News broke this afternoon that an Amtrak train near Oakridge, Oregon on its way to California had been stranded with 183 people or over 30 hours. And many people reasonably assumed that it would be an apocalyptic situation by now. But aside from some modest inconveniences, it actually sounds pretty relaxed now 36 hours in.
The southbound train, which runs between Seattle and Los Angeles, reportedly hit a tree that was on the tracks on Sunday and the passengers have been stuck inside ever since. Why? The combination of its remote location and the heavy snow.
The snack cart is reportedly empty and some people are having to improvise diapers for their babies, but everyone appears to be taking the entire thing in stride. There are no injuries and Amtrak says they’re trying to make everyone comfortable. In fact, some people seem to be having fun.
“It’s just been like a giant kumbaya party,” one passenger, Rebekah Dodson, told CNN earlier this morning. “Strangers are playing cards. A teenager played his ukulele to kids to get them to sleep. Ladies who have never met before were dancing in aisles.”
update - they’re now playing the ukulele...
— Bonnie Silkman KPTV (@BonnieSilkman) February 26, 2019
This doesn’t look like the Lord of the Flies situation like you might expect when critical modern infrastructure breaks down. There’s plenty of time for mirror selfies, even if there are reports of spotty mobile phone reception. News channel KOIN 6 reports that Verizon is the only company that’s providing decent service in the area right now.
That being said, some apparent passengers are tweeting about how things are getting bad. They’re joking, we assume.
We have accepted our new life on the train. Tribes are forming. We are all walking thin. #stuckonamtrak
— Tracy27 (@Tracy27) February 26, 2019
Amtrak says that nobody onboard is being charged for food and water, but it’s unclear how much of it is left. (Good Morning America reported this morning that the train is “running out” of food.)
An Amtrak spokesperson told CNN that the train should be able to return to Eugene this morning, but there haven’t been reports of that happening yet. We’ll update this article when the people are either rescued or the situation descends into cannibalism.