CHICAGO– The weekend was a nightmare for Amtrak passengers, who were stranded on a train from Detroit to Chicago for 19 hours without lights, restrooms, water, or food.
Jake Tobias and Melissa Behring, who reside near Detroit, had a huge vacation to Chicago planned for Friday. Early on Friday morning, they boarded their Amtrak train in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Tobias said that the flight was scheduled to depart at 6 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at about 10:30 a.m. local time.
However, the voyage, which normally takes approximately five hours, lasted 19 hours.
Amtrak said that the couple’s train suffered a “mechanical problem” and had to pair with another train west of Ann Arbor. According to train passengers, this is an understatement.
“In less than an hour, they ran out of water. There was no available water to drink, ” Behring claimed. They said that they were contacting personnel and engineering teams in an attempt to restore electricity.
According to the pair, electricity was never restored for the remainder of their journey.
Medical Emergency Caused the Delay
And that was not the end of the delays. Amtrak said that a passenger’s medical emergency caused another delay. By the time the train got to Hammond, Indiana, the pair said that Amtrak workers told them they could no longer work.
“They said that our employees had reached their hourly cap. We will have to wait for a replacement team; ” Tobias stated.
Therefore, Tobias, Behring, and a large number of other passengers took things into their own hands.
“We leaped off the train,” Tobias added. “We were following in the footsteps of others into the woods. We jumped over the barrier. We waited on the roadside and attempted to hail an Uber on the motorway.”
Without a platform, there was a 6-foot drop and many tracks to cross. It was almost 9 p.m., roughly 15 hours after the pair had begun their adventure. It took them a total of 19 hours to reach Chicago.
Amtrak reports that passengers who did not exit the train in northwest Indiana arrived in Chicago around 12:03 a.m.
Behring said, “I really believe that they required a strategy to remove passengers off malfunctioning trains and transport them to their destination.”
Amtrak published a statement in which it said, “We started calling passengers from both trains over the weekend to offer them refunds or transportation credit for a future trip, at their discretion.”
According to passengers who talked with East County Gazette, the reimbursement is a good gesture, but many are concerned about compensation for rescheduled, cancelled, or abandoned plans.
Full Statement from Amtrak
There was a mechanical problem on Train 351, so it had to halt west of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
A connection was made between Train 351 and Train 353, and the two trains ran as a “double train” to Chicago.
At 12:03 a.m., both trains had finally arrived in Chicago, 13.5 hours after schedule for Train 351, and 10 hours behind schedule for Train 353. For the trip to Chicago, Train 351 had 203 passengers while Train 353 had 247.
Dealing with Technical Problems
Trains 351 and 353 had to make another emergency stop to let EMTs treat a sick passenger, in addition to dealing with technical problems. The traveller stayed aboard the train, and the train proceeded on its westward journey.
About 7 hours of downtime was experienced by Train 351, while another 3.5 hours were incurred by Train 353. There was a 4.5-hour delay for the combined numbers of 351/353.
At 12:03 a.m., both trains had finally arrived in Chicago, 13.5 hours after schedule for Train 351, and 10 hours behind schedule for Train 353. There were 203 people on board Train 351, and 247 on Train 353. Both trains were headed to Chicago.
Over the weekend, we started calling customers from both trains. We apologised again and told them they could choose between a full refund or a credit toward a future train ride.