Amtrak train from Chicago was stuck in Iowa overnight

SHARE Amtrak train from Chicago was stuck in Iowa overnight
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Union Station | Brian Jackson / Sun-Times file photo

An Amtrak California Zephyr train that departed from Chicago,’s Union Station on Friday carrying nearly 300 passengers was stuck in small Iowa town until Saturday evening.

The train, Amtrak No. 5, first was stuck in Ottumwa, Iowa, because of “washed-out” track conditions following storms, according to Vernae Graham, an Amtrak spokeswoman, who said Saturday night that the tracks had to be repaired.

Then, when the train got moving again, it had to return to the Ottumwa station after a train ahead of it, operated by BNSF, developed mechanical problems, Graham said.

The Zephyr had left Chicago at 2 p.m. Friday. It was stopped in Iowa at 11:30 p.m. and got back en route just before 7 p.m Saturday, she said,

Passengers were given food at the station and were given the chance to find other means of transportation if they wanted, but all stayed with the train, Graham said.

The train’s final destination is just outside of San Francisco.

According to Amtrak, the trip across the West, which passes through the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas is “one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America.”

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