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RANTOUL, Ill. (CBS) — Some Amtrak train passengers were quite literally stuck in the middle of nowhere Tuesday, after a fuel problem stalled a train headed from Chicago to Carbondale.
Illini train No. 393 left Union Station at 4 p.m., according to the Champaign News-Gazette. Around 6 p.m., it came to a screeching halt o the CN tracks about 10 miles south of the Gilman station, Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm sad.
The 300 passengers onboard were stuck for more than three hours without air conditioning. The crew tried to remedy the situation by distributing water and snacks to passengers.
Kulm said because the air conditioning was on prior to the train stalling the cars did not become instantly hot.
But still, he said, “It was probably much warmer than people preferred.”
A CN freight locomotive pushed the stalled train to Rantoul, the next station south, where passengers were allowed to get off the train, Kulm said. Crew added additional fuel to the train and it started.
While Kulm said there was a fuel issue, he could not say if the train ran out of fuel.
“When we get to a location where we can take a look at it we can check the fuel system,” Kulm said.
Kulm said passengers were re-boarded onto the train about 9:30 p.m. after a 3 hour, 30 minute delay.
The Illini train and the Saluki train, which run on the same route, generate a heavy volume of passengers headed from Chicago to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.