Amtrak train stranded with 183 aboard after hitting tree

Oregon Amtrack stranded

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Workers are trying to free an Amtrak train with 183 passengers aboard that has been stuck since Sunday after hitting a tree that fell on the tracks near Eugene, Oregon.

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train left Seattle for Los Angeles early Sunday but hit a tree in Oakridge, Oregon, about 6:20 p.m. Oakridge is about 45 miles southeast of Eugene.

Union Pacific spokesman Tim McMahan says crews are clearing the track and were expected to reach the train by 6 a.m. PST Tuesday. He says the train will move back to Eugene and Portland.

Amtrak made the decision to keep passengers on the train because electricity is out in Oakridge. Amtrak says there is ample food on board.

Passenger Carly Bigby tells KOIN-TV parents have run out of diapers and there is limited cellphone service.

“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. 

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

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