Weather Slows Down Amtrak - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Weather Slows Down Amtrak

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WHITEFISH -

The arctic chill hovering over much of the Midwest is slowing down, and even stopping, westbound trains passing through Whitefish.

So far this week, Amtrak has given refunds and rescheduled a lot of train rides that would have come through Whitefish.

"This is a pretty busy time of year, but the good news is we've been protecting the ski and recreational business from the west coast to Whitefish by continuing to serve from Whitefish to the west. Certainly there will be several hundred people affected," said Marc Magliari, a spokesman for Amtrak.

The problem is mainly heading east, trains going west out of Whitefish have mostly stayed on track. The extremely low temperatures and heavy snowfall in the Midwest stopped trains on the tracks linking Whitefish to Chicago and St. Paul.

"The trains even have some light snow removal equipment, but if the drifts are ten feet or five feet or seven feet tall, not a lot you can do," explained Magliari.

Although winter weather has halted many trains on the tracks, not everyone's plans have been ruined.

"We're bent on getting across, so we're not gonna let weather stop us," said Monica Huerta.

Huerta and a friend are hoping to make it all the way to Washington D.C. from Los Angeles. They have not hit any roadblocks yet, but she thinks they will wait it out in Bigfork before heading further east.

"We're planning on staying here maybe about four days to try to avoid those possible delays. I have family in Chicago and my mom says that they're telling people in Chicago to try to avoid leaving their houses," said Huerta.

A pretty good plan according to Amtrak.

"By week's end, we should be back to normal with the full Empire Builder service all the way across the northern tier of states," said Magliari.

If you are thinking about catching a train soon, call 1.800.USA.Rail (1.800.872.7245) or click here for the most up-to-date information about delays and cancellations.

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