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VIA Rail service delayed for hours due to suspicious package investigation in Kingston, Ont.

A VIA Rail train arrives at the Fallowfield Station on Friday. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa) A VIA Rail train arrives at the Fallowfield Station on Friday. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)
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VIA Rail service resumed in the Kingston, Ont. area late Saturday afternoon, after a suspicious package investigation halted train service for up to five hours over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Police said just after 12 p.m. Saturday that there was an ongoing investigation in the area of John Counter Boulevard and Montreal Street, and asked the public to avoid the area. A police spokesperson told CTV News Ottawa the investigation was focusing on a suspicious package near the railway tracks.

At 4:30 p.m., police said the investigation had wrapped up and roads reopened in the area.

"Police have verified there is no explosive device in the area, and it is now safe for pedestrians and vehicular traffic," Const. Cameron Mack said in a statement.

VIA Rail said train service was disrupted for between one and five hours due to a police operation "out of its control" that shut down the tracks in both directions.

"The incident does not involve a VIA Rail train; however, it has impacted our operations," VIA Rail said in a statement.

"All VIA Rail trains travelling through the area have been stopped while the police continue their investigation. VIA Rail’s operations team is managing the situation and passengers will be kept informed by service managers on board as the situation evolves."

VIA says trains received the go-ahead to start moving shortly after the investigation ended.

"Police completed their investigation shortly before 5 p.m., and as soon as the infrastructure owner completed its signal checks, VIA Rail trains were on the move again by 5:30 p.m." VIA said.  "Trains incurred delays of between one and five hours. VIA Rail regrets the inconvenience to passengers caused by this unfortunate situation."

Nine trains were stopped at various locations in the Kingston area. VIA says all other trains were held at the destination until the track cleared.

The VIA Rail Moving Map shows several trains travelling to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal had stopped in the Belleville, Kingston and Gananoque area Saturday afternoon. The disruptions in the Kingston area caused delays across the VIA Rail schedule in eastern Ontario on Saturday.

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