An Amtrak train carrying 183 passengers from Seattle to Los Angeles was stranded on the tracks from Sunday to Tuesday due to fallen trees and inclement weather.
The train halted progress just outside of Oakridge, a town in the Cascade Mountain range and waited for 36 hours while crews from Union Pacific cleared the track. Union Pacific owns the stretch of rail line which the Amtrak train was traveling on before it was stranded.
Union Pacific spokesman Tim McMahan spoke with CNN in an email. “The train had been inoperable due to weather conditions and downed trees,” wrote McMahan. “UP crews worked overnight to clear the tracks.”
Passengers were kept on the train as snow fell heavily and temperatures dropped, making the option of leaving more dangerous than staying on board. The nearby town of Oakridge had also experienced a power outage.
A Union Pacific locomotive was sent to pull the train the rest of the journey from Oakridge to its next stop in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene marked the first time many passengers were able to disembark and stretch their legs since boarding the train initially.
“We really wanted for nothing except for maybe someplace comfortable to lie down and a shower,” said passenger Marcia Trujillo in an interview with CNN affiliate KOIN.
After receiving some maintenance, the train carried on from Eugene and after making a brief stop in Portland, Oregon, the train is now on its way back north to Seattle.
In a statement issued yesterday, Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said Amtrak will be compensating passengers by providing refunds and “other compensation as appropriate.”