An Amtrak train bound for the Twin Cities finally arrived – about 21 hours behind schedule.
The Empire Builder train was scheduled to leave Minot, North Dakota, at 9:47 p.m. Tuesday and arrive at St. Paul's Union Depot at 7:43 a.m. Wednesday, Amtrak records show. But the train was delayed out of Minot until early Wednesday.
Then the train – with 111 passengers on board – got stuck in a giant snowbank for 13 hours in central North Dakota, Valley News Live says.
Crews tried three times to free the train, using snow plows, then skid-steers, and then freight engines to try and pull the train out, but those efforts failed, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
About 30 crew members resorted to digging the train out by hand, finally dislodging it around 6:45 p.m., the paper says. The train got moving again by 7:45 p.m.
It arrived at St. Paul's Union Depot at 5 a.m. Thursday, Amtrak records show, making it 21 hours, 17 minutes late.
For more, you can read Wednesday's story below.
Yes, North Dakota drivers sometimes get stuck in the snow this time of year. The driver of an Amtrak train doesn't expect it, though.
But a snowdrift reported to be 25 feet high and 200 feet long brought a Minnesota-bound train to a halt Wednesday.
The Minot Daily News reports 111 passengers were aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder that got stuck near Rugby, North Dakota, at about 7 a.m.
One of the passengers, Minot State University student Miranda Fenner, told the newspaper that over the next nine hours crews tried using snowplows, bulldozers, and skid steers to free the train – and even brought in a couple of freight engines to try pulling it out. But it didn't budge.
Another passenger tweeted photos showing that some snow had piled up inside the train.
Rugby is about 60 miles east of Minot. The train had already been delayed in Minot for several hours before it got stuck in the snowdrift, KFYR reports. Amtrak told the station the passengers are safe on the train, which has power and food, but said it could take up to 15 hours to clear the snow.
The storms that brought wind gusts over 60 miles an hour to Minnesota passed through North Dakota, too. Only in the northern part of that state they were combined with snow. While the snowfall totals were not that big – around six inches – the winds left huge drifts in some places.
The Daily News says another Amtrak train, which was headed west, is also delayed. It's waiting at Leeds, North Dakota for the tracks to be cleared.