Amtrak passengers remain cheerful despite disappointment |

Amtrak passengers remain cheerful despite disappointment

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Amtrak passengers waited for buses instead of trains Monday because of Sunday’s coal train wreck in Glenwood Canyon.

The track remained closed Monday as crews worked to remove full coal cars and the derailed Union Pacific engine from the snowy banks of the Colorado River.

Many of those waiting for the Amtrak trains were trying to get home after spending time in Glenwood Springs during Presidents Day weekend.

“Ninety-nine percent of them have been nice,” a Glenwood Springs Amtrak worker said Monday, as she dealt with people’s questions and gave them up-to-date information on the status of the various chartered buses.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the track could be open as early as today.

“It could be (Tuesday), or it could also be Wednesday,” he said.

Magliari said he wasn’t sure how many passengers would need to be bused, but estimated the number would be in the hundreds.

On Sunday, Amtrak ran buses between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs, the two points where passenger trains were stopped, and switched the passengers on the trains via buses.

By Monday, however, Denver to Salt Lake City passenger service was rerouted through Wyoming.

Broomfield residents Pat and John Cahill talked as they waited at the Glenwood Springs depot for their bus Monday. It was scheduled to depart about a half-hour after the train would have left the station.

“I figured, ‘No big deal, they’ll get us home,'” Pat Cahill said.

Even with the late start, the Cahills were hopeful that the bus would make the trip faster than the train would have.

Price, Utah, resident Mark Alayne said he was disappointed to hear that he’d have to take a bus because he was traveling with his 4-year-old son, Zade.

“It’s tough for a 4-year-old because they have nothing to do on a bus,” Alayne said. “He likes trains.”

And although Alayne was looking forward to the scenic ride through western Colorado and Utah, “You could have worse things happen to you.”

“There’s no reason to get upset, it’s just one of those things,” he said. “It would be nice if they could compensate us with another train ride.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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