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VRE train stopped after hitting pedestrian

A Virginia Railway Express train hit and killed a person in Prince William County Monday evening, stranding Fredericksburg-bound passengers for about two hours.

The incident, which involved train 311 and was reported by VRE at about 7:30 p.m., also stranded riders on another train, 313, in Woodbridge.

Passengers on 313 were picked up by buses and brought to Fredericksburg. Riders on the other train waited until 313 was allowed to pull alongside it and pick them up at about 9:30 p.m., VRE reported in email alerts Monday night.

VRE told WTOP radio that the person was on the tracks near Cherry Hill Road in eastern Prince William. This is the second fatal train incident involving a VRE train in less than a month. On Oct. 10, a Manassas-bound train hit a person in the Fairfax Station area.

On Monday, Fredericksburg resident Jason Glisson was on the train when it hit the man. Sitting on the train about 9:30 p.m., waiting to be picked up and taken home, he said he usually rides Amtrak using step-up tickets, but that train was running late Monday. So he took VRE’s train 311, and was sitting in the car nearest the engine.

As the train reached the Quantico area, he said there was a sound, followed by bumping noises beneath the train, which then stopped. Passengers began trying to figure out what happened, with some thinking it might have hit a deer. But soon, Glisson said, a “shaky” conductor appeared and said there was an emergency. A short time later, a voice came on the speaker and said the train had hit a person.

“We all just looked at each other,” he said.

Glisson, who works at an Internet design firm in Alexandria, figured he’d get home sometime after 10 p.m. He usually gets up by 5:30 a.m. to go to work, but said his boss gave him the option of working from home Tuesday.

For more information: vre.org

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