VRE throttles back Gainesville, Haymarket expansion plans

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A southbound VRE commuter train arrives at Alexandria, Va., in August 2013.
Alex Mayes
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Managers at Virginia Railway Express have decided to table further studies on extending commuter rail service to Gainesville or Haymarket in northern Virginia, Inside Nova reports.

Instead, the agency is shifting its efforts on a rehabilitation of its Broad Run station in Bristow, Va., on the Manassas Line. Earlier this month, the agency’s operations board decided to use $750,000 to help fund a revised study that would improve the station facilities while also adding more trains.

The $2.8 million study lays the groundwork for a significant expansion of storage space at the Broad Run facility that would allow the agency to add six trains per day to its Manassas line.

In July 2015, the agency started exploring different ways it could expand commuter service, including an extension to Gainesville and Haymarket. Upon further review, project leaders determined that extending commuter rail service to those additional communities would result in only a minor increase in ridership, but a price tag as high as $660 million.

The agency will now focus on a more conservative expansion plan to overhaul its Broad Run facilities and add service. Preliminary figures suggest the Broad Run project could cost about $345 million in construction expenses.

A revised study will take about one year to complete.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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