An Amtrak train with nearly 200 people aboard hit downed trees during a blizzard and got stranded in the OR mountains for a day and a half, but passengers and crew banded together during the ordeal that ended Tuesday.
Almost 200 people have been stuck on an Amtrak train in OR for more than 30 hours.
The Coast Starlight train carrying 183 people was travelling from Seattle to Los Angeles when it was struck by a falling tree falling about 72 kilometres southeast of the town of Eugene, Ore. on Sunday evening. Railroad officials made a decision to keep the passengers onboard instead of letting them scatter in a town dealing with its own problems - a blackout, snow and debris-covered roads.
Heavy snow and downed trees had prevented rail crews from reaching the train until now, but they have reportedly now arrived on-site.
The Coast Starlight train came to a halt about 6:20 p.m. on Sunday outside of Oakridge when crew members spotted trees on the tracks.
Passengers were originally told they would be delayed "a couple of hours" as crews repaired the train, Dodson said.
Bigby said it's been an anxious few days on the train with many of her fellow travellers unsure of what to expect.
Passengers said Tuesday morning that they were looking forward to getting off the train after being stranded for 36 hours.More news: Venezuelan Troops Open Fire Near Border as Aid Standoff Intensifies
Originally heading to Los Angeles, the train will return to Seattle after receiving maintenance in Eugene, Oregon.
"There's two or three feet of snow on each side of us", she said.
When the train finally begins moving again, it will abandon its route to Los Angeles and head back to Eugene, Oregon. By Tuesday morning, at least a foot had accumulated, the weather service said.
On Tuesday at 7:54 a.m. ET, a woman named Rebekah Dodson - who USA Today identified as being a passenger on the train - tweeted "We have an engine!"
Amtrak spokeswoman Olivia Irvin said 183 passengers were stranded aboard. Oakridge averages 1.1 inches in February.
"A lot of the [older] kids have been really good but they're having to run up and down and it's a lot", passenger Carly Bigby told CNN affiliate KOIN 6. "Moms are doing all they can right now".
"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", Amtrak Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said by email.