Virginia Railway Express celebrates 25th anniversary

COMMUTER rail services from Northern Virginia into Washington (DC) celebrated their 25th anniversary in July.

Services operated by Virginia Railway Express (VRE) started between Washington and Manassas on June 22, 1992 with services to Fredericksburg starting on July 20 that year. Over the 25 years of operation the system has developed with extensions to both lines, new stations and rolling stock.

VRE MP36PH-3C loco V66 near Crystal City, close to the Pentagon and just south of Washington DC on June 1, with southbound service; the double-deck coaches behind the loco date from 1956. KEITH FENDER

VRE services are operated for State transport authorities by contractors, initially Amtrak and since 2010 French company Keolis; almost all the lines used are owned by freight railroads. To start with the VRE loco fleet was a mixture of second-hand EMD diesels but since 2010 a fleet of 20 new MP36PH-3C diesel locos has replaced them.

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