When the VRE first began operations along the I-95 corridor in 1992 there were questions as to whether the lack of housing near the train stations would derail the long term plans for the commuter rail. Now with new communities growing up along the commuter rail line and the rising price of gas more and more commuters are discovering the advantages to hopping on the VRE for their commute to the city or stops along the way.
The southern stop in Prince William County on I-95 corridor tour is the Quantico Station. Located within the gates of Quantico Marine Corps Base commuters must drive in to the base in order to get to the station and must have a picture ID available to show the military police when entering the base. Parking isn't a problem with 258 parking spaces available at the station. You can grab coffee and a muffin at the Whistle Stop Coffee Shop before you hear "all aboard." The first morning train leaves the station at 5:39 am and the last morning train is at 9:14. The commute to Union Station runs an hour and express trains will get you there quicker! With the communities of Kramer's Ridge right outside the gate and Aquia Harbor just a few miles down the road in Stafford County. Residents of both these communities can take advantage of the convenience Quantico Station.
Keeping chugging north on the tracks and within 10 minutes of leaving Quantico you hit Rippon Station. With 676 parking stations this location usually only runs at 55% capacity which may be because it is tucked back into a residential community makes this station a little harder for newcomers to find. The station is surrounded by a number of developments including Potomac Pointe Condos, Riverside Station and Dawson's Landing.
Five minutes from Rippon Station is the Woodbridge Station located at the entrance to the community of Belmont Bay. Residents can walk to the station in the morning grab coffee and a muffin from the Coffee Club Café. Besides the residents of Belmont Bay the station attracts riders from the Town of Occoquan and Lake Ridge. With a parking garage and lot that accommodates 738 cars it is the biggest station along the route.
If you are looking for a chance to park your car and enjoy your commute with just the clacking of the rails then check out the communities along the VRE route in eastern Prince William County. Sit back and read the morning paper and enjoy your coffee and leave the driving to the engineer. All Aboard!