The Harrowing Tale of an Amtrak Train Stuck on the Rails for 10 Hours

Illustration for article titled The Harrowing Tale of an Amtrak Train Stuck on the Rails for 10 Hours

A train from Baltimore to Philadelphia stalled on the tracks for ten hours last night. With doors locked and electricity waning, passengers cried and fought for emergency rations. A local news reporter happened to be on board, and tweeted it.

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D.C. reporter Stephen Tschida, of ABC affiliate WJLA-TV, was on the train as rations fell short, cold set in, and passengers swelled into an anarchic mob. As @ABC7Stephen, he chronicled it all, 140 characters at a time. Here is our brave correspondent's story, unabridged and arranged chronologically:

Illustration for article titled The Harrowing Tale of an Amtrak Train Stuck on the Rails for 10 Hours
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Politico's Ben Smith called the ordeal "the Donner Party of Amtrak." 12/16/10-12/17/10: Never Forget. [@ABC7Stephen, Atlantic Wire, image via AP]

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DISCUSSION

Fact: you could travel faster by rail in 1937 than you can today and to more destinations. Then, if a train was two minutes behind schedule pulling into the station it was considered late. The crew, from the engineer to the porter, was 100% dedicated to the welfare of the passengers. The Raymond Loewy designed electric GG1 shown here was one of the most successful locomotives ever produced, in operation for almost 50 years.

No excuse for what happened to those Amtrak patrons. In September I rode the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago. Pleasant trip, but 5 hours late pulling out of Seattle. No Amtrak official could (would) give me information or updates. I actually got departure info from my iphone. No way to run a railroad.