Some passengers have been enduring one of many worst journeys ever Tuesday as winter climate continued to wreak havoc not only with road travel but additionally Amtrak trains, the place stranded passengers stated they have been coping with overflowing bathrooms and a scarcity of meals.
Amtrak’s Crescent, which left New Orleans on Sunday on its method to New York, obtained caught north of Lynchburg, Virginia, on Monday morning, returned to Lynchburg and remained there till lastly heading northbound once more late Tuesday afternoon. Officers stated downed timber had been blocking the tracks.
Earlier Tuesday, passenger Sean Thornton stated in a telephone interview that the railroad was offering meals, however bathrooms have been overflowing and passengers have been livid. The Richmond, Virginia, resident was in a sleeping automotive with a non-public bathroom, however he stated coach passengers have been struggling “a wretched, wretched expertise” with vehicles reeking of overflowing bathrooms.
“I get it that there are climate circumstances,” stated Thornton, who was touring from Atlanta to Charlottesville, Virginia. “The actual failure right here was communication and administration involvement.”
Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods wrote in an e-mail that the practice would go on to New York, the place it was speculated to arrive on Monday, as soon as the tracks have been clear.
Thornton stated that the practice crew supplied no data after the practice parked north of Lynchburg for hours Monday with out cell service, till lastly backing as much as the town round midnight, with no phrase on what got here subsequent. He stated the practice ran out of meals Monday and that passengers weren’t supplied something to eat till McDonald’s was dropped at the practice round midmorning Tuesday.
Thornton additionally stated a member of the practice crew yelled at passengers over the general public tackle system on Monday to cease complaining to them, as an alternative telling them to name Amtrak’s 1-800 quantity.
“If they will truly transfer this practice, nice,” Thornton stated after practically 40 hours. “But when they waste one other day making an attempt to determine it out, persons are actually going to lose endurance.”
Malcolm Kenton of Washington, D.C., stated he and his aunt walked away from the practice after it returned to Lynchburg and hitched a trip to a resort a number of miles. He stated he and his aunt try to hire a automotive or catch a practice on Thursday as a result of they don’t wish to wait on the station for an unscheduled departure.
“We’ve just about given up on getting again on the identical practice,” Kenton stated in a Tuesday telephone interview from his resort. A longtime Amtrak rider, he stated he nonetheless prefers the practice to driving or flying, however stated the present delay is “among the many worst” he’s ever encountered. He stated it looks like downed timber might have been cleared extra rapidly.
“Amtrak doesn’t appear to do properly in dealing with these scenario after they come up,” Kenton stated.
A separate practice certain from Roanoke, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., obtained caught on the identical tracks, stated Tamera Ferguson of Lynchburg. She stated her son spent 14 hours on the practice earlier than it returned to Lynchburg after 1 a.m. Tuesday. She stated the railroad didn’t provide stranded passengers different transportation or motels.
The Daily Progress of Charlottesville reported a practice southbound from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Lynchburg had additionally been delayed on account of downed timber, whereas Amtrak reported that its New York-bound Silver Star practice, which left from Miami, remained stopped at Richmond Tuesday morning due to downed timber.
Various New York-New Orleans Crescents departing on Tuesday and later days have been canceled. Amtrak on Tuesday additionally canceled each instructions of the Piedmont, which runs between Raleigh, and Charlotte in North Carolina, as properly the northbound Palmetto from Savannah, Georgia, to New York, and the northbound Auto Prepare, which operates from Sanford, Florida, to Lorton, Virginia.
The corporate additionally stated it’s working “modified” service on another routes on the Northeast Hall between Washington and Boston and on different trains south of Washington.