- Associated Press - Monday, July 12, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Virginia Railway Express has a new operator.

Amtrak has operated VRE trains since the system started in 1992, but Keolis Rail Services America, the U.S. subsidiary of a French company, takes over on Monday. VRE has a five-year, $85 million contract with Keolis with options to extend the contract.

VRE spokesman Mark Roeber says the new partner will help build a special bond between the rider and VRE. Mr. Roeber says Keolis had a dry run last Monday, a federal holiday, and Keolis employees rode trains last week with Amtrak employees.

Roeber says observers from the Federal Railway Administration and representatives of CSX and Norfolk Southern, which own the tracks VRE uses, will be monitoring service this week to make sure things go smoothly.


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