The Amtrak train slowed to a crawl as it hammered through snowdrifts in an empty stretch of Illinois countryside, delivering thuds and jolts to passengers, until it lurched into a mound big enough to grind its 8,000-horsepower engine to a halt.
About 90 miles short of their Chicago destination, passengers ended up stuck on the train overnight, reading books, watching movies on computers and taking what amusement they could from a conductor who cracked jokes over the intercom. Food ran low and some tempers boiled over, but staff kept the heat on, entertained children and even escorted small groups of people outside for smoke breaks.
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Not surprising some of the weather across the east coast of the USA has been very very cold. The news last evening showed snow in Texas! The rail system probably outlasted the airline system in some respects. Rail can be a good alternative to flying in the USA if there are no other options as car rentals can fill very quickly.