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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 07/12/2010

Ready for the new Virginia Railway Express?

By Dan Malouff

UPDATE: 2:20 p.m. -- The original post read that VRE tickets will no longer be accepted on all Amtrak trains when, in fact, the change only applies to certain Amtrak trains.

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has officially changed operators. Today marked the first day of service run by a company called Keolis, rather than by historic operator Amtrak. The change in contractor saves VRE money.

For this first week of Keolis service, everything is the same as it was under Amtrak, but starting next week there will be some changes.

The most noteworthy change is that since Amtrak no longer runs VRE, VRE tickets will no longer be accepted on certain Amtrak trains. Amtrak will still run its Virginia intercity trains of course, and will continue to stop at the same stations, but you’ll need an actual Amtrak ticket to ride. One new VRE train is being added to the Fredericksburg line to compensate, but it’s still a loss.

Continue reading this post by Dan Malouff at Beyond DC here.

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Dan Malouff  | July 12, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, crime, transportation  
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Mr. Malouff, a correction is in order. The VRE-Amtrak cross-honor agreement will still remain in place. There are SOME Amtrak trains that will no longer accept Step-Up tickets, but still quite a few that will. The changes to the cross-honoring agreement have to do with minimal utilization on the affected trains and not the change to the operating contract. Riders should check the VRE website for more information.

Posted by: Lamb2 | July 12, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Lamb2 is correct.

According to, Step-Up tickets will no longer be accepted on Amtrak trains 66-67 and 79-80 on the Fredericksburg Line or trains 19-20 and 50-51 on the Manassas Line.

That still leaves 83-84, 85-86, 87, 93-94, and 95 on the Fredericksburg Line, as well as 171 and 176 on the Manassas Line, accepting Step-Up tickets.

It's a significant impact, to be sure, but for those who ride VRE, there's a big difference between changes in eligible trains and outright loss of Amtrak service.

Posted by: jamessamans | July 12, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

My train was 20 minutes late this morning. I don't usually mind 20 minutes late in the evening, but I can't be late to work regularly. If Keolis doesn't do better tomorrow, the complaints will get louder and meaner.

Posted by: Shakescene21 | July 12, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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