Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents. You can email him at

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VRE makes moves on Spotsylvania station, third track

The Virginia Railway Express Operations Board made a few moves on the Spotsylvania station and third track during its monthly meeting on Friday.

VRE is moving ahead with the Spotsylvania station and third-track projects. (Free Lance-Star file photo.)

One vote by the board will allow CSX, which owns the tracks, to begin design work for signal switches and crossovers as part of the new 2.6-mile third track that will connect the new Spotsylvania station to the mainline.

There were recent changes made to the crossovers that will allow this section of the third track to be integrated with the expanding third-track network from Richmond to Washington, said Kevin Page, chief operating officer with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

The crossover work added $12.5 million to the third-track project, pushing that total to $32.5 million.

“This is a very critical piece” of the project, said Dale Zehner, VRE chief operating officer, who was overseeing his final board meeting. Zehner will step down next month. VRE is still interviewing candidates for the job.

The board also voted on Friday to allow VRE to manage the design and construction of the new Spotsylvania station, which will cost $3.425 million to build. The board voted to approve $405,912 for platform and station design and engineering.

The station is going to be built in the Crossroads Industrial Park off the U.S. 17 bypass.

Gary Skinner, a member of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors and the VRE board, said everything is on schedule for the station to open in late 2013.

Among other items, the VRE board also talked about a no-smoking policy on station platforms. The board voted to have VRE reach out to riders to see what they think about the possibility of banning smoking from the platform area of stations. Smoking is already banned in the trains.


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