Local News

Amtrak Trains Delayed After Bridge Closure

Posted September 19, 2007 3:19 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2007 5:20 a.m. EDT

— Several Amtrak trains were delayed Wednesday afternoon after a Johnston County bridge that runs over the Little River was closed.

About 40 trains, carrying about 1,400 passengers, that travel in the area, just south of Kenly, were affected, Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero said.

Passengers could call 800-USA-RAIL or go to Amtrak.com for additional information and schedule updates.

The bridge was undergoing an annual inspection when inspectors found a defect in the support system, said Meg Sacks, a spokeswoman for CSX, the railroad company that manages the bridge.

The Amtrak trains were detoured to nearby stations so passengers could board buses to take them to their destinations.

"When we got in Richmond, they said we are sorry, but there's a bridge that is unsafe,” Amtrak passenger Barbara Woods said.

"Trains went over it yesterday, but we couldn't go over it today,” Amtrak passenger Millie Wannamaker said. "It has just been a long trip ever since."

Woods and Wannamaker were put on a bus in Richmond and brought to Raleigh.

Afternoon departures from New York to Miami and Miami to New York were also canceled. The bridge closure also affected the Auto Train from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla., and Sanford to Lorton, Romero said.

About 30 freight trains operated by CSX were also affected by the closure, but no other passenger trains were expected to be affected, Sacks said.

The bridge was closed for about a day in April 2006 when a visual inspection uncovered a defect, Sacks said. That closing impacted about 50 trains, including 10 Amtrak routes.