I love taking the train! It is just like an airplane but you don't have to spend the entire time worrying about falling out of the sky! I used to take Amtrak all the time home from college, from Boston to New York, and that three-and-a-half hour train ride was always a perfect time to relax, recharge, and get some reading, writing, or napping done.
But I have never taken the train during a giant snowstorm. Apparently, it sometimes does not go so well. This past weekend, a train left Seattle and headed toward LA, but long before it got too sunny California, it had to barrel through the wilds of Oregon. There was snow everywhere and trees too, and one of them fell across the tracks. Because of the conditions around the train, it had to stop literally in its tracks. No one was hurt, but it has been stuck there for days. It is a real situation.
Trains are a miracle of modern transportation.They really are so fun. Especially if you are taking a long trip and there are snack cars and sleeper cars. I'm a huge proponent of train travel.
But of course, not all train trips go as smoothly as possible.Extreme weather conditions have the power to derail train trips, both literally and figuratively.
A recent Amtrak trip from Seattle to LA got stuck on the tracks near Eugene, Oregon.The train hit a tree, and though no one was hurt, all 183 passengers are now stuck on the train and have been since Sunday.
That's a really long time to be stuck on a train.
Amtrak train with 180+ on board stranded near Eugene since Sunday after hitting tree on tracks | @Oregonian: https://t.co/OMD4vNoY0o— Everton Bailey Jr. (@Everton Bailey Jr.)1551145013.0
Basically, people are trapped.
Excruciating ordeal for 183 Amtrak passengers stranded on a train that left from Seattle Sunday. The 'Coast Starlig… https://t.co/Bh7hBOdPQM— Paris Jackson ✨ (@Paris Jackson ✨)1551185712.0
Here is the statement from Amtrak about the accident:
Here is the statement from @Amtrak. @KHQLocalNews https://t.co/D7SbgQizR8— Peter Maxwell (@Peter Maxwell)1551147537.0
Yeah, that's a big nope from me.According to passenger Rebekah Dodson, the train hit low-hanging branches, and the damage disabled the train. The crew tried to repair the train until 1 a.m. on Monday, but the train wouldn't budge.
Over the first 24 hours, there were a few announcements, but no solid good news.I'm surprised that everyone is remaining calm. Trains may be pretty big, but that's still a confined space to be stuck in with strangers for several days.
After 35 hours on the tracks, there was still no end in sight for the train's passengers.
Please, if anyone is out there, share. I am one of the183 stranded...35 hours and counting... No rescue in sight. https://t.co/yKLRADLWCO— Rebekah Dodson (@Rebekah Dodson)1551170259.0
Even if they wanted to get off the train, there's really nowhere to go.
"We can't get off the train because there's four feet of snow in every direction," says one passenger. https://t.co/nZjzw0awpo— CNN (@CNN)1551174043.0
Here's what it looks like from the stranded train:
This is the snowy view from the stranded Amtrak train in Oregon https://t.co/xlsdqHXcCM https://t.co/ZlsM9tdXgJ— CNN (@CNN)1551194783.0
This video shows how people are trying to pass the time.
here’s what it looks like inside the train... it’s been stuck for 24 hours east of #Eugene with more than 180 peopl… https://t.co/xFYJ1rMlrl— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@Bonnie Silkman KPTV)1551147714.0
At one point, they announced that there would be a ukulele performance for the kids.
update - they’re now playing the ukulele... Looks like they’re all spending a second night on the train, trying t… https://t.co/KkYxAjFEv1— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@Bonnie Silkman KPTV)1551155422.0
It seems like people are in relatively good spirits considering.This is definitely going to be a story every one of these 183 people will be able to tell at parties for the rest of their lives.
Of course, after so many hours on the train, Amtrak had to start feeding people.
Amtrak said it was working to help the passengers on the train and that they were not being charged for food or wat… https://t.co/s6xtf61WPZ— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1551187144.0
One passenger claimed that the food hoarding has begun.
@StuckOnAmtrak The food hoarding has begun. I'm considering saving half my dinner steak and making jerky on the room heater. #stuckonamtrak— Tracy27 (@Tracy27)1551145958.0
And think of the little kids on board!
Man stuck on train for 24 hours tells me people are making diapers for all the kids onboard... he also says they’re… https://t.co/95e8047up9— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@Bonnie Silkman KPTV)1551147312.0
This is a real Snowpiercer situation in the making.Remember this bonkers movie? Trains, snow, oppressive class systems... It's probably very similar to the current situation.
Chris Evans may have had to up-end the whole train system in Snowpiercer......but we are hoping that the Amtrak situation is resolved a little more peacefully. We're sure it will be.
Of course, a parody Twitter account sprung up almost immediately.OK, who else has the song "Drops of Jupiter" stuck in their head now? Train (the band) should do a free show for the passengers of the train (the train) when they're rescued.
We're all thinking of the poor passengers in this situation.
Legit shoutout @amtrak staff...going over 30 hours while our train is stuck and still polite and professional.… https://t.co/2fO9tipocX— Rebekah Dodson (@Rebekah Dodson)1551141902.0
Finally, early on Tuesday morning, some progress toward rescuing these people had been made.
Update: Union Pacific Railroad says crews are clearing snow off tracks to get to stranded Amtrak train & expect to… https://t.co/QjXtSCgmwk— Everton Bailey Jr. (@Everton Bailey Jr.)1551154031.0
Of course, because Amtrak can't catch a break, there were a few delays along the way.
UPDATE: Coast Starlight Train 11 which departed Seattle (SEA) on 2/24 is on the move back to Seattle (SEA). Due to… https://t.co/IydNVlAggk— Amtrak Alerts (@Amtrak Alerts)1551194438.0
Needless to say, passengers and Amtrak employees alike were ecstatic when they started moving again.
GREAT UPDATE: Amtrak train stranded for 36 hours due to snow now moving again https://t.co/6jFOrM3dG9 https://t.co/3xHhUohc4v— KRON4 News (@KRON4 News)1551206308.0
Dodson herself tweeted her relief:
We have an engine! #hurryup #Amtrak #go #eugenebound #wearehungry— Rebekah Dodson (@Rebekah Dodson)1551185690.0
Even though the train is on its way to Eugene, Oregon, it is really slow going.
Update 2: A passenger on the stuck Amtrak train says Union Pacific reached them about an hour ago and are towing th… https://t.co/ssY7TPaYUa— Everton Bailey Jr. (@Everton Bailey Jr.)1551196584.0
Here is Amtrak's latest statement about the situation:
https://t.co/ZY86E7WSuP— Amtrak Alerts (@Amtrak Alerts)1551198516.0
I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Phew!"I'm so glad that no one was hurt. Even though this was a major ordeal for 200 people, they will all be OK, and that's what really matters.
As soon as the train arrives in Eugene, they will be greeted with supplies and care from the Red Cross.
The Red Cross is setting up at the Eugene train depot to help @Amtrak passengers who should be arriving here hopefu… https://t.co/HW2essr2rU— Tim Gordon (@Tim Gordon)1551204116.0