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Rail News: Passenger Rail

VRE continues to boost on-time performance

During fiscal-year 2008's first three months, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) has posted an on-time performance (OTP) average of 88 percent, continuing a 16-month trend of improved service, according to the commuter-rail agency.

In FY2008's first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, VRE operated 1,857 trains and recorded 203 delays. OTP on the agency's Manassas and Fredericksburg lines averaged 88.4 percent and 87.7 percent, respectively.

Since FY2006, VRE's OTP has improved 20 percent. Officials attribute the improvement to several recently completed infrastructure projects, such as another bridge and two new tracks at Quantico Creek, a universal crossover in Arkendale, a third track from the Long Bridge that ties into an existing third track in Alexandria and a third track at L'Enfant Plaza. In addition, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation — whose tracks VRE uses — both have completed large tie-replacement programs.

VRE also has reduced locomotive-related service delays 13 percent during the past year by implementing a mandatory component replacement program and moving its entire maintenance operation to yards so crews can work on locomotives at the end of service days and during weekends.

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More News from 10/29/2008