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Family stuck on Amtrak train in Petersburg for nearly 40 hours

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:14 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:36 AM EST
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - The roads weren’t the only place seeing delays due to the weather. Amtrak Regional Rail customers have been sitting on their trains at a standstill for hours.

Kip and Anna Knauer, along with their one and 2-year-old kids, were returning home to Pennsylvania from Walt Disney World.

“Everyone understands we’re in a weird time - you just have to keep the communication open,” Kip said.

They thought they were making a smart decision by riding regional rail - staying safe on a train, rather than flying during the pandemic.

“We didn’t want to risk exposure. Two-year-olds are not consistent with their masks. There’s no way we would make it through a two-hour ordeal,” Kip said.

But, it turns out, they thought wrong. Over 30 hours and counting, stuck in a standstill on a train sitting in Petersburg, with little to no information being passed along by Amtrak staff.

“Just the lack of communication. Just not knowing. That’s hard. Right now, my children should be sleeping not eating pepperoni pizza,” Kip said.

Only one slice of pizza was offered to each rider.

“There’s just not enough food or water, honestly...lack of food, lack of supplies, we heard an announcement saying, ‘does anyone have size three diapers?’” Kip said.

The family left Florida at 4 p.m. on Monday and were expected to arrive home in Pennsylvania at 9 a.m. Tuesday

Kip’s parents decided to drive back home to Pennsylvania instead of taking the train. They ended up staying the night in a hotel in South Carolina, even passing the stopped train.

They tried to pick up Kip and his family, but Amtrak would not let them get off.

Kip’s parents eventually make it home before them by eight hours.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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