LYNCHBURG, Va (WRIC) — Amtrak is “reviewing” its response to an incident in which two trains and around 220 passengers were stranded in Lynchburg for upwards of 24 hours during Jan. 3’s winter storm.
This announcement comes after Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine sent an open letter to the president of Amtrak demanding accountability for the incident. In the letter, Warner and Kaine called Amtrak’s lack of communication with passengers during the emergency “unacceptable.”
According to the letter, one of the trains, which departed from New Orleans en route to New York, had made it 20 miles past Lynchburg when it had to turn around and come back because fallen trees and power lines blocked the railway.
Amtrak did not tell passengers of the train that they would be spending the night in Lynchburg, and the train eventually ran out of food.
Amtrak released a response to the Senators’ letter soon after, taking responsibility for the way the situation was handled.
“We work hard to provide our customers with the best possible travel experience; part of that experience involves proper communication when service is disrupted. Due to numerous downed trees and severe weather conditions, train operations across Virginia were dramatically impacted and we fell short in communicating the extent of these challenges to the customers that were impacted,” the statement reads.
“We are reviewing our response to ensure we can provide the level of communication our customers deserve and expect when we encounter significant disruptions.”