Amtrak Coast Starlight Train Stranded for 36 Hours, Arrives in Eugene, Oregon

By Anna Breuer on 26 February 2019
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DSC_0581 2Some 36 hours after becoming immobilized in deep snow, the Amtrak Coast Starlight arrived at Eugene Station in Eugene, Oregon, with plans to return to its point of departure, Seattle, Washington.

The train, originally en route to Los Angeles, had approximately 200 passengers on board and became inoperable as a result of downed trees and heavy snow accumulation.

The railroad said it determined that leaving passengers and crew on the train was the safest option.

“With local power outages and blocked roads, it was decided the safest place for our customers was to remain on the train where we were able to provide food, heat, electricity and toilets,” said Amtrak COO Scot Naparstek in a statement.

Passengers told local television outlets that they were very well cared for during the ordeal.

Amtrak said that the train had become stuck after hitting a tree that had fallen onto the tracks Sunday evening.

Stuck near the town of Oakridge, which had no electricity due to the snowstorm, the train began its trip north pulled by a Union Pacific locomotive after Union Pacific personnel cleared the tracks. Union Pacific owns the Oregon rail line where the train had been stranded.

After leaving Eugene, the train was further delayed after the Slough Bridge – which crosses the Columbia River and is the only bridge that trains can take to cross between Oregon and Washington – caught on fire.

Traffic on the bridge is expected to resume at 3 p.m. PST.

None of the 183 passengers and 12 crew members were injured. All remained on the train until it arrived in Eugene.

Amtrak apologized to the passengers affected by the incident and said it would refund their fares.

“We sincerely regret the extended delay customers on the southbound Coast Starlight experienced due to extreme weather issues while traveling with Amtrak,” it said.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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