Amtrak passengers: 36-hour journey felt like ‘nightmare’

Amtrak passengers: 36-hour journey felt like ‘nightmare’
KPTV via CNN

Finn Friedman chose to take the train because she’s terrified of flying.

After all, the journey from Seattle to Los Angeles on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight is supposed to be a scenic 35-hour trip across mountain ranges, along an ocean shoreline and through forests.

Instead, for the nearly 200 people aboard, it became 36 hours of waiting in cramped quarters with little food and even less indication of when they could leave.

“I was like, ‘when am I going to be home to see my mom and my dad and my family?'” Friedman told CNN affiliate KOMO.

The Amtrak train hit a tree that had fallen onto the tracks Sunday night and became stranded in Oakridge, Oregon, where it sat until Tuesday when it made its way to Eugene, Oregon and eventually back to Seattle.

“36 hours no sleep, 36 hours on a train, and 36 reasons to be grateful,” passenger Rebekah Dodson wrote on Facebook at the end of the ordeal. “Goodnight to this crazy, crazy day.”

A sudden stop

Train 11 was about eight hours into its trip when it stopped suddenly.

“There was no jolt or anything, but the train stopped and they made an announcement that, because of the storms and whatnot, we had hit a tree limb,” passenger Carly Bigby told CNN