Leaf oil forces VRE to change up its trains

Those autumn leaves are forcing the Virginia Railway Express to change up its routine Monday, and it could mean a noisier ride for commuters who like the quiet car.

Equipment on Manassas trains 325, 327 and 329 will be reversed because of “possible leaf oil situations,” VRE officials said.

Leaf oil, otherwise known as pectin, is the result of train wheels crushing leaves on the tracks. The result is a lack of friction, which means slow climbs up hills and difficulty pulling into and out of stations.

The locomotive will be located on the north end of the train for all lines on Monday. In addition, 325 trains will not have a quiet car; on lines 327 and 329, the quiet car will be on the north end, next to the locomotive.

See the full VRE schedule here.

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