183 passengers stranded on stuck Amtrak train


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An Amtrak train has been stuck on the tracks near Oakridge, Oregon since just after 6 p.m. Sunday night. 

183 people were stranded on an Amtrak train near Oakridge, Oregon, after it hit a tree on the tracks on Sunday, February 25, 2019. (Courtesy of Carly Bigby) 

Amtrak said 183 people are aboard the Coast Starlight train 11, which was traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles. No one was hurt when the train hit a tree that had fallen onto the tracks. 

Winter weather conditions have made it so there is no safe way to evacuate everyone. 

Amtrak is working with Union Pacific to clear the tracks and get passengers off the train. 

Passenger Carly Bigby left from Eugene and was heading to Klamath Falls — just a three-hour trip. 

Bigby told KOIN 6 News the snack cart is empty and people have run out of diapers for their children.

“A lot of the [older] kids have been really good but they’re having to run up and down and it’s a lot. Especially the food — it’s not really food they’re liking,” Bigby said. “Moms are doing all they can right now.”

She said people have become progressively more anxious with a lack of information about the plan. 

Bigby heard crews had been trying to bring another engine to meet their train since 5 a.m. but there were too many trees on the tracks between their location and Eugene.

She also said Verizon is the only cell phone provider with reception in the area, so some people haven’t been able to easily contact family off the train. 

Watch: Tour of Amtrak train (Courtesy: Carly Bigby)

“If someone wants to deliver a pizza, that’d be great,” Bigby joked. 

Amtrak said the train was moving, however, Bigby checked in with KOIN 6 on Tuesday morning saying that while the train jolted a bit, it was still stuck.

She added that train operators aren’t telling them much and they’re getting majority of their information from news organizations.

Amtrak Executive Vice President and COO Scot Naparstek released the following statement Tuesday morning:

“We sincerely regret the extended delay customers on the southbound Coast Starlight experienced due to extreme weather issues while traveling with Amtrak. With more than a foot of heavy snow and numerous trees blocking the track, we made every decision in the best interest of the safety of our customers during the unfortunate sequence of events. 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 crews worked with local resources and the train is now enroute north to Eugene, Oregon. We will be contacting customers to provide refunds and other compensation as appropriate.”

Listen: KOIN 6 talks to passenger Carly Bigby

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