the Metro.

6:53 A.M. UPDATE:
Due to the equipment problems for train 308, train 306 will actually make the stop at Brooke. VRE was not able to get the message to train 306 in time to stop at Leland Road, though, so riders at that station will be waiting for a bit.

6:50 A.M. UPDATE:
Train 308 will actually be at least 15 behind late due to earlier equipment problems.

A head's up for VRE riders: Train 304 is running late and is currently in the area of Woodbridge (according to VRE's real time map). Train 306 is moving and will arrive in Fredericksburg 25 minutes late. It will bypass Brooke and Leland Road. Train 308 will make all stops and run about 10 minutes behind train 306.

By Mark Berman  | October 4, 2010; 6:42 AM ET
Categories:  Virginia Railway Express  
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