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