Travelers spend night on 3 snowbound Amtrak trains

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2014 at 10:29 am •  Published: January 7, 2014
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CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of Amtrak passengers who spent the night onboard three trains stranded in snow in northern Illinois have begun to arrive in Chicago, rail line officials said Tuesday morning.

About 300 passengers on two trains that were stuck near Mendota, about 80 miles from Chicago, boarded buses in Princeton for the final leg of their trip, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari. They began arriving in downtown Chicago around 7 a.m. Tuesday and more were expected to arrive throughout the morning.

A third train loaded with 217 people spent the night at a BNSF rail yard in Galesburg; they were taking buses for the final 150 miles to Chicago.

The trains — The Southwest Chief from Los Angeles, the Illinois Zephyr from Quincy and the California Zephyr from the San Francisco Bay area — got stuck after 3 p.m. Monday in blowing, drifting snow and ice that Magliari said made the tracks impassable.

Several passengers speaking to news outlets by cellphone said conditions on the trains deteriorated and that they went long periods without food.

"The conditions is cold; we're wearing coats. And my husband is a diabetic. He hasn't had any food all day," Laurette Mosley told ABC News. "The bathrooms are flooded. The sinks are full with water and the toilets are flooded."

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