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Old 12-28-2010, 09:41 AM
 
5,121 posts, read 5,520,293 times
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I am still trying to work out a commute from Centreville to Alexandria and I've steered clear of the VRE because I was told how horrible it was. But I got to thinking, is it really "that" bad. How late is late? Is it the Fredricksburg or Mananas line that has problems? Etc.

The VRE Mananas Park station is only 8 miles from my house and would literally drop me off right at my office door (it's across the street from the VRE station).

I was just wondering if people who take the VRE could give me honest opinions on the overall reliability of the trains. When it's late, how late is it? Are we talking an hour, 15 minutes, etc? Is this common? How often does it run late and is it in the morning or evening? If it's on time and good 90% of the time, it really would be the most convenient way for me to get to Alexandria.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Washington DC
487 posts, read 1,207,532 times
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Who says VRE is horrible? I always enjoyed my VRE commute when I was making it A year and a half ago. And Im thinking of moving back to the area specifically because of the VRE commute. What specifically was horrible about the commute?
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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I've had a couple of friends tell me that it runs late a lot. But none of them ever rode the VRE, they got the info second hand. When I googled it, I found horror stories about the VRE being late, etc, but then I started to wonder if those were mainly once in a great while stories or people who were upset at the time they wrote. My problem is I don't personally know anyone who rides the VRE to get a balanced opinion. That's what I am looking for here. I don't expect VRE to be perfect, but if it's mostly reliable, etc. I want to give it a try.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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I hope regular VRE users respond to your question. My husband usually drives to work, but on the days he has to arrive to work early, he relies on the VRE (commutes from Burke to Union Station). Obviously, he trusts the VRE to get him there on time versus driving.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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My husband takes the VRE from the Manassas Park station to Alexandria every day, and he only has a problem once a month or so. When there is a delay, it's anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. When it snowed a few inches two weeks ago (or so), he was delayed an hour since something had fallen on the tracks. But generally, he's at work early and has no complaints. Hope that helps!
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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I turn on WTOP traffic every morning at 5:18 a.m. Usually between that time and 6:00 a.m., Lisa Baden will give the status of the VRE and whether each line is on time or delayed. If they are delayed, she usually gives the amount of the delay.

I would probably suggest you listen to that report if you can think about it. I think the VRE website as well as WTOP reports the delays so you should be able to get some real data if you felt like it.

I have commented to myself "Man, that VRE seems to be running late all the time." It seems to me that the Fredericksburg line is often reporting a 15-30 minute delay.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Washington Post has several stories on VRE. This is one of the recent ones:

Delays plague Virginia VRE commuter rail service
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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my last trip to alexandria took 3 hrs from manassas park.. and they dropped ppl off in alexandria telling to use metro to DC...
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies. That Post article was full of great info. From the sound of it, the VRE might be better than driving (I used to drive from Centreville to Falls Church every day at my old job and I'd arrive anywhere from on time to 15 minutes early to 30 minutes late. Twice in December accidents on 66 made me over an hour late for work and three times late coming home).

It sounds like VRE has some issues to work out, but it sounds like it's worth a try. It can't be any worse than driving... I think.

Fantasticx... what happened that it took 3 hours? It's horror stories like that, that have me worried about the VRE. I am hoping it's not that common.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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It has to slow down if it is too cold or too hot.
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