Railroad bridge fire strands Amtrak train for hours in south Texas

The Sunset Limited is stranded in south Texas.
The Sunset Limited is stranded in south Texas. Associated Press

Amtrak is chartering buses to bring 155 passengers and a crew of 12 to San Antonio after fire damaged a railroad bridge southwest of the city, 1200 WOAI news reported.

The station reported that the eastbound Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans had been stopped since just after 1 a.m.

Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman, told the station that passengers have food, water, electricity and air conditioning, but a passenger called to report that the train smelled of urine and feces.

“We can’t even flush the toilet,” she said.

Jeff DeGraff of the Union Pacific Railroad told the station that the fire broke out around midnight. He said the rail line carries freight as well as passenger trains and also connects to a main rail line south into Mexico that brings freight north into the U.S.

"For right now, we do have some trains that are being rerouted on alternate lines, mainly going north into Dallas, then they can come back down to San Antonio," DeGraff told WOAI. "We also have some trains that have a little more flexibility in their schedule, and we have been able to hold those."