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New VRE Operator Begins This Week

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By David Schultz

Today is the first day Keolis, private transportation company based out of France, is operating Virginia's commuter train service. It won the five-year $85 million VRE contract, beating out Amtrak.

Amtrak had been running the commuter trains in Northern Virginia for the past 18 years.

The transition between the two companies had been rocky at times and there were reports Keolis was struggling to hire enough engineers.

But Dale Zhener, VRE's chief exective, says Keolis is fully staffed and ready to go.

A VRE spokesman says observers from the Federal Railway Administration will be riding trains this week to make sure everything is going smoothly.

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