Amtrak train loaded with passengers stranded in snow for hours


An Amtrak train carrying 111 passengers was stuck in a North Dakota snowbank for nearly 13 hours Wednesday.

The train was finally able to move from a 25-foot snowbank Wednesday evening, according to Grant Forks Herald.

It took several attempts to free the train, known as The Empire Builder, as there were reports of fierce winds and deep snow.

According to the Herald, BNSF Railway crews first used snowplows and skid-steers to clear the snow and then used freight train engines in attempts to pull the train from the tracks. None of these attempts worked, so crews resorted to digging the train out of the snow by hand.

According to the region’s BNSF public relations director, Amy McBeth, the train was initially stuck in north-central North Dakota at about 7 a.m. and was finally dug out at around 6:45 p.m. It took an hour for the train to be inspected for damages before it was allowed to proceed on its way.

The initial delay caused subsequent delays for the Amtrak train carrying 94 passengers.

“Credit is due to our on-board employees in making the customers comfortable on both trains, to the hard work of BNSF forces in reopening the railroad, and, most importantly, to our passengers for their patience,” Kimberly Wood of Amtrak media relations said in a statement.

One passenger told reporters that the cafe on the train remained open during the delay and that most of the passengers used the time to catch up on sleep.

Amtrak train stuck in snowdrift for 13 hours near Rugby, N.D.

H/T: Grant Forks Herald

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