183 passengers trapped on Amtrak train, stranded in snow since Sunday
183 people remain trapped on the Los Angeles-bound Amtrak train in rural Oregon after the train struck a downed tree shortly before 6:20 p.m. Sunday.
The train had left Seattle shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday with 183 passengers on board, but has been stuck near the town of Oakridge, about 45 miles south of Eugene, an Amtrak spokesman said.
A storm has been impacting the northwestern United States since Sunday with heavy snow causing numerous downed trees and power lines. A foot of snow was reported at Eugene Airport on Monday, breaking the previous daily record.
Union Pacific, which owns the rail lines, is helping to clear a path to the train. Tim McMahan, a Union Pacific spokesman, said crews are expected to reach the train by 6 a.m. PST Tuesday. Passengers were kept on board because the train has power and nearby towns do not, he said.
Once the passengers are clear to exit, they will be taken back to Eugene and then Portland, he said.
Amtrak said it was making sure passengers on board the train would not be charged for food and beverages and was doing everything it could to make the customers comfortable.
Despite the nightmarish ordeal, passengers are reportedly telling loved ones that they are okay.
No injuries have been reported.