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Suspicious Package Halted Metra, South Shore Trains

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Traffic was heavy near Van Buren and Michigan avenues. (CBS)

Traffic was heavy near Van Buren and Michigan avenues. (CBS)

UPDATED: 10/2/2013 8:15 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A suspicious package at a downtown rail station created a major commuter headache for some Metra and South Shore train riders.

Both inbound and outbound Metra Electric and South Shore trains were stopped after a report of a suspicious package at “track level” at the Van Buren Station.

Authorities cleared the area around 8:15 a.m. and trains began moving again, creating delays for some commuters of up to two hours.

Metra Electric rider Steve Patterson said his train to downtown would normally arrive at 8 a.m. Metra personnel said his train would arrive around 9:30 a.m.

Some South Shore riders, like Arielle Sheppard-Potts, decided to ditch the train and drive to work instead after learning of the delays.

Others who were on early trains weren’t so lucky and said they were on their train for about two hours.

Traffic in the area around Michigan and Van Buren was heavy due to police and fire activity.

Riders were simply left to deal with the delays the best they could

“They held us on the trains for a while and finally they just unloaded everybody at 18th Street and asked if you can walk in from here,” said Tony Kidd of Hazelcrest. “So we walked in.”

“I was a little nervous mostly because of what happened on the Blue Line just the other day so everyone was trying to figure out what was going on,” said Matthew Shegog of Calumet City.

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