- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 29, 2004

About 30 Virginia Republicans waited at Alexandria’s Union Station several hours to board a train to the national convention in New York City today while Amtrak workers repaired tracks near Fredericksburg.

Most of the convention delegates and their guests resigned themselves to the more than three-hour delay, opting to swap stories of past conventions, share information about upcoming parties and even do a little campaigning.

“You’ve just gotta roll with the punches,” said Steve Hunt, a delegate’s guest and a school board member for Fairfax County public schools. “How often do you get a day to sit back and enjoy the afternoon?”

Others were less patient. Several hired cabs to the District’s Union Station, and two went to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to catch a flight to New York. Some joked about placing bets on who would arrive first in Manhattan.

Amtrak officials apologized for what they called “a little snafu.”

Among the delegates waiting for the train was Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the highest-ranking official on board.

Mr. Goodlatte passed time chatting with constituents and meeting Lisa Marie Cheney, who is challenging Rep. James P. Moran, Alexandria Democrat.

Virginia’s delegation is getting used to train delays: In 2000, delegates to the convention in Philadelphia were stranded on the train for nearly two hours.

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