Amtrak put screws to VRE

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  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 11,909 posts
Amtrak put screws to VRE
Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, January 27, 2024 10:06 PM
For what ever reason Amtrak Friday afternoon jan 26 put a switch leading into the lower lever of WASH Union station out of service for maintenance.  This limited VRE's access to some tracks causing VRE to originate and stop all trains at L''Enfant.  No info but was the switch broken or could have Amtrak done it after VRE's activity and this weekend?.
Quote from VRE

This Evening’s VRE Service

This afternoon, a switch leading into Union Station was taken out of service by Amtrak for maintenance. The location of this switch limited the number of platform tracks that could be utilized for Amtrak and VRE afternoon/evening service. To help reduce the number of trains going through the area, we made several adjustments:

VRE northbound Manassas Line Train 336, which normally turns at Union Station as southbound Train 331, turned at Alexandria as 329. For the Manassas Line riders who wished to ride 329 from Union Station, L’Enfant, or Crystal City, we held Fredericksburg Line Train 307 to take those passengers to Alexandria where they could transfer to 329.

Similarly, northbound Manassas Line Train 338 also turned at Alexandria as 337, and those passengers from Union Station, L’Enfant and Crystal City for 337 were brought to Alexandria by Fredericksburg Line Train 315. Train 315 was further delayed by track congestion north of the Crystal City Station.

Fredericksburg Line Train 309, which is stored in the siding just north of the L’Enfant station, usually moves north from the storage track into Union Station to begin its southbound trip. Today, 309 originated at L’Enfant southbound instead of making the initial northbound move.

Summary of delays due to track congestion/service adjustments caused by the out-of-service switch:

Fredericksburg Line:
Train 305: 8 minutes
Train 307: 18 minutes
Train 315: 25 minutes

Manassas Line:
Train 329: 26 minutes
Train 337: 32 minutes
Train 336: terminated at the Alexandria Station
Train 338: terminated at the Alexandria Station

We realize changes like these can create confusion and inconvenience for the affected passengers and for that we apologize.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Automated Service Information:


Note: Updates are not typically available for delays under 10 minutes as time is often made up en route.
  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Canterlot
  • 9,567 posts
Posted by zugmann on Saturday, January 27, 2024 10:21 PM

Usually if a switch is pulled out of service, it is broken.  




The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 25,157 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, January 28, 2024 8:24 AM

From experience - Amtrak loves screwing VRE and MARC when they can.

If I had to guess, the issue was most likely a broken switch point - unknown if the point had to be replaced or repaired (welded back into shape).  Neither is a 'quick' fix.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!


  • Member since
    June 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 6,933 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, January 28, 2024 8:32 AM

Amtrak loves screwing VRE and MARC when they can.

Thats the political position that METRA takes in Chicago about Amtrak. 

However, my personal observation as a Amtrak rider.....just the reverse is true.    I think local commuter systems view Amtrak as they do Uncle Sugar.    This is the main driving reason I suspect strongly they are under paying for Amtrak depot usage / track usage / dispatching........because they know they can get away with it and no politician will ask for an audit.

Could be wrong in all this but that is my current perception.

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