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Weather stalls train for 8 1/2 hours

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

NILES, Mich. (AP) – An Amtrak train carrying more than 200 people arrived in Chicago early Monday after stopping for 8 1/2 hours because of weather-related engine problems in southwestern Michigan, a spokesman said.

Heat, lights and toilets continued to operate while crews tried to solve the problem aboard Wolverine train 353. Spokesman Marc Magliari said it eventually was connected to another westbound train and arrived in Chicago around 1:30 a.m. CST.

The train departed Pontiac, north of Detroit, around 10:30 a.m. EST Sunday but had trouble between Niles and New Buffalo in Michigan’s southwestern corner, Magliari said.

Low temperatures “affected the ability of the train to power itself,” he said.

“I’m certain some passengers were frustrated, as were we,” Magliari said. “It was better to shelter the passengers in place than to off-load passengers, even if buses were available.”

Celeste Aruda said it was a long day.

“About every hour they told us, ‘Just another half-hour until we get someone here who is going to fix this,’” Aruda, a passenger, told Chicago TV station WMAQ. “And every plan they went through just fell through.”

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