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Midwest Flooding Means Major Disruptions On Amtrak

Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Flooding in the Midwest this year has cost Amtrak in a big way.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, a couple of popular Amtrak routes out of Chicago have faced long delays and interruptions because of flooding on the Missouri River.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Thousands of fewer people have chosen to take Amtrak as a result.

The Amtrak Empire Builder line fully reopens next week after weeks of interruptions. The Empire Builder normally takes train lovers from Union Station through Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, North Dakota, Montana and a small part of Idaho, before it splits off into branches that terminate in Seattle and Portland.

But the flooding has prevented the train from getting anywhere west of Minneapolis lately.

Also affected is the California Zephyr, which heads from Union Station through western Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah and Nevada, and terminates in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Emeryville.

But because of flooding on that line, eastbound riders stopping in Omaha, Neb., must get off in Lincoln and take a bus for an hour.

An Amtrak spokesman says the disruptions are the worst he’s seen in 10 years.