Amtrak train stranded for more than 36 hours arrives at OR station

Muriel Colon
February 27, 2019

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. Crew members had been "professional and nice" throughout.

In all, Amtrak's Coast Starlight Train 11 was stranded just outside Oakridge, Oregon, for more than 37 hours after it stalled.

Amtrak's Coast Starlight Train 11 departed Seattle en route to Los Angeles around 6 p.m. on Sunday. Passengers have been kept on the train because the town has no power, the AP reported. A tree had fallen onto the train tracks and blocked the train from moving again.

One passenger, Rebekah Dodson, told KTVL News: "We've gotten yelled at for opening windows".

Dodson said the fix crews Sunday night worked on the train's brakes until 6 a.m. Monday, and that it gradually dawned on passengers - literally - that they could be trapped on the train for much longer than estimated.

"The train had been inoperable due to weather conditions and downed trees", Mr McMahan told CNN in an email.

The area where the train is stranded got 10 to 14 inches of snow by Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. The company plans to terminate the train in Oakridge and send passengers, who have not been allowed off the train, back to their origin.

But Dodson said Tuesday morning that passengers had been told breakfast would be the last meal available. "We can't get off the train because there's four feet of snow in every direction, there's nowhere to go".


Amtrak has not said when it might continue on its way to Los Angeles.

"I'm anxious about my job, but once we get to Eugene, it will be OK", she said. Crews have been working day and night to clear the tracks and reach the train, but the weather is making it almost impossible.

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

After more than a day of being on the track, the Amtrak train began to move again, heading toward Eugene, about 45 miles from where it was stuck.

"A lot of the (older) kids have been really good, but they're having to run up and down and it's a lot", she said, according to KOIN.

The train was travelling from Seattle to Los Angeles when it got stranded Sunday, putting a strain on passengers as food, patience and even diapers ran short.

Railroad officials chose to keep the passengers onboard instead of letting them scatter in a town of 3,200 people that was dealing with its own problems - a blackout, snow and debris-covered roads. "Moms are doing all they can right now".

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