Passengers forced to stay on Amtrak train for 18 hours longer than expected

It's not just the airlines making travel a nightmare these days. Passengers traveling by Amtrak train from Virginia to Florida were literally trapped — as in forbidden to get off the train — for 18 hours longer than their already long 17-hour journey when a derailed freight train in South Carolina changed the train's route. Even when the train, at one point, was stopped for hours, Amtrak forbid passengers from disembarking, and even asked them over the intercom "to refrain from sharing videos and photos on social media," according to NBC News.

From NBC:

The train had departed from Lorton, Virginia, at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday and was scheduled to arrive in Sanford, Florida, at around 10 a.m. Tuesday, McFadden said. But by 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, around 35 hours after the train's departure, it had still not reached its destination, he said, adding that crew members had announced the train was expected to arrive at its destination at around 6 a.m. …

The Amtrak Auto Train was impacted by "significant delays" after a CSX freight train derailed in South Carolina, a spokesperson for Amtrak said in a statement early Wednesday morning. The Amtrak train was detoured off its normal route in order to continue operating south, they said.

[Passenger Michael] McFadden said that if he had been given the option to get off the train, he would have, but he said passengers were told they would not be able to disembark from the train at any point. He also said that at one point, after he had posted a video of an Amtrak worker addressing passengers on YouTube, passengers were asked over the intercom to refrain from sharing videos and photos on social media. …

"The question that we are asking is why did the train have to stop in the middle of nowhere — not even a small station, and have crew drive to the train?" McFadden said in an email.

Amtrak did not immediately respond to an overnight request for further information, including on why the train stopped where it did and how long exactly it was delayed in South Carolina.

McFadden said he felt that the situation "could have been handled (better) if somebody decided that revenue was not the most important thing."