An Amtrak train traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles has started moving again after spending 36 hours stranded in the snowy OR mountains with 183 passengers on board. And, with 183 passengers still on board, it has yet to get moving again.
Almost 200 people aboard an Amtrak train now have everyone else beat when it comes to tales about travel nightmares.
No one was hurt when the train hit a tree that had fallen onto the tracks Sunday about 6:18 p.m., Amtrak said.
While they were stalled all those hours, passengers could see nearby Oregon Highway 58, closed due to snow and ice.
Union Pacific spokesman Tim McMahan says crews are clearing the track and were expected to reach the train by 6am PST Tuesday.
More than 24 hours later, there's still no movement.
One passenger, Rebekah Dodson, told KTVL News: "We've gotten yelled at for opening windows".
Passengers were originally told they would be delayed "a couple of hours" as crews repaired the train, Dodson said.
Oakridge averages 1.1 inches of snow in February, according to the National Weather Service, but by Tuesday morning, they experienced over a foot.
The train is also stuck in a dead zone for cell phone reception for numerous passengers, preventing them from being able to reach family members and let them know what happened.
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But Dodson said Tuesday morning that passengers had been told breakfast would be the last meal available. McMahan said the train will go back to Eugene and Portland.
The Coast Starlight left Seattle for Los Angeles on Sunday but hit a fallen tree Sunday night in the mountains outside Eugene, Oregon.
She said: "It's just been like a giant kumbaya party".
However, those few hours stretched into almost two days, as inclement weather complicated efforts to clear the tracks of snow and get an alternate engine to tow the train away.
Amtrak made the decision to keep passengers on the train because electricity is out in Oakridge.
The train arrived at the Eugene station on Tuesday local time, hours after a Union Pacific locomotive began pulling it, said Tim McMahan, spokesman for Union Pacific, which owns the OR rail line where the train had been stranded in the small town of Oakridge.
Amtrak has not said when the train might continue on its way to Los Angeles.
By Tuesday morning, at least 30cm had accumulated, the weather service said. Crew members had been "professional and nice" throughout.
Passenger Carly Bigby told KOIN-TV parents have run out of diapers and there was limited cellphone service.