Virginia Railway Express (VRE) can now perform expanded commuter railcar and locomotive maintenance onsite at its new Lifecycle Overhaul and Upgrade (LOU) facility in Spotsylvania County, Va.
The 33,000-square-foot facility features a drop table to remove locomotive and railcar trucks and wheelsets; wheel truing machine to reprofile rolling stock wheelsets; overhead bridge crane with two lift points (one with a five-ton and the other with a 30-ton capacity); and two tracks, each holding up to four locomotives or railcars. VRE, which announced LOU’s official opening on June 29, connects central and northern Virginia with the District of Columbia; its two lines, Manassas and Fredericksburg, serve 19 stations.
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DPRT) teamed with VRE on the $52.7 million project, which included construction of the LOU building, acquisition of 19.5 acres of adjacent property, construction of three additional storage tracks, and upgrades to electrical power and water distribution systems.
“Through the commonwealth’s $11.7 million commitment to this project, along with a $1.7 million VRE local match, this partnership was able to leverage more than $39 million in state-of-good-repair funds from the federal government,” said DRPT Director Jennifer DeBruhl, noting that LOU is “the largest single investment in a VRE station or facility in the rail system’s 31-year history.”
LOU was also “a decade in the making,” according to VRE Operations Board Chair James Walkinshaw. The facility, he pointed out, “will provide significant savings by eliminating the cost of transporting rolling stock to other repair sites and reduce the time our equipment is out of service.”
Added VPRA Executive Director DJ Stadtler: “Working with VRE on construction of the LOU furthers our efforts to provide consistent and convenient rail service to the commonwealth.”
To watch a video of LOU construction, click here.