Photo Credit: WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 22: An Amtrak train waits at a platform prior to its departure at Union Station November 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has predicted that nearly 51 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Amtrak Passengers Stuck On Train For 19 Hours
Passengers of two Amtrak trains had a nightmare of an experience Saturday traveling from Michigan to Chicago. Several issues occurred and caused many delays. This turned a normal 3-4 hour trip, into 19 hours. A number of passengers couldn’t even wait any longer and fled the trains onto a busy road.
“I was supposed to have a really relaxed day, and then it was high stress,” explained Katherine Kobiljak to Fox 17, she was on the train at the time.
Kobiljak, who was headed to Chicago to run the marathon boarded in Dearborn at 6:45 a.m. expecting to get to Chicago at 10:30 a.m.
“I kind of put my trust in them to get me there in a stress-free situation and I was, I was just very disappointed,” Kobiljak added.
Jason Abrams, Amtrak’s Public Relations Manager told FOX 17 that the train was delayed due to a problem with the power needed for the train’s engine.
Two other passengers, Gabrielle Reece and Madison Gravlin were on their way to see Harry Styles perform in concert.
“You know, like, it was like towing a car and like okay, we’re just gonna push them, no big deal,” Reece told FOX 17 News.
“Went back about two miles. Went along different tracks, so we could get in front of the train and then pull them to Chicago to be able to connect the two trains together. They had to shut the power to both trains, so with connecting the trains and then restoring power to both trains, that was about a three-hour delay just outside of Ann Arbor,” Gravlin added.
Pisarczyk stated the train never came back on.
“The toilet started overflowing and the whole train smelled like a porta-potty, is the best way I could describe it, and everything was like moving and sloshing around. It was honestly so disgusting, so unsanitary,” added Pisarczyk.
Then on the train between Chelsea, MI and Jackson, MI, someone got sick and called 911. According to Abrams, after the responders came, the person stayed on board.
Kobiljak, who had already spent close to nine hours on the train, said she was “done with it” and got off at an earlier stop.
“I wish they had maybe anticipated other alternatives a little bit earlier so that I could have gotten out of that situation before and maybe saved myself some of the stress,” Kobiljak told FOX 17.
More delays occurred in Indiana when Amtrak had to send out a new crew since the earlier crew is only allowed to work a 12 hour shift. And even then, there were more mechanical issues with the train.
Once passengers had enough, they forced open the doors as they were near East Chicago. They grabbed their luggage off the train and waited for family members and ubers to pick them up and get to their destinations.