VRE trains delayed after car drives on tracks

A Virginia Railway Express train struck a car that had mistakenly driven onto the tracks near the Woodbridge station Wednesday night, delaying the commute home for hundreds of passengers for nearly two hours.

The incident happened at a non-gated crossing for three sets of railroad tracks at Cherry Hill Road, nearly five miles south of the Woodbridge station, about 7:30 p.m., said Mark Roeber, a VRE spokesman. The driver of the car left a nearby restaurant and drove onto Cherry Hill Road and when it reached the third track, it turned onto those tracks into the path of VRE train 311 on the Fredericksburg line.

No injuries were reported. The car’s occupants left the car immediately and the train’s conductor applied the emergency brake, but the train still struck the car. Neither the train or the car sustained significant damage, Roeber said.

The train carried 245 passengers who were delayed about 90 minutes. Officials stopped the following train, number 313, at the Woodbridge station and transported its 130 passengers by bus to their destinations, Roeber said.

The tracks sustained no damage and officials expect no problems with Thursday morning’s commute, Roeber said.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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