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Almost 200 People Got Trapped on a Train for Days in Oregon's Brutal Snowstorm

The train hit a tree and then got snowed in, with 183 people inside.

by River Donaghey
Feb 26 2019, 5:54pm

An Amtrak train heading from Seattle to Los Angeles got stuck in the snow in Oregon over the weekend—leaving 183 people trapped inside for days, CNN reports.

The train came to a screeching halt Sunday night after it ran into a tree that had fallen onto the tracks near Oakridge, Oregon. No one was reportedly hurt in the accident, and the train could've been gotten back up and running shortly, if it wasn't for one thing—the giant goddamn storm that has been dumping record-breaking amounts of snow across the state over the past few days.

Conditions were too brutal for Amtrak workers to come to the train's rescue right away, so everybody on board just had to hunker down and wait. And wait. And wait.

Workers didn't make it out until Tuesday morning, almost 40 hours after the thing broke down.

Two nights on a snowed-in train sounds like hell, especially when you start to consider exactly how long it'd take until those toilets overflow. But it sounds like, uh, people somehow actually had a good-ass time?

"It's just been like a giant kumbaya party," passenger Rebekah Dodson told CNN while the train was still stuck in the snow. "Strangers are playing cards. A teenager played his ukulele to kids to get them to sleep. Ladies who have never met before were dancing in aisles."

For most folks, being trapped in a confined space with a ukelele-playing teen sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but hey—to each their own. Amtrak reportedly had plenty of food and water onboard, so, fortunately, the whole thing didn't spiral into complete chaos, and nobody had to pull a Donner Party and start thinking about cannibalism or whatever.

As of Tuesday morning, the train is finally up and moving again, thanks to a Union Pacific locomotive that's pulling it towards Eugene, Oregon, CNN reports. Passenger Emilie Wyrick told the outlet they're moving in fits and starts—chugging along "very slowly" before coming to a halt every few hundred yards. Still, folks on board seem, naturally, relieved that they're going anywhere at all.

"The minute it started moving, I think a lot of us had tears in our eyes," one passenger told Dodson in a video she uploaded to Facebook. "It was overwhelming."

Oregon is still a snowed-in tundra, so it's unclear exactly when and how train passengers will make it to their final destinations in California or wherever. But at least they're getting off the horror train soon, and won't have to spend another day surviving on prepackaged Amtrak meals and peanuts, so that's something.

"I almost feel like I'm going to cry right now," Dodson said in the video. "I can't even go home to Klamath, but I'm just like, I don't care anymore."

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