Service resumes after storms wash out VRE track support

WASHINGTON — What happened on Virginia Railway Express Wednesday morning?

The huge storms overnight washed out a huge pile of rocks that support a key track along a VRE line, leading to some delays.

VRE says trains were held in yards until inspectors could make sure the stretch of track between Franconia-Springfield and Alexandria was safe. VRE says trains were held on both the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines because the washout was close to where the two lines come together.

CSX track inspectors found that only one of three tracks in that area had been affected, and the trains were released around 5:30 a.m. That still meant some significant crowding, and delays of about half an hour, as several trains ran back-to-back in an attempt to catch up to the schedule.

VRE’s Bryan Jungwirth says CSX, which owns that stretch of track, will do the heavy lifting to restack the rocks under the track near the Capital Beltway. He says there will be no effect on afternoon service.

In Maryland, MARC had some early morning delays due to flooding concerns as well.

Meanwhile, a four-percent fare hike kicks in July 1 on VRE that will help pay for service extension, rising costs, and the implementation of the safety system known as positive train control. The fare hikes also include a $2 increase in the cost of Amtrak step-up tickets.

MARC and MTA commuter bus fare hikes began last week.

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