Amtrak Passengers Get Stuck In Heat

August 18, 2008 4:58:24 PM PDT
Some Amtrak passengers had an uncomfortable afternoon after a 3 ½ hour delay without air conditioning. A train broke down at Santa Fe and Shaffer, near Atwater Friday afternoon. The train, bound for Oakland, sat on the tracks for 2 to 3 hours after engine failure caused it and its air conditioning to shut down. One passenger told Action News, "The air conditioning went off and then it coasted to a stop. It was hot. Very hot."Passengers say it didn't take long for things to get uncomfortable. They opened windows as crews handed out water. "It just got really, really hot. It was really hard on the old women and children. They had to bust windows to get air in there," said passenger Dana Quinn.

Another passenger said he wanted his money back after being forced to sit in the heat. "Really horrible. It was really hot. It sucked really bad," said Patrick O'Guinn

One man sent these photos to Action News taken from inside the train. One shows the firefighters that came to the passengers' aid and the busses that took most of the train's 330 passengers to Merced's Amtrak station. Others stayed on the train until another train hooked up and towed it back to the station.

After several hours the two trains finally headed to Oakland. While some passengers expressed frustration with the delay, others praised the Amtrak crew for the way they handled the situation. Still, the experience may have soured some first time passengers. "It's been pretty frustrating. I wanted to drive she wanted to take the train, said Mike Quinn.

His wife, Dana, added, "This was his first time on the train. So I was kinda hoping it would be a good experience so he would come back but it doesn't look like we'll be doing the train again."

View Photos

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