GR-bound Amtrak train got stuck in snowdrift

An Amtrak train stuck in the snow on the tracks south of Holland. (Courtesy Ray Olsen via ReportIt - Feb. 27, 2014)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — An Amtrak train was three hours late to its destination in West Michigan Thursday night.

The train running the Pere Marquette route left Chicago at 4:55 p.m., according to Amtrak’s website, and was scheduled to arrive in Grand Rapids at 9:55 p.m.

But shortly after 9 p.m., passenger Ray Olsen said, the train became stuck in a 5-foot snowdrift on the tracks south of Holland. That is because the train moved to a side track so a freight train could get through, an Amtrak spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8.

Olsen said the train came to a slow, gradual halt and that the conductor said it was not going fast enough to plow through the snow.

CSX sent a rescue locomotive to the scene, and it arrived at 10:30 p.m. The locomotive hooked up to the stuck train and pulled it free. Around 11 p.m., the Amtrak train was moving, but not toward its destination.

The Amtrak train was pulled back about 10 miles where it was put on another side track, Olsen said. At that point, a more powerful freight train plowed the tracks clear, allowing the Amtrak train to continue on its way to Holland and then Grand Rapids.

The train had electricity, including heat and lights, except for about 15 to 20 minutes when it was being hooked up to the CSX locomotive, Olsen said.

He was headed to Holland, where he was supposed to arrive at 9:16 p.m.

The Amtrak train arrived at the Grand Rapids station around 1 a.m. Friday.

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