St. Louis woman recounts nightmare train trip

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A nightmare train trip finally ended for a St. Louis woman and her daughter, Sunday.

They were stuck behind the Amtrak that crashed into a truck full of bacon about 14 miles south of Joliet, IL, Friday.

The woman, who only gave us her first name, Shannon, was on a family trip to Chicago with her daughter, 4.

They rode back home on Amtrak Sunday after the trip there took more than 15 hours.

An Amtrak from San Antonio to Chicago crashed into a tractor trailer full hauling about 70,000 pounds of bacon.  It led to trouble for more than just the passengers who first had to stand on a highway, then either walk or catch a bus to an evacuation center set up at a nearby school.

There were perhaps even bigger troubles for passengers on the St. Louis to Chicago train down the tracks.

“The train left at 6:40am in St. Louis.  We didn’t get to Chicago until 10:10pm,” Shannon said.

Before the crash delay, her train was delayed for 4 hours near Alton because of a stop signal malfunction, she said.

After the crash, other trains were allowed to proceed before hers to try to keep them on time since her train was already long-delayed, she said.

She had a friend on board the crashed train who seemed to have gotten the better of it, she said.

“They got buses for them.  They got to leave.  We had to sit on the train for another 4 hours before we could leave…and the bathrooms we clogged up and disgusting,” she said.

She added the train ran out of food.

“They should have gotten buses to come pick us up off the train.  We were like 20 miles away from Joliet.  They could have gotten us on a bus, taken us to Joliet where we could have gotten another train to take us Chicago.  They should have done something.  They did nothing,” she said.

“We didn’t smell any bacon.  Maybe they could have given us some bacon, that would have been nice, she laughed.

She applauded Amtrak workers on board for being very friendly and making the best of the situation.

Still, she will be seeking a full refund when Amtrak customer service opens Monday, she said.

An Amtrak spokesman said refunds were handled on a case-by-case basis and advised impacted passengers to call Amtrak’s customer relations team at 1-800-USA-RAIL to make things right.

There were no serious injuries in the crash.