Amtrak train stranded in OR after hitting tree


After record snow slammed OR, nearly 200 people remain trapped on a train that came to a sudden stop Sunday evening south of Eugene.

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. "Especially the food ― it's not really food they're liking", passenger Carly Bigby told KOIN. "We are doing everything in our power to make sure [the passengers] are comfortable". "A lot of us find information online before we even get an announcement on our train as to what's going to happen to us", she said. It hasn't moved for more than 36 hours.

The train is being pulled by a Union Pacific locomotive back toward Eugene, said Tim McMahan, spokesman for Union Pacific, which owns the OR rail line where the train had been stranded. The company said there was plenty of sustenance on board the train during the standstill.

When the train finally begins moving again, it will abandon its route to Los Angeles and head back to Eugene, Oregon.

"UP crews worked overnight to clear the tracks".

The region was hit with a rare heavy snowstorm, where snow accumulations reached about a foot by Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

By Tuesday morning, at least 30cm had accumulated, the weather service said. Oakridge averages 1.1 inches in February.

Dodson said a friend would pick her up in Eugene, but she'll then be stranded there for a few days because the roads between there and her Southern Oregon home remain closed due to the snow.

The area has seen record-setting snow.

A spokesman for Amtrak, Marc Magliari, told CNN that the delay was caused by "numerous blockages from snow and fallen trees".

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Amtrak says there is ample food on board.

"We made every decision in the best interest of the safety of our customers", Amtrak said in the statement.

He said Amtrak will contact customers to provide refunds and "other compensation as appropriate". 183 passengers are trapped on board.

"It's just been like a giant kumbaya party", passenger Rebekah Dodson told CNN.

To pass the time, Rhodes and her brother browsed the internet and played war, speed and cribbage with cards they bought in the cafe.

Still, she said, the "hardship" has been stressful as passengers can not go anywhere. "It is dark. There is more snow on the way and we are stranded for another night".

Some Los Angeles-bound college students had "panicked" because their professors wouldn't accept their excuse for missing class, Ms Dodson said. "We're down to our last meal".

Despite the hard circumstances, she noted that the crew had been "very professional" and were working tirelessly.

UPDATE: Coast Starlight Train 11 which departed Seattle (SEA) on 2/24 will terminate in Oak Ridge with no alternate transportation Chemult (CMO) to Los Angeles (LAX).

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