Spotsylvania (VRE station)

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VREX commuter rail station
Station statistics
Address VRE Drive at US Route 17[1]
Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 3
Parking 1482 spaces[1]
Other information
Opened July 2015 (planned)[2]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Passengers (upon opening) 1,300 daily (estimated)[3]
Preceding station   Virginia Railway Express   Following station
Terminus Fredericksburg Line

Spotsylvania is a commuter rail station planned to be built in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It is planned to open in July 2015 as an extension of the Virginia Railway Express Fredericksburg Line.[2][4] It will be built off US Route 17 about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. The station will consist of a 700-foot (210 m)-long low-level platform with a canopy and a small headhouse with restrooms.[5] The station will have 1482 parking spaces for commuters.[1]

Spotsylvania will be the first extension of VRE service since its opening, but not the first station added to the system, as Lorton and Franconia-Springfield opened as infill stations in the mid 1990s.[6]


Initial plans[edit]

Since its opening in July 1992, the Fredericksburg Line has terminated at its namesake city. Spotsylvania was not included in the 1992 VRE network because the county was not part of the original funding district.[7] However, the Fredericksburg lot serves a substantial number of commuters from Spotsylvania County - between 900 and 1000 daily by 2012. This caused capacity problems at the lot and prevented local residents from parking there.[3] In 2004, VRE's Strategic Plan indicated the possibility of a station in Spotsylvania at a Route 17 site, citing existing ridership from the county and the need for increased parking, as well as noting that the extension could be constructed relatively cheaply, allowing for near-term implementation.[7]

Joining VRE[edit]

On August 18, 2009, the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors voted to join VRE. In September 2009 they additionally voted to join its associated funding district, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).[8][9] The North Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) approved the decision (which included provisions for a VRE station in Spotsylvania) in November 2009, and Spotsylvania joined VRE and the PRTC in February 2010.[8] In August 2010, a Spotsylvania-funded study indicated that a site just south of Route 17 was the optimum location for the station.[8] The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors approved the site in October 2010.[10]

Construction delays[edit]

The VRE board issued preliminary approval of the extension in June 2012 and devoted about $400,000 in VRE funds to the project.[11]

A Department of Environmental Quality public comment period regarding the third track lasted from January to February 2013.[12] Design work started in June 2012 and was finished by March 2013.[13] In March 2013, the VRE board voted to issue an invitation for bids, due in in May 2013.[14][15] On May 17, the board issued a $2,349,000 contract to Hammerhead Construction for station construction, with work intended to begin in June.[13] A $8 million contract for the third track was awarded in June.[16] A $20 million contract with CSX Transportation was approved in September 2013; this signing allowed construction but work did not yet begin.[17]

The station was originally planned to open in December 2013, but this has been delayed several times. A completion date of March 2014 with the third track several month later was announced in September 2013.[17] A later date of June 2014 was announced in November 2013 due to delays in negotiations, as the owners of the property upon which the third track and parking lot will be built have disputed the price they were to be paid for the land.[18] Construction on the third track started in early 2014, but not on the parking lot and station, due to a continued lack of agreement. In May 2014, VDOT took over negotiations from the county, as the state agency has more power of eminent domain.[19]

In July 2014, VDOT filed a certificate of take in a county court, which the property owners consented to; this allows the land to be transferred even without a final agreement on the sale price.[20] A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on August 12, 2014.[2] Bidding for the parking lot and roadway construction opened on July 25, 2014, with bids due on August 27.[20][1][21] The $7.3 million lowest bid was selected in September 2014.[22]

The third track and station will be complete by February 2015, but parking lot construction will take eight months to complete, further delaying opening until July 2015.[2][1] However, at the groundbreaking, officials stated that the station may open as soon as December 2014 even if the parking lot is not yet complete.[23]


The station itself will cost $3.4 million to build, while the associated 2.6 miles of third track with high-speed crossovers will cost $32.5 million.[11] The project is being funded by state funds and by Spotsylvania County.[24] Funding for operations on the extension will come from Spotsylvania County.[3] In August 2012, the county announced that revenues from bond sales would be used to fund the extension.[25]

VRE will be overseeing the design and construction of the station for the county.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e "INVITATION FOR BID (IFB) #14-03-21 Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Station Parking Lot & Site Access Improvements Construction Project". County of Spotsylvania, Procurement Division. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Spotsylvania and VRE to Construct New Station" (Press release). Virginia Railway Express. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Weir, Kytja (4 July 2012). "VRE to expand into Spotsylvania County". Washington Examiner. 
  4. ^ "Crossroads to Hamilton (Spotsylvania 3rd Trk) & New Spotsylvania Station". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  5. ^ STV Inc. (27 March 2013). "Spotsylvania Station". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Taube, Richard K. (11 August 2008). "Chronology of the Virginia Railway Express: 1964 to Present". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas Inc. (May 2004). "Potential Network Expansion". VRE Strategic Plan. pp. 85–86. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c HDR Engineering (4 August 2010). "Spotsylvania County VRE Commuter Rail Station Site Screening Analysis: Final Technical Memorandum". Spotsylvania County. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Anthony J. Romanello and Joseph L. Howard (8 September 2009). "Action Item: Board of Supervisors". Stafford Board of Supervisors. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors (26 October 2010). "Agenda: October 26, 2010—Brief Update". Spotsylvania County. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Shenk, Scott (15 June 2012). "VRE makes moves on Spotsylvania station, third track". The Free Lance-Star. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Public Notice – Environmental Project". Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Allen, Doug (17 May 2013). "Authorization to Award a Contract for Construction of the Spotsylvania Station Project". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Allen, Doug (15 March 2013). "AGENDA ITEM 8-A CONSENT AGENDA ITEM". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Shenk, Scott (15 March 2013). "Spotsylvania another step closer to new VRE station". Fredericksburg News. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Shenk, Scott (21 June 2013). "VRE picks builder for Spotsylvania third track project". Fredricksburg News. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Shenk, Scott (20 September 2013). "Spotsylvania VRE station opening pushed back". Fredericksburg News. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Shenk, Scott (15 November 2013). "VRE station in Spotsy pushed back again". Fredericksburg News. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Shenk, Scott (11 May 2014). "GETTING THERE: Spotsylvania VRE station stalled over parking lot". Fredericksburg News. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Shenk, Scott (29 July 2014). "Spotsy ready to roll on new VRE station". Fredericksburg News. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Attachment A: Bid Form, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Station Parking Lot, Site Access Improvements Construction Project". County of Spotsylvania, Procurement Division. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Shenk, Scott (10 September 2014). "Contractor picked for VRE station lot project in Spotsy". The Lance Free-Star. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  23. ^ Shenk, Scott (12 August 2014). "Officials break ground at Spotsylvania VRE station". Fredericksburg News. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Zehner, Dale (15 July 2012). "AGENDA ITEM 9-F ACTION ITEM". Virginia Railway Express. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "Spotsylvania, Va.". Commuter Update. Virginia Railway Express. August 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°13′17″N 77°26′28″W / 38.2214°N 77.4410°W / 38.2214; -77.4410