FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Passengers were stuck on an Amtrak train for more than six hours Sunday night in Fresno.
Passengers tell CBS47 News they were left in the dark with no updates hour after hour.
Several of them called our station to figure out why their train was not moving.
We learned the train was unexpectedly stopped because law enforcement was investigating the scene at an officer-involved shooting.
We sent questions over to Amtrak asking what they do when a train unexpectedly has to stop.
Do they alert or update passengers in these types of situations?
What is the protocol?
These questions went unanswered in their response back.
Amtrak acknowledges passengers were waiting up to six hours Sunday night during an unexpected delay.
The officer-involved shooting had multiple scenes being investigated and one was on train tracks.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department ordered a stop to all trains.
One of those trains halted was an Amtrak coming from Bakersfield.
Angela, a passenger headed home to Modesto, was one of more than 100 onboard.
As hour after hour passed, Angela was needing answers.
There was no access to power outlets as electricity had to be conserved.
She says the food and water were low, two restrooms were out of service, and some trash cans overflowing.
“The situation on the train was bad, honestly really bad,” Angela Morales said.
Angela called her son who lives in Los Angeles while she waited.
“I was worried that my mom was out there by herself in the middle of nowhere with really no options,” Sebastian Cubillos said.
The delay from the scene investigation lasted more than six hours.
It would be six hours without any official word from Amtrak.
“Most of the frustration of the situation is we didn’t have an answer or estimated time,” Angela said. “We were just waiting.”
We emailed several questions to Amtrak regarding their protocol.
Why did they not use their message alert system to communicate to those on board during this delay?
Why were there no alerts or updates for passengers?
Amtrack “apologizes for any inconvenience or concern this may have caused.”
Onboard, Angela was asking why buses couldn’t come to pick them up.
Amtrak says it was due to the location and time of day.
Angela was on the train for a total of nine hours.
By the time she got home, she slept for two hours before work the next morning.
Looking back on the experience, she says things should have been handled differently.
“Honestly, I don’t think Amtrak is ready to tend to an emergency because this was an emergency,” Angela said. “You are transporting people and we deserve respect.”
Amtrak does have a text alert system for passengers.
We asked why there was no text regarding this delay.
We are still working to get clarification from Amtrak regarding this situation.