Amtrak's weekend adventures

Provocative passenger prompts Illinois evacuation; Georgia tow truck tangles with 'Crescent'
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Embedded video from WAND in Decatur, Ill.

WASHINGTON — Passengers on two Amtrak routes can say they had an interesting travel experience last weekend.

On Friday, Amtrak officials evacuated passengers from the railroad's St. Louis to Chicago Lincoln Service train No. 302 after one passenger, a man, departed the train at Springfield, Ill., but left his luggage on board.

Passengers told local police that the man was acting "weird" and told them that he was on the run from police. WAND-TV in Decatur, Ill., reports that Amtrak moved the train to a rural area after they evacuated the passengers so police with bomb-sniffing dogs could search the suspicious man's luggage.

A Chicago-based Amtrak representative says the incident delayed the train three hours near Lincoln, Ill., and impacted three other scheduled Amtrak trains on the route — one northbound and two southbound — in addition to inconveniencing 190 passengers. There's no word on whether police are pursuing the provocative passenger.

In Georgia on Saturday, Amtrak's Crescent struck a tow truck that was attempting to remove a stranded car from the railroad tracks about 9:40 p.m. The Gwinnett Daily Post cites Gwinnett County, Ga., officials saying that they had notified railroad officials about the fouled crossing in Doraville, Ga., northeast of Atlanta.

A Washington-based Amtrak representative says there were 103 passengers on the New York-bound Crescent No. 20 when it hit the truck. The representative referred questions about whether the Amtrak train crew received notification about the hazard to local officials. It was not immediately clear what railroad dispatches trains in that area.

No injuries were reported in either accident.
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