Amtrak train stranded for more than 36 hours arrives at OR station
27 February, 2019, 04:32 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
An Amtraktrain stuck in the OR snow since Sunday got moving again Tuesday after almost 200 passengers waited for about 36 hours, officials said.
The group of 183 was met by Red Cross volunteers when they got back to Eugene, the last station they had left before being stranded in snowy mountains.
Amtrak's Coast Starlight Train 11 departed Seattle en route to Los Angeles around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Travellers were kept aboard the train because the nearest town of Oakridge was without power due to a heavy snowstorm, according to Amtrak. But a day later they were still on the train and stranded by snow.
The train arrived at the Eugene station on Tuesday local time, hours after a Union Pacific locomotive began pulling it, said Tim McMahan, spokesman for Union Pacific, which owns the OR rail line where the train had been stranded in the small town of Oakridge.
Amtrak anticipates the train will be able to return to Eugene on Tuesday morning, he said. By Tuesday morning, at least a foot had accumulated, the weather service said. Strangers are playing cards.
"We have no idea how long we will be stuck, could be days", one passenger", Rebekah Dodson, told KTVI. A teenager played his ukulele to kids to get them to sleep.
Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said in a Tuesday morning statement that the company had decided leaving passengers on the train was the safest option.
"It's just been like a giant kumbaya party". "We've had some rumors that the National Guard is coming to pick up the crew, but not the passengers".
Crews working to clear the track were expected to reach Train 11 by 6 a.m. local time Tuesday, a spokesman for Union Pacific railroad company told The Associated Press. The stranded train was surrounded by feet of snow.
A spokesman for Amtrak, Marc Magliari, told CNN that the delay was caused by "numerous blockages from snow and fallen trees".
However, passenger Carly Bigby told KOIN that the train's snack cart is empty and parents have run out of diapers for their children.
Bigby said they ran out of food on Monday night so Tuesday's announcement couldn't have come soon enough.
The train's problems have been compounded by the fact that the nearest town, Oakridge, is experiencing a power outage after a snow storm, and has been cut off because of the main highway being blocked.
Amtrak's Coast Starlight set off for Seattle from Los Angeles early on Sunday, according to the AP.
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