Update: A N.D. snowstorm left a Minnesota-bound Amtrak train stranded for 13 hours

Winds left a 25-foot tall snowdrift on the railroad tracks.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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.

Next Up

coronavirus

Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers-Northwestern game canceled

Minnesota is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in its football program.

frances mosley vandals

Minneapolis woman's home vandalized for a 7th time since March

The most recent incident happened on Thanksgiving.

Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe is closing, building owners say

Head chef Jamie Malone will continue operations at Eastside.

softball

High school softball coach accused of stealing booster funds

The 65-year-old is a coach at Lakeville South High School.

police lights

Suspect leads police on 26-mile pursuit in Meeker County

When the suspect stopped, he tried to get out of his car with a shotgun in hand.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 7.41.02 AM

Human remains found at Albert Lea building where 3 people where shot

Authorities say the human remains are not related to the shooting.

DirecTV

DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

ambulance

Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Related

1 busted bridge messed up boats, cars – and left a guy stranded

The Stillwater Lift Bridge is nearly ready for retirement.

Sun Country passengers say the airline left them stranded in Texas

Passengers were left in Waco while their flight headed to the final destination.

Fires and sound cannons: Deputies arrest 141 N.D. pipeline protesters

Protesters set fires before they were evicted from a site where the oil pipeline they oppose is under construction

The N.D. pipeline protest camp is gone, 46 arrested

The camp protesters had occupied for months was evacuated peacefully.

It's back to the buses for downtown Minneapolis train riders

It'll be like old times when Metro Transit stops downtown train service for awhile.

The cost of riding a bus or train is going up

A fare hike for Twin Cities transit starts this fall