(St. Paul, Minnesota – September 21, 2011)
A series of unfortunate events caused Amtrak’s “Empire Builder” to delay passengers destined for the Twin Cities and Chicago half a day Wednesday, most of it occurring in a remote area near Stanley, ND. Locomotive failure began the 12-hour ordeal, and considerable time was expended while repairs were made to the train’s engine.
As a result of the repair delay, the crew on board ran out of time to work (the Federal Railroad Administration allows a crew only 12 hours to complete its tour of duty after first reporting to work). Thus, the train was delayed another four hours while a relief crew was delivered from St. Paul, MN. Arriving in St. Paul 12 hours late did not find a large group of happy passengers on board.
One woman passenger vented her frustration to television crews covering the travel travesty. “I think the most irritating thing was they didn’t tell us anything,” she told KARE-TV, Channel 11.
“They (Amtrak) did not keep us informed about what was going on. They kept us in the dark!”
She further criticized Amtrak’s failure to get a relief crew to the stranded train in a timely and efficient manner.