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New Operator For Virginia Railway Express

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By Greg Peppers

Beginning Monday The Virginia Raliway Express will have a new operator. Amtrak’s 18-year stint running the VRE ended on Friday and Keolis Rail Services America is now taking over operations of the commuter rail service.

Keolis is a subsidiary of a company based in France. The takeover comes almost nine months after it was awarded an $85 million five-year operations and maintenance contract.

Keolis has hired 80 new employees from across the country and conducted its first dry run on July 5th.

Steve Townsend is Executive Vice President of Keolis and he says the new staff has gone through rigorous training. He also says they will soon be part of the unions that represent the engineers and conductors.

Officials with Keolis say the only changes riders will notice on Monday are the new faces, new uniforms and improved customer service.

Members of the Federal Railroad Administration will be on every train all next week to monitor the transition.

WAMU 88.5

Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

NPR

The Case Against The Shirley Temple (The Drink)

Author and cocktail enthusiast Wayne Curtis wrote an article called "Shirley Temples Are Destroying America's Youth." He talks about why he hates Shirley Temples — the drink, not the person.
WAMU 88.5

What's Ahead At The Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton will accept the presidential nomination.

NPR

Experimental Plane Sets Off On Final Leg Of Its Round-The-World Journey

It's the first time for a solar-powered plane to circumnavigate the globe. Now it's en route to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — and you can watch the journey in a live video from the cockpit.

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