Thursday, October 4, 2012
VRE Fredericksburg trains were delayed up to an hour due to a suspicious package in D.C.
VRE's Fredericksburg service was halted Tuesday as D.C. Metropolitan Police secured L’Enfant Station to investigate a suspicious package. Trains were delayed up to an hour, according to VRE, and then VRE had some trains skip stops to lessen congestion and reduce delays. Rich Dalton, VRE director of rail equipment and services, and Chris Henry, director of rail operations, addressed the issues in Wednesday's online forum. Their remarks about the situation preceded the usual question and answer format, and are included here in there entirety. We would first like to start off by saying we apologize for any inconveniences experienced last night as a result of the disruption. In today’s world, we have to take every threat seriously as we …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The annual event tests emergency and security preparedness.
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is conducting its annual simulated train disaster on Oct. 27, and they are looking for volunteers to serve as simulated victims. The drill will be held in Alexandria. "The purpose of the annual simulation is to test VRE's federally approved Emergency Preparedness Plan and our security preparedness," said VRE in a press release. "During the simulated disaster, local, state and federal first responders test their skills in responding to the train emergency, and VRE gauges our crew, our railroad partners' and our staffs' preparedness for addressing any train emergency." Volunteer victims must arrive no later than 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, and will be free to leave no later than 1 p.m. Additional …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Manassas Park Police say the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office is assisting the investigation.
Update: Medical Examiner's office said that the remains are not human. Original article: Human body parts were found in a package at mile marker 30.6 on the railroad tracks in Manassas Park, said Mark Roeber, manager of public affairs for Virginia Railway Express. Roeber told Patch that Manassas Park Police informed VRE officials of the remains at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. All Amtrak and VRE trains were prevented from moving until police gave them clearance, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said. Manassas Park Police Chief John Evans said he couldn't confirm that body parts or human remains were found at the scene. The department did later release a statement saying the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office is assisting in the investigation. It …
Friday, September 14, 2012
The first of three express buses will run from Burke to Tysons. Routes from Lorton and Springfield set for next spring.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday a series of express bus routes to Tysons Corner. The service will use the nearly completed I-495 Express Lanes to shuttle commuters from the Burke Centre Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Lorton VRE and Springfield VRE stations to Tysons. The three bus routes are expected to run every 15 minutes during rush hours, and one-way fares are expected to cost between $3.65 and $5.35. Final fare and schedule details will be decided in the fall. “These new bus routes are a great step in the effort to reduce congestion on our roads and provide more transportation alternatives for our residents.” Chairman Bulova said in a statement. “People taking advantage of this new opportunity will enjoy a …
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The new chief executive officer was ratified by transportation commissions.
Doug Allen has been ratified as the new Chief Executive Officer of Virginia Railway Express by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), according to Virginia Railway Express Chairman Wally Covington. Allen replaces Dale Zehner, who served as VRE's first CEO from 2004 until his retirement on June 30, 2012. Allen is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas. “The Operations Board felt that Mr. Allen’s background and his previous experience made him a perfect fit for moving VRE ahead in the years to come,” said Chairman Covington in a press release. According to the …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Public meeting scheduled August 22 to review plans.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a public meeting this Wednesday (Aug. 22) to discuss the proposed new Fairfax Connector service that will use the 495 Express Lanes. Once the 495 Express Lanes are opened this December, the proposed new Fairfax Connector routes would include: According to the Fairfax Connector's webpage, these new routes would: The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Braddock Hall at the Braddock Governmental Center.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The majority of board members want to wait for the FBI to complete its investigation.
The board of Virginia Railway Express (VRE) voted Friday not to request an independent investigation into whether a VRE official did anything improper to benefit a company he owns. VRE Board Member and Stafford County Supervisor Susan Stimpson requested the investigation. “I’m very disappointed in fellow board members. . . . We need to ensure our internal controls are functioning," Stimpson told the Washington Post. But the majority of VRE board members said they want to wait until another investigation by the FBI is completed. The Washington Post reported Friday the FBI is investigating allegations that another former VRE official "may have steered an agency contract to a company in return for a payoff." The Post obtained the email which…
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Rich Dalton to answer questions between noon and 1 p.m. July 11.
Wednesday's edition of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) monthly on-line forum will feature acting CEO Rich Dalton, as well as Director of Rail Operations Chris Henry. They will answer as many service-related questions as possible for one hour beginning at noon. Riders wishing to ask questions can visit www.vre.org/chatterbox in order to participate. Simply click the “Ask” button to submit a question, or you can just sit back and watch the conversation flow. If you can’t join the conversation at noon, you can submit your question early and check back later to see if it was answered. Transcripts are also available after the fact on VRE's web site. VRE provided this email to Patch.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Richard Dalton takes over on July 1 from retiring CEO Dale Zehner.
Richard Dalton was appointed this week by the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board to lead the agency after the retirement of current CEO Dale Zehner this month. Dalton, who is now the director of VRE rail equipment and services, will officially begin leading the agency on July 1, one day after Zehner's retirement from the post, according to a VRE news release. Zehner, who announced his resignation in February, is the first person in VRE history to hold the CEO position. Calling Dalton a "seasoned veteran of rail operations," VRE officials said he intends to continue the agency's customer-driven philosophy while keeping up its aggressive growth. Dalton also plans to continue with the Phase 2 Long-Term Strategic Plan, which calls for …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
New map feature includes drop-down menu for Blackberry users.
The Virginia Railway Express recently debuted changes to the mapping feature in its Rail Time system, a program used by riders to track the whereabouts of trains on the Manassas and Fredericksburg Lines. VRE officials were prompted to make the change to Rail Time after Microsoft canceled MapPoint—the mapping feature Rail Time used—in December, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said this week. Microsoft customers like VRE were then required to migrate to Bing in order to continue providing maps for services like Rail Time, he said. VRE made the changes available to the public this week after converting its account to Bing and making some changes to its scripts and code so the Bing maps can work well with the system. Officials said the 9-year-old …