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VRE Apologizes, Explains Delays

From VRE Train Talk eNews

We would first like to apologize to all those who were delayed both last Friday (March 3, 2017) and then again today (March 7) on Train 312 (Departs Spotsylvania at 7:05 am) and Train 314 (Departs Spotsylvania at 7:33 am). Both delays were the result of mechanical issues, and while the assumption may be the root cause was the same, it was not. Just a bad coincidence.

On Monday, 312 lost Head End Power (HEP) at Brooke Station. By itself, the loss of HEP doesn’t keep the train from operating, but it would keep us from offering air conditioning and lights. Unfortunately, the train then lost all power coming into Quantico. Normally, when a train loses power, we try to couple the train with the next train behind it. In this instance, however, 312 was blocking the road crossing at Quantico, so when we were able to get power restored, we chose to have that train continue north, primarily to clear the crossing and get everyone moving again. The train then lost power again south of Woodbridge, and we ultimately coupled the train with 314 to get both trains in.

This morning, when 312 lost power, we automatically went to couple with 314. Today’s issue, though was different, and coupling with 314 did not resolve the power issue. Ultimately, we were forced to uncouple the trains, move 314 back south past a crossover, then allow 312 to operate under locomotive control back south to our Crossroads yard.

While there are often railroad or weather related delays which are unavoidable, we have always strived to minimize any mechanical related delays and maximize on time performance. The delays this week are not indicative of any systemic issues, but we are working with our mechanical crews and management to do a full root cause analysis so we can minimize these occurrences in the future.

In the meantime, please accept our sincere apology for the delays and inconvenience that resulted. We appreciate everyone’s patience and will do everything in our power to keep delays like this from happening again.

We would also like to thank our partners at PRTC who were able to send a few buses to the Woodbridge station so anyone who wanted to head back south to their cars could do so.

As always, thanks for riding VRE.
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