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The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board recently held its first working session to advance a system plan that will serve as the blueprint for future commuter-rail service, according to a press release.With area population projected to grow 37 percent by 2035, VRE is planning to expand its rail system to connect the region's key economic and commercial centers with the population centers. "This plan, when completed, will be the most extensive and progressive transportation plan ever offered by this governing body, addressing the relevance of VRE to not only the core business district, but also our suburban communities," said board Chairman Paul Smedberg in a prepared statement.Based on the board's direction, VRE staff will begin to incorporate modifications to the initial draft of the plan, then send the revised plan back to the board for further comment. The board is expected to ratify the plan in the fall.