Amtrak train hits tree, triggers mudslide; car derails

Northbound passengers reach Seattle late

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Updated: March 22, 2012, 6:22 PM

 

— An Amtrak spokeswoman says a train bound from Los Angeles to Seattle hit a tree lying across the tracks in Southern Oregon’s stormy Cascade Mountains, triggering a mudslide that derailed the baggage car and stalled the 246 passengers for hours.

Spokeswoman Christina Leeds said no one was injured Wednesday. A freight train engine was dispatched to haul the passenger cars back to the station in Chemult, a small community about 165 miles southeast of Portland. Leeds said passenger cars were without power for several hours.

Passengers got sub sandwiches and beverages as they boarded buses Wednesday evening for the trip to Portland. Leeds said plans called for Seattle-bound travelers to board a new train in Portland.

Among the passengers was Regina Fraser, a co-host of the PBS travel show “Grannies on Safari.” In a brief phone interview, she said the passengers’ mood was “very positive” and credited the train crew with helping keep everyone calm.