Published: Wed, February 27, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

Amtrak passengers in Portland, Oregon, share stories after being stuck for hours

Amtrak passengers in Portland, Oregon, share stories after being stuck for hours

Almost 200 people who were stuck on an Amtrak train for 36 hours are finally on the move after being trapped on a snowy stretch of track just south of Eugene, Oregon.

None of the 183 passengers on board were injured in the incident, Amtrak noted. An Amtrak train carrying 183 people has been stranded in OR for more than a day and a half in wintry conditions. Trees have fallen on the tracks for miles, and the Amtrak train unfortunately hit one.

"We have NOT MOVED for 30 straight hours", Dodson wrote on Facebook. "Ladies who have never met before were dancing in aisles", another passenger, Rebekah Dodson, told CNN.

Tim McMahan, a spokesman for Union Pacific, which owns the rail line, told NPR that crews worked through Monday night to clear the tracks so that a Union Pacific locomotive could pull the Amtrak train.

The area where the train is stranded got 10 to 14 inches of snow by Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Though the train is packed with people of all ages - including a number of Los Angeles-bound college students - it's mothers who may be having the most hard time on board. Breakfast on Tuesday was reportedly the last meal available to the stranded passengers.

The passengers will get some time in Eugene to get off the train and stretch their legs, before getting back on board to finish their journey north to Seattle. "We can't get off the train because there's four feet of snow in every direction, there's nowhere to go".

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Amtrak's Coast Starlight set off for Seattle from Los Angeles early on Sunday, according to the AP.

Thirty-six hours later, the train was finally moving again, dropping off some passengers in Eugene, Oregon.

By Tuesday morning, at least 30cm had accumulated, the weather service said.

The company said the train was the safest place to house passengers following the incident because there was electricity and enough food for everyone.

However, those few hours stretched into almost two days, as inclement weather complicated efforts to clear the tracks of snow and get an alternate engine to tow the train away. Oakridge averages 2.8cm in February. Magliari added, "Due to worsening conditions, area road closures and no viable way to safely transport passengers or crews via alternate transportation, Train 11 stopped in Oakridge, Oregon". Crew members had been "professional and nice" throughout.

However, passenger Carly Bigby told KOIN that the train's snack cart is empty and parents have run out of diapers for their children. "Moms are doing all they can right now".

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