Monday, March 29, 2010

VRE eyes L’Enfant Plaza as secondary terminus

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Rider feedback has led Virginia Railway Express officials to revise its proposal to operate new and longer trains, with one of those changes being to terminate and originate some trains at L’Enfant Plaza Station instead of the current Washington, D.C. terminus, Union Station.

Storage capacity at L'Enfant Plaza would allow VRE to to add cars to two Manassas Line trains and four Fredericksburg Line trains.

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Rider input solicited by VRE also calls for an express train on the Fredericksburg Line that would leave at 5:05 a.m. and stop only at Leeland Road, Brooke, Alexandria, Crystal City, L'Enfant, and Union Station. VRE officials said the express could trim 20 minutes from a rider's trip into Washington.

VRE chief executive Dale Zehner said both proposals needed to be reworked. Zehner said he is working with CSX, the owner of the tracks, to try to get all evening trains to depart from Union Station. To do so, VRE would need to bring the express train from L'Enfant Plaza to Union Station during the afternoon. But CSX must make sure that doing so would not affect other train operations, VRE officials said. If Zehner cannot reach a deal, one evening train will have to leave from L'Enfant Plaza.