Passengers get stuck on Pittsburgh-bound train for more than 6 hours

PITTSBURGH — Stranded on the tracks, a Pittsburgh-bound train was stopped for hours late Sunday night.

One of the many passengers on the trail told WPXI that he didn’t arrive at Union Station until after 12:30 a.m. John Ayers told Channel 11 News that he boarded his train at noon in Philadelphia and said he, along with others, were stuck inside the train while it sat for more than six hours unable to move.

“The conductor came back on and said, ‘I have bad, really bad, and even worse news,’” Ayers said.

Ayers said that was the last announcement he wanted to hear. Ayers, along with nearly 200 other Amtrak passengers traveling from New York or Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, were now stranded near Greensburg, miles away from their destination.

“What [the conductor] was saying was that something happened up ahead on the tracks. He told us the tracks had overheated, and we were going to be really delayed, but he wasn’t sure how long it would be before we got to Pittsburgh,” Ayers explained.

It would be more than six hours before help would arrive in the form of buses.

“All the passengers started screaming, ‘What are we supposed to do?’ And the conductor was like ‘I’m sorry we don’t have a contingency plan.’ He told us Norfolk Southern is talking with Amtrak about maybe getting some buses,” he said.

But as Ayers and others waited on those buses, he said things on the train seemed to be out of sorts; first, the power went out, and then the motor blew.

Channel 11 News reached out to both Norfolk Southern and Amtrak and they confirmed it was not the tracks, but a mechanical issue with the train.

Ayers was scheduled to get in around 8 p.m. but didn’t arrive home until nearly 3 a.m. We asked Ayers if a refund had been issued or even an apology.

“I haven’t heard from them. Haven’t called, texted, nothing. No apology,” he said.

Channel 11 News asked Amtrak if they planned to issue a refund to passengers, and they said they are working to issue vouchers for future trips.

Ayers told us he isn’t surprised he hasn’t received any compensation because, during that entire ordeal, they only handed out a 4-ounce bottle of water and a bag of cookies.

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