VRE service snarled on Monday night after train strikes, kills man

A person was struck and killed by a Virginia Railway Express train on Monday night, stranding hundreds of riders on the tracks for hours. 

Early indications are that an adult male intentionally put himself in front of the train, said Sgt. Kim Chen, a spokeswoman for Prince William County police. An investigation is ongoing. 

Fredericksburg Line train 311 hit the man at around 6:50 p.m. near Cherry Hill Road in Dumfries, said VRE spokesman Mark Roeber. The train and its riders held on the tracks between the Rippon and Woodbridge stations until about 9:30 p.m., when police finally let trains run at restricted speeds through the affected area, he said.

Train 313, the last scheduled train of the night, was also halted at the Woodbridge station due to the police investigation. Riders were taken off train 313 and moved onto buses for the rest of their trip. VRE wanted to move riders from train 311 onto buses, but police wouldn’t let them move buses into the area, Roeber said. 

When trains were allowed to move again, train 313 pulled up alongside train 311 and took on the hundreds of riders who had been stranded. Train 313 continued on, delivering those passengers to the final four stops. Train 311 is normally scheduled to pull into Fredericksburg at 7:30 p.m.; its riders only arrived after 10:15 p.m. 

This didn’t affect Tuesday morning’s VRE service, Roeber said. 

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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Mark Berman · November 6, 2012

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