On-Board Policies


Items which do not cause safety hazards or inconvenience to other passengers are permitted. For oversized bags, please check with the conductor on your train to find the best possible storage space available.

VRE disclaims all liability for carry-on baggage, including special items, even if VRE personnel have handled or assisted in loading or unloading the baggage.


Full-size and collapsible bicycles are allowed on all trains. Check with the conductor when boarding, then secure your full-size bicycle to the south end bench seats using a bungee cord attached to the seat frame eyelet. Please remember passengers are not permitted to ride bicycles on the platforms or trains.

  • Bicycles must be tethered to the bench seats using a bungee cord attached to the eyelet on the seat frame.  The south end bench is distinguishable by only having four (4) folding seats.  Bicyclists will be responsible for securing their bicycle. 
  • The bench seating on the north end of the car is priority seating for passengers with disabilities. This area is located directly across from the restroom and cannot be used for bicycles. 
  • If the bench seating for bicycles is occupied by passengers, the bicycle rider may ask the passenger to vacate the seat or ask the conductor for assistance if the passenger is unwilling to move.  The priority will be for the bicycles.
  • For the safety and convenience of our other riders, bikes will be boarded and removed last – after all other passengers have boarded or detrained.
  • Passengers are not permitted to ride bicycles on the platforms or trains.  
  • Bicycles must be clean and free of grease.
  • VRE will not be responsible for the security of bikes brought on board.

Food and Beverages

Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be consumed on-board trains. Please dispose of wrappers and containers in proper receptacles.

No Smoking

Smoking is not permitted onboard Virginia Railway Express trains. Smoking is also limited to 100 feet on the north end of the platform. This includes, but not limited to, pipes, cigars, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes.

Pets and Guide Animals

Only small pets are allowed, and only if carried in closed containers. Trained guide and service animals assisting persons with disabilities are permitted at all times.

Quiet Cars

The car immediately behind the locomotive on the south end of all VRE trains is the Quiet Car. When in this car customers are asked to refrain from using cell phones, keep pager, phone and PDA sounds off, and speak only in whispers.

For those who prefer to work or sleep during their commute without the noise and bustle - the Quiet Car may be the answer.

While the Quiet Car is not an atmosphere of complete silence, those seated in this special car are asked to follow a few simple guidelines.

  • Refrain from cell phone use
  • Keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off
  • Speak only in whispers

The Quiet Car is the car located closest to the locomotive, normally, the southernmost car on the train. It can be easily identified by Quiet Car signs like the one pictured on the left. Seating in this car is provided on a first come first serve basis.

Below are some answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about Quiet Cars:

Q: Why the Car Behind the Engine?

A: We needed to choose an easily identifiable car. With this in mind, we decided that it either had to be the cab car or the car behind the engine. It was decided that the cab car is generally louder, so the car behind the locomotive was chosen. Because the bathroom is generally found in the cab car, the flow of passengers to and from this car in generally greater. 

Q: How is Quiet Enforced?

A: Those seated in the Quiet Car are expected to be polite at all times. Should there be a problem, please see a conductor.

Q: What If I Need to Make or Receive a Call on My Cellphone?

A: Please don’t use cellphones while in the Quiet Car. If you must leave your cellphone on, switch it to the vibrate function so that its ring won’t disturb others.

Kindly move to another car if you must make or take an incoming call.

Q: What If My Seatmate's Music is Too Loud?

A: Quiet does not mean implicit silence. A certain amount of tolerance of noise is necessary. If needed, politely remind your seatmate that they are riding in a Quiet Car and ask that they monitor the volume of their music.

We have experienced instances when passengers are more aggressive in confronting their fellow riders. Certainly, we do not condone this behavior.

Q: Can I Chat with Fellow Riders If I Whisper?

A: If you must communicate with a seatmate, please whisper quietly. If you find yourself needing to whisper the entire ride, it might make more sense to ride in the non-quiet cars.

Q: Can the Conductor Turn Off His Radio When in the Quiet Car?

A: We want to preserve a quiet atmosphere for the comfort of our riders. However, we cannot request that our conductors silence their radios while in this car.

Instead, we ask our crews to temporarily lower the volume of their radios as they walk through this car and to station themselves in another car. This helps to reduce the disruption of quiet for our passengers.

Q: What Should I do If a Fellow Rider Continues to Cough or Sneeze?

A: Obviously your seatmate is not intending to be discourteous. So, if those around you have to cough or sneeze, there’s no need to glare or complain. Offer them a throat lozenge or cough drop.

Note: Quiet Car is a registered service mark of Amtrak