MARTINEZ -- A bomb threat at the Martinez Amtrak station Thursday afternoon shut down Amtrak's Capitol Corridor rail line in both directions, delaying commuters and stranding about 100 first-graders on a field trip for more than an hour.
Someone called in the threat to Amtrak shortly after 3 p.m., saying a pipe bomb was on an Amtrak bus parked at the station, Martinez police Sgt. Lisa Maloney said. Amtrak police used bomb-sniffing dogs to clear two buses of passengers and their luggage before trains and buses were returned to service about 4:30 p.m.
During the incident, police cordoned off the west parking lot and entire west side of the station. County Connection, West Contra Costa Transit and Tri Delta Transit buses were instructed to pick up waiting passengers on Marina Vista Road instead of the usual meeting spot in front of the station.
First-graders from Albany's Ocean View Elementary School, who were chaperoned by about 20 adults, were preparing to return from a field trip to the Martinez Regional Shoreline when the threat was made. They planned to board a train back to Emeryville at 3:19 p.m., and Berkeley Unified School District buses were scheduled to drop them off at their school where parents waited.
"We hope it doesn't last too long," Ocean View teacher Michelle Sinclair said during the delay. "We have no food."
At 4:40 p.m., the first train arrived and the schoolchildren cheered with approval before boarding it.
Amtrak police were investigating leads on the threat, Martinez police Officer Steve Caldera said.
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