Amtrak Train Suffers Power Outage, Passengers Forced to Use Makeshift Toilet

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Traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday is already a headache, but passengers on an Amtrak train became stuck in New York City Sunday due to a power problem.

According to The Associated Press, Amtrak Acela Express Train 2230 departed from Washington D.C. Sunday morning on a trip to Boston that was scheduled to arrive at 1:35 p.m. ET.

After a stop at New York’s Penn Station at 9:40 a.m., the power to the train shut down near Queens as a result of damage to the pantograph, which connects the train to the overhead power line.

Amtrak crews were on the scene by 10 a.m. to repair the train, but they did not complete the job until after 3 p.m., resulting in a five-plus hour wait for passengers. One of the biggest issues with the power outage was the toilets not flushing.

Passenger Nick Yeh told CBS Boston the toilets stopped working due to the lack of power to the cars, forcing crew members to create a makeshift toilet out of cardboard box.

A moving Amtrak passenger train pulling into a station. (photo via shanetrue / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

“About an hour of the way through, they decided to open up all of the doors on the left side of the train to help circulate air because it was starting to get warm and stuffy,” Yeh told CBS. “Because we were out of power, the toilets were unflushable for the entire five hours we were waiting.”

Once Amtrak personnel fixed the issue with the train, it continued its journey to Boston, where it arrived at around 8 p.m. Passengers on the delayed trip have not been notified yet of potential refunds.

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