An Amtrak train with 183 passengers and crew on board was on its way back to civilization on Tuesday after it hit a fallen tree and was stranded in the snowy OR wilderness for about 37 hours, railroad officials said.
Passengers and crew were stuck on the Los Angeles-bound train.
Authorities are racing the clock to free almost 200 passengers who have been stuck on an Amtrak train in OR for two days.
According to reports, the Amtrak crew of 13 chose to keep the passengers on the train, which had electricity, heat and food, rather than find ways to get them to a small nearby town, which was said to have been dealing with a blackout, among other snow-related problems.
"This is hell, and it's getting worse", Rebekah Dodson wrote at the 30-hour mark.
Passengers were originally told they would be delayed "a couple of hours" as crews repaired the train, Dodson said.
The National Weather Service had predicted Sunday that up to 2 feet could fall in the area. Breakfast on Tuesday was reportedly the last meal available to the stranded passengers. She says she is one of the few on the train with cell service.
Snow In The Forecast For Cascade Range, Possibly Portland
Additionally, snow will be falling in the Colorado mountains, which will make travel in the high country hard . Check back to KRSL Russell Radio and KRSL.com for the latest on the storm and any closings or cancellations.
Amtrak has not said when the train might continue to Los Angeles.
"Luckily, a really nice lady came in and gave me some pull ups because I didn't know what I was going to do - take off my sweat shirt and wrap her in it", said passenger Jessica Swindle. They are working with the Union Pacific rail company to clear tracks.
In emails and a statement Tuesday, Amtrak apologized for the "extended delay" and defended the decision to not let passengers off the train while stranded in Oakridge, a small town in the Cascade Range about 40 miles southeast of Eugene and 150 miles south of Portland.
By Tuesday morning, at least 30cm had accumulated, the weather service said.
Despite the hard circumstances, she noted that the crew had been "very professional" and were working tirelessly.
"A lot of the [older] kids have been really good but they're having to run up and down and it's a lot".
Officials decided that the train was the safest place for passengers to stay because it had food, heat electricity and functioning toilets, Naparstek said. "Moms are doing all they can right now".
Amtrak said there was enough food on the train for the passengers, and that passengers were not being charged for food and water, contrary to some social-media chatter.