Passengers were stuck on an Amtrak train traveling from . The D.C. area to Florida for nearly a day. After a freight train derailed and diverted its route in rural South Carolina. Passengers
For Michael McFadden and his family. What started as a fun trip to Florida to visit. Legoland turned into a nightmare. When the nearly 17-hour train ride turned into a more than 35-hour ordeal.
“We had a limited amount of time . For vacation and I feel like it’s just done,” McFadden, 47, told NBC News in a phone. Interview early Wednesday, still riding. The train with his wife and 7-year-old son.
The train left Lorton, Virginia at 5:30 p.m. Monday and was scheduled to arrive in Sanford. Florida around 10 a.m. Tuesday, McFadden said. But by 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, nearly 35 hours after the train left. It had yet to reach its destination, he said, adding that crew member had announced . That the train was expected to reach its destination around 6 a.m.
McFadden, a software engineer at a media company. Said his family had originally planned the trip for November. But was forced to reschedule after their train was canceled due to Hurricane Nicole.
“I think I’m unlucky, that’s how I feel,” McFadden said.
Amtrak auto trains were affected by “significant delays” after a CSX freight. Train derailed in South Carolina. An Amtrak spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday morning. The Amtrak train was diverted from its normal route to continue southbound, they said.
The spokeswoman said passengers were given regular updates including food. Snack packs and drinks and said the train was expected to arrive in Florida on Wednesday morning.
McFadden said he would have done so if he had been given the option to get off the train. But he said passengers were told they could not get off the train at any time. He also said that at one point, after he posted a video on. YouTube of an Amtrak worker addressing passengers. Passengers were told over the intercom to refrain from . Sharing videos and pictures on social media.
He also questioned. Why at one point the train stopped waiting for hours for relief crew members to arrive.
“The question we’re asking is. Why did the train have to stop in the middle – not even a small station, and the crew had to drive to the train?” McFadden said in an email.
McFadden said that at one point her 7-year-old son was “so sure we could get off the train, he had his shoes on.”
“We had to tell him, ‘You can’t get off the train.’ He was really sad about it,” she said.
Amtrak did not immediately respond to overnight requests for more information. Including why the train stopped where it did and exactly how long it was delayed in South Carolina.
McFadden said he felt the situation “could have been handled (better) . If someone had decided . That revenue wasn’t the most important thing.”
In October, passengers on an Amtrak train from . When a trip that should have taken about five hours took about 20 after . The train lost power, NBC Chicago reported. In that case, passengers were reportedly able to get off the train well before it reached Chicago.