LIBBY (MCT) — a alternation derailment in Crossport, Idaho, larboard 235 Amtrak cartage abandoned in Libby on Thursday morning.
“There’s worse places to be stuck,” Nico Lopez, 18, said while sitting on a esplanade bank abreast the delayed train. “It’s appealing here. I aloof spent four months alive in the Bakken. It’s annihilation but rolling hills out there.”
Delayed cartage were decidedly jovial, afflicted by the alone accommodation to which they awoke. Pam Zimmerman, administrator of Achievements Inc., which operates Esplanade Side Austerity Store, noticed the alternation as she opened shop.
“It looked appealing abuse inconvenient,” Zimmerman said. “We fabricated coffee for them and got doughnuts and accolade from Rosauers. If my ancestors was stranded, that’s how I would appetite them treated.”
Fishes & Loaves Cafe owner, Star Phillips, provided hot dogs, hamburgers and refreshments.
Amtrak aqueduct Jason Berg said Libby was the best accessible boondocks of the 10 he has been ashore in during his bristles years on the job.
“The badge and the Emergency Management Agency showed up and gave us a lift to get added ice and milk for the passengers,” Berg said. “Libby absolutely has our aback in this.”
With boilerplate to go and no one abroad to allocution to, cartage began basic bonds.
Whitefish built-in Micah Lundstrom, cutting a amber cowboy hat, stood about a makeshift coffee table in BNSF Esplanade with new acquaintance and Chicago built-in Terrance Phillips.
“This is the blackest guy I’ve apparent in 10 years,” Lundstrom said as he handed Phillips a Marlboro Red cigarette and the brace aggregate a laugh. “He’s a abundant friend. And the woman who’s been be-bopping about with the coffee pot is a godsend.”
Aileen Barnhart larboard Chicago on Tuesday to see her sister in Washington.
“You’d never see this affectionate of accommodation in Chicago,” Barnhart said.
Amtrak accessory Charles Pinner fabricated the best of his abrupt blow by austerity shopping.
“They got aggregate for 50 cents bottomward there,” Pinner appear to the crowd. “Beautiful Libby, Montana. You’re gonna mark this bottomward and acquaint the grandkids about actuality here.”
A 25-year adept with Amtrak, Pinner knows abounding of his common riders by name. One of those cartage is Kathy Shantz, who Pinner joked was his new wife.
“We’re new-generation lovebugs,” Pinner said. “We’ve been affiliated a few hours now.”
Shantz, who was abiding from Springfield, Illinois, to Oregon, was not stressed.
“This is a admirable abode to be stranded.”
Shortly afterwards Shantz’s remark, Amtrak accessory Joann Latin appear that buses would be advancing to booty cartage to Sandpoint, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington.
James McCoy loaded assimilate the bus for Spokane about 10 a.m. The delay, which began at 5 a.m., was not McCoy’s greatest biking obstacle. Originally planning to appointment his granddaughter, Pookie, in St. Louis, McCoy said he suffered a achievement on the way and never fabricated it to St. Louis.
“I’m on my way to Seattle,” McCoy said. “Sometimes that’s how it goes.”
Harlow’s Bus Service provided bristles buses for travel, as able-bodied as a U-Haul to move added luggage. Jerry Teneyck said he was bubbler his morning coffee in Troy back he was asked if he could drive to Spokane.
“I was activity to assignment about the abode today,” Teneyck said. “I don’t apperception — I like driving.”
While best cartage boarded buses to biking west, some were accommodating to adjournment out the 24-hour adjournment in Libby. Carol and Gary Martin of Orlando, Florida, went arcade in Esplanade Side Austerity Store.
“We’ve been to Montana a few times, been to Glacier National Park,” Carol Martin said. “But we don’t accept any plans. We will get to Seattle and again either go to Vancouver, Washington, or some parks. We consistently anticipation we’d like to buy acreage up here, so Gary is activity to allocution to a realtor today. Maybe this is a sign.”
Gary Martin saw the argent lining in the delay.
“We were activity to canyon through actuality at night,” Martin said. “If we had, we wouldn’t accept apparent any of these admirable mountains.”
Sorting clothes abaft the Martins was Dee Shea, who helped Zimmerman canyon out coffee and doughnuts beforehand in the morning.
“It’s sad for those people,” Shea said. “I aloof capital to accomplish anybody comfortable. That Charles came in and the audience enjoyed visiting with him. He’s funny.”
According to the Associated Press, Burlington Northern Santa Fe agent Gus Melonas said a alternation with three locomotives batty at 1:55 a.m. Thursday. The alternation was headed to Pasco, Washington, from Abundant Falls, accustomed 116 endless of merchandise, including beer, rocks and grain. As abounding as 19 cars derailed, but annihilation agitated into the adjacent Kootenai River. The account of the derailment was unknown.
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