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VRE Trains Stopped South of Burke for Suspicious Package Investigation

Trains before the Manassas Park station have stopped due to a police investigation into a suspicious package containing human remains.

Update: Medical Examiner's office said that the remains are not human. 

Original Post: 

VRE officials said they will examine operations on Thursday and determine if alterations need to be made in train scheduling.

At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday Manassas Park Police allowed an Amtrak train from Manassas to move through the area—the first train to do so in hours.

VRE officials said that Amtrak had to move to allow the VRE train to get to Manassas.

Train No. 331—which normally arrives in Manassas Park just after 5:30 p.m.—was the first to be on the move. Officials said Trains 333, 335, 337 would follow.  

Amtrak, VRE and all other trains were prevented from moving until police gave them clearance, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said.

Update 9:03 p.m.:

If you are picking up passengers from Clifton, the address is 7140 Main St. Three buses are in Clifton to pick up stranded passengers, according to VRE.  

Update 8:29 p.m.:

VRE posted on its website that buses are starting to arrive at Burke Centre station to take passengers home. Six buses on the way to Clifton to pick up 331 passengers, said VRE. 

Update 7:44 p.m.:

Mark Roeber, manager of public affairs for Virginia Railway Express, told Patch he was informed by Manassas Park Police that human remains were found in a package on the railroad tracks. 

Read more on the human remains here.

Update 7:32 p.m.:

Patch reader Liz Long posted on the Manassas Park Patch Facebook page that there are crime scene units on Manassas Drive and that a helicopter is circling the area.

Long's photos from Manassas Drive can be viewed here.   

Update 7:27 p.m.:

VRE posted on its website that trains still being held and that VRE is still working on getting buses.

In a brief update, VRE said it "will either get buses to 331 in clifton or return 331 to burke once the other trains can clear."

VRE staff are headed to both places to assist with bus transfer, according to the website. 

Update, 6:58 p.m.: 

John C. Evans, Manassa Park Chief of Police, told Patch via email that the department is "investigating a suspicious package located on the train tracks."

"The area will be closed for a while. We will attempt to provide an update when more information becomes available," said Evans.  

VRE is recommending alternative transportation for Manassas line riders. VRE said the Metro option is available for riders. 

"Working on getting buses to Clifton for train 331 and Burke train 333," reads an update on VRE's website. 

Original Post: Virginia Railway Express posted an alert on its website that trains south of Burke have been stopped due to a police investigation. 

Train 331 is stopped and VRE said that all Manassas line trains will likely stop.

"Expect possible two hour delays to trains south of Burke Centre," said an alert on the VRE website. "Passengers [may] wish to detrain at Burke and have family or friends pick them up. We are working on getting buses but this may take time."

Patch reader Jeannie McPherson said on the Manassas Park Patch Facebook page that police have shut down Manassas Drive. McPherson said traffic is "horrendous" in the area. 

Patch will post more information as it becomes available. 

Patch editor Jamie Rogers contributed to this report. 

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