Amtrak train stranded in Oregon with nearly 200 passengers for 40 hours finally reaches station

The train got stuck after tree trunks fell, blocking the rails

Helen Coffey,Tim Wyatt
Tuesday 26 February 2019 17:54
Comments
Woman on Amtrak train says passengers have been stranded for more than 24 hours

Nearly 200 passengers who were stuck on an Amtrak train for over 40 hours in heavy snow have finally made it to a station.

The Los Angeles-bound service left Seattle on Sunday morning but was stuck in Oakridge, Oregon, from 6.20pm local time (GMT-8), when it hit a tree.

According to an Amtrak spokeswoman, snow and debris on the line stopped the train in its tracks, with the extreme weather also making alternative transport for passengers impossible.

Finally, at around 7.50am local time on 26 February, a Union Pacific locomotive arrived to tow the train back towards Eugene, after crews spent all night clearing the line.

Volunteers from the Red Cross greeted the weary passengers when they finally disembarked on Tuesday morning at a train depot in Eugene, Oregon.

Oakride, which is 45 miles from Eugene, received 25-35cm of snow on Monday, causing numerous power outages in the area.

Although the train had electricity and heat still working while it was stranded, by the time it pulled into the station tempers, food and even nappies were running short.

A Union Pacific spokesperson said the heavy snowfall outside contributed to the decision to keep passengers on board the train, as it still has power.

There are also only two small hotels in the local town nearest to where the train was stranded.

Passengers were given conflicting information, according to Rebekah Dodson, who said they were told twice on Monday that another train was coming to get them, but hadn’t had any official word from Amtrak in the meantime.

“It’s been difficult to keep people’s panic down and morale up because we have no idea when we’re getting off,” Dodson, whose train journey was supposed to last just four hours, told the Oregonian.

“It’s just a mess and there’s nowhere we can go.”

The train still had heating and functioning toilets and travellers were served breakfast and lunch.

However, Dodson said drinking water ran out and parents were forced to construct makeshift nappies out of washcloths.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in