PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An Amtrak train that was stuck on the tracks near Oakridge, Oregon since Sunday night arrived in Eugene around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Amtrak said 183 passengers were aboard the Coast Starlight Train 11, which was traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles, when it hit a tree around 6:30 p.m. that had fallen onto the tracks. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Amtrak said it made the decision to keep passengers on the train in the interest of safety because electricity was out in Oakridge, roads were blocked and the area was covered with more than a foot of snow.
After being stuck for more than 36 hours, the train started to slowly make its way toward the Eugene station — taking another several hours before arriving.
Some passengers were upset that Amtrak didn’t communicate enough, however, majority seemed to have a rather pleasant experience.
“The train crew was amazing,” passenger Marsha said. “So professional and so kind.”
Marsha’s sentiment was echoed by numerous people on the train.
One woman was traveling with her dog. She told KOIN 6 News that the crew made sure her pet was able to get off the train every 5 hours to go to the bathroom.
While the train ride was much longer than expected, the passengers praised the train crew for their hard work and even said the experience helped them bond with other passengers.
“People were playing cards and after halfway through, you started seeing the social walls just coming down,” passenger Tom Reitter said. “People talking to other people who wouldn’t talk otherwise. Before long, people sharing stories. I think we all outta meet up there a year from now and see what’s happening with everybody.”
Amtrak Executive Vice President and COO Scot Naparstek released a statement Tuesday morning, apologizing for the delay.
According to Amtrak Alerts, the train is scheduled to head back to Seattle and depart Wednesday.
Coast Starlight Train 11 scheduled to depart Seattle (SEA) on 2/27 will operate Sacramento (SAC) to Los Angeles (LAX) only with no alternate transportation provided Sacramento (SAC) to Los Angeles (LAX).— Amtrak Alerts (@AmtrakAlerts) February 26, 2019