Amtrak passengers say train was stalled in Nassau County for hours

Spokesperson says train had mechanical issues, stopped in Callahan to repair leak

BRYCEVILLE, Fla. – An Amtrak spokesperson said Tuesday night a train that had stalled in Nassau County was moving again after being “temporarily disrupted due to mechanical issues.”

The spokesperson, Kimberly Woods, said the train, which was carrying 382 people, stopped in Callahan for crews to repair a leak. She said passengers were served food and beverages.

Rochelle Kaiserman said she and her husband boarded the auto train in Virginia at 7 p.m. on Monday night and that they were due to arrive in Sanford, Florida, at 10 a.m. The train stalled about 15 miles north of Jacksonville.

Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, passengers said, the train began moving again. The arrival to Sanford got pushed to about 9:47 p.m. — about 12 hours later than planned.

Passengers reported issues with power — and other things.

“There’s no flushing the toilets. You can’t use the restroom. We can’t get anything right now and we’ve been on this train for 24 hours,” said passenger Shari White.

Kaiserman said she and other passengers were told by crew members that there were not enough working engines to pull all the passenger cars at a faster speed.

“The train was limping along and then they told us the train ran out of fuel,” she recalled

An hour later, passengers said, they were told by the train crew that it was not a fuel issue, but something else the crew could not disclose. The train eventually started back up and was supposed to stop at the Jacksonville station, according to an Amtrak employee, but the train instead continued on its route.

Amtrak released a statement that reads:

“The Amtrak Auto Train is back on the move to Sanford, Fla. It resumed service after it was temporarily disrupted due to mechanical issues. The train stopped in Callahan, Fla., while crews repaired the leak. There are no reported injuries to the 382 passengers or crew members. Passengers were served food and beverages.”

“It’s what I call rationed-out food from lunch,” White said. “It was a little bit of beef stew, a little bit of rice and that was about it. I guess we should have considered ourselves fortunate to have gotten that.”