Fewer Amtrak trains for VRE riders

By Jennifer Buske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 17, 2010

Virginia Railway Express will implement a new schedule Monday that reduces the number of Amtrak trains available to VRE passengers but adds a morning express on the Fredericksburg Line.

Amtrak trains 20, 51, 19 and 50 will no longer be available on the Manassas Line. VRE Train 324 will arrive in Alexandria one minute later, Train 326 will arrive one minute earlier and Train 328 will arrive three minutes earlier.

On the Fredericksburg Line, an express train will leave Fredericksburg at 5:05 a.m., stopping at Leeland Road, Brooke, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Enfant Plaza and Union Station.

The rest of the morning trains will leave as follows: 302 at 5:15 a.m., 304 at 5:40 a.m., 306 at 6:05 a.m., 308 at 6:30 a.m., 310 at 7:10 a.m. and 312 at 7:40 a.m. The evening schedule will remain the same except for Train 305, which will now leave Union Station five minutes later.

Amtrak trains 80, 66, 67 and 79 will no longer be available.

The state-funded new intercity passenger train operated by Amtrak will be available beginning Tuesday. That train -- 174 in the morning and 125 at night -- will stop at Fredericksburg at 8 a.m. and continue on to Quantico, Woodbridge, Alexandria, L'Enfant Plaza and Union Station.

VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said the commuter rail service adjusts its schedule once or twice each year to accommodate freight and passenger rail traffic and to keep trains on schedule. The fact some Amtrak trains will no longer be available, he said, is not linked to Keolis Rail Services America recently assuming operation of VRE trains. Instead, he said, CSX, Amtrak and VRE decided to take those trains out of the VRE schedule because they weren't carrying many VRE passengers.

To see the complete schedule, visit vre.org.

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