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Heavy rains could slow trains

By Potomac Local September 29, 2010 3:00 pm

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Woodbridge, Va. –– A flash flood warning has prompted Virginia Railway Express to warn passengers of possible service disruptions.

A large area of rain that is associated with Tropical Storm Nicole, which is moving its way up along the East Coast over the next 36 hours, will bring a deluge of rain, forecasters said.

A flash flood watch was put into effect for the Potomac communities by the National Weather Service earlier today. But if that watch is increased to a flood warning, train speeds on VRE’s trainlines will slow.

“On the Fredericksburg line and north of Alexandria, and on the Manassas line, trains may not exceed 40 mph, but are to operate at “restricted speed” near bridges, culverts, or other areas that may be affected during a flash flood warning.  This would mean delays of at least 30 minutes on the Fredericksburg line,” a VRE spokeswoman stated Wednesday afternoon.

Delays could be even longer on the system’s Manassas line, up to an hour, officials said.

VRE officials said they will continue to monitor the storm’s approach to the area and update riders as needed.

According to the National Weather Service, much of the heavy rain should begin falling tonight.

By it’s all over with, the storm could bring up to six inches of rain to the area.

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