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Amtrak train stuck for hours without air conditioning or toilets



Amtrak Acela
An Amtrak Acela train
passes through snow.


  • An
    Acela Express  train was stuck in Queens, New
    York for six hours on Sunday because of damage to overhead
    power lines. 
  • Power was shut off to the train, causing toilets to fill up
    while on-board temperatures — and tempers — climbed. The
    train eventually arrived safely in Boston six hours and 44
    minutes after it was scheduled.
  • Another train, bound for New York, separated in two while
    underway on the day before Thanksgiving. 

high-speed service, the Acela Express, wasn’t so express for
passengers stuck between New York and Boston on Sunday during one
of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Train 2230, which operated on schedule from Washington D.C. to
New York, departed Penn Station for the northerly half of its
journey on time at 9:40 am. But shortly after crossing under the
East River into Queens, damage to the overhead power line forced
a more than six hour delay that led to the closing of bathrooms
and the loss of air conditioning aboard the sweltering train.

Passengers, which sat for hours waiting on maintenance crews,
took to Twitter to air their frustrations.

“We are now into our 6th hour on the train,” one passenger said.
“Bathrooms have become filled to the brim due to lack of power to
flush. Doors are closed which means in theory we should be
leaving soon.”

While toilets filled and temperatures rose, another passenger
said smoke
from overheated brakes started pouring into the car.

“We were TRAPPED on the train for FIVE HOURS with ZERO
functioning bathrooms,” another
. “This is completely unacceptable.

The train and its 299 passengers finally arrived in Boston at
8:19 pm — six hours and 44 minutes after its scheduled arrival
time of 1:35 p.m. An Amtrak spokesperson told Business Insider
that there were no injuries, and “customers were accommodated
with food and non-alcoholic beverages.”

This wasn’t Amtrak’s only holiday weekend equipment failure and
delay, either.

On Wednesday night, two cars on train 68 from Albany to New York
separated while underway in what Amtrak called a
“rare incident.”

Amtrak train 68 detachment tweet

Services into and out of New York are among Amtrak’s only
profitable routes. Last week, the government-owned company
record revenue and earnings
, despite falling ridership
numbers. While the busy Northeast Corridor from Washington D.C.
to Boston only declined about 0.1%, long-distance routes have
seen ridership fall nearly 4% thanks to delays and infrastructure

“We are having conversations with customers and offering
appropriate compensation,” Amtrak said of the Acela delay.

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