Amtrak Train Gets Stuck For 3 Hours Downstate

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.

  • Chana

    Isn’t there a checklist that the engineers follow before a train leaves Union Station? Do they not check the fuel tanks, the fuel gauges, etc? What happened and why were the passengers left in a “hot” train for 3 hrs. and 30 minutes? Was there not an alternative plan? Too many questions and not enough answers from Amtrak!!!

  • Paul Speller

    speaking from someone that was dealing with that whole train issue. My wife and 8 year old daughter were on that train. They were never once offered any water or snacks in the entire 3 and a half hour ordea. My wife asked once about water and was told it was limited and was for the elderly and children. Well my daughter is 8 so not sure how much more of a child they were needing. So never once were they ever offered water, or snacks. Which an offer of a snack would have been nice since they had not eaten since 4pm, and due to the incompetence of Amtrack did not arrive home till midnight that night. So 8 hours with out a meal for a 8 year old child is a bit excessive.

  • Stephanie

    Liars!! Let me tell you, I was one of those 300 passengers. There was an announcement made that they had a limited amount of water on board the train and that it was ONLY for elderly and children. There were NO snacks passed out!!

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