Amtrak “Train From Hell” Delayed Almost 24 Hours

"The snow drifts were more than two stories tall," said an Amtrak spokesman

It was "the train from hell," said one passenger.

Arriving almost 24 hours behind schedule, Amtrak's California Zephyr arrived in Chicago with a trainload of passengers who described themselves as "tired, hungry and stinky."

The train, which left Sacramento five days ago, was delayed by severe weather and numerous mishaps on route and pulled into Union Station more than 19 hours late.

One delay was caused by the train striking a pickup truck in Iowa. But the biggest problem, the rail carrier says, was the weather. "There is a pass in Nebraska between two hills, " spokesman Marc Magliari says, "where the snow drifts were more than two stories tall."

Some passengers complained about a short supply of food and water on board, others criticized the crew for not keeping them informed.

Most say they will never take Amtrak again.

Amtrak says it will pay hotel rooms for passengers who need them. It will also offer refunds on a case by case basis. Because of the weather, the rail carrier is suspending service past Minneapolis today. Trains between Chicago and Denver have also been suspended until tracks can be cleared.

In a similar incident, an Amtrak train bound from Denver arrived 23 hours late. A third train which runs from San Antonio to Chicago derailed in St. Louis yesterday, temporarily stranding 176 passengers and a crew of nine.

Contact Us