Delays cleared at Union Station after disabled train snarled Amtrak, VRE

A disabled Amtrak train outside Union Station blocked Virginia Railway Express trains from accessing the station, leading to delays Tuesday morning.

The stopped train blocked the tracks leading out to the storage yard, leading to “extreme congestion” at Union Station as trains stacked up in the terminal. The congestion eventually blocked four VRE trains — two on the Fredericksburg Line and two on the Manassas Line — from accessing Union Station entirely.

The delays Tuesday morning began shortly before 7:30 a.m. when an Acela train headed to New York was stopped just out of Union Station because of a mechanical issue. The train had to reverse back to Union Station and crews made repairs to the train.

In the meantime, VRE trains were blocked from entering Union Station and service began backing up.

Initially, VRE told passengers they should get off at Crystal City or L’Enfant Plaza. However, some passengers voluntarily got off at the King Street stop when they heard about the delays at Union Station, the VRE spokeswoman said. Eventually, VRE asked all riders to get off at the King Street stop because of the congestion at Union Station.

VRE said customers experienced additional frustrations because a few VRE conductors erroneously told passengers they could use Metro to get to their destination free of charge. In fact, the “Metro option” was eliminated two years ago.

The Acela train was repaired and running again shortly before 9 a.m. — running about two hours late.

The morning delays were not expected to affect afternoon service, a VRE spokeswoman said.

WTOP’s Teddy Gelman contributed to this report.

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