BAMBERG COUNTY, S.C. — Amtrak says it will offer fare refunds for passengers who were delayed 20 hours by a train after it stopped on a set of tracks in rural South Carolina.
The Amtrak auto train was on its way from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida and out Monday afternoon. The company's website says that 900 mile journey normally takes 17 1/2 hours and runs overnight.
However, a CSX freight train derailed in Lake City, South Carolina that same night when it hit a car parked on the tracks. While the Amtrak train did not encounter that collision, it forced a detour in the train's route which added time to the trip.
At some point, the train came to a complete stop in Denmark, South Carolina located in Bamberg County. Passengers told multiple media outlets that they felt stranded and couldn't leave the train. It's still unclear why the train stopped at that particular point and why the stop lasted so long.
In all, the total delays on the trip added up to 20 hours, according to Amtrak. The train finally arrived in Sanford Wednesday morning.
The company says they did provide passengers regular updates and gave them meals, snack packs, and drinks, including food from local businesses along the trip. At least one person, however, told News19 all he received were some basic snacks.
A total of 563 customers were on the train.
The company says it apologizes for the delay and will be working with customers on fare refunds.
The Auto Train is billed on Amtrak's website as a "stress-free journey by rail." The trip allows people to travel with a car or an SUV which is loaded in a special rail car attached to the train.