Amtrak Trains Stuck In Bureau Co. - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Amtrak Trains Stuck In Bureau Co.


The bitter cold and blowing and drifting snow sidelined two Amtrak trains in Illinois and forced hundreds of passengers to spend the night on stuck trains in the TV-6 viewing area.

"After we left the Princeton stop we got stuck in 5 feet of a snow drift. And the scary part was, we had stopped so many times before then, we thought this was just another 15 minute casual thing. No it was not. It was 9 hours," said passenger Sierra Schnack.

Some of those passengers started arriving at Chicago's Union Station early Tuesday morning, after their train came up against a wall of snow and ice. Two trains, the Southwest Chief and the Illinois Zephyr were struck in the snow in Bureau County and because of the back-up, a third train spent the night in a Galesburg rail yard. Amtrak provided some food, heat, and electricity to everyone .

"This is a fairly remote area in Bureau County where the tracks go through something like a trench, and the trench itself was full of snow and ice. And we couldn't just push through it," said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

"It was safer to leave passengers on the train with full hotel systems, including lights, and heat and toilet systems all overnight instead of trying to transfer people through a trench in the snow at minus 5 temperatures and transfer them to buses.," he added.

Amtrak says there was no indication of trouble on the tracks until the trains came upon it. Because of the back-up, several trains were also cancelled Tuesday.

(Photos and some information provided by NBC affiliate WMAQ)

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