With no power, Amtrak passengers find they're boxed in for toilet use

RELATED TOPICS: AMTRAK | PASSENGER | PASSENGER EQUIPMENT
Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
acelahartley
An Amtrak Acela Express rolls through Old Saybrook, Conn., in 2016. Passengers on a stalled Acela trainset during the holiday weekend had to use a cardboard box as a toilet.
Scott A. Hartley

NEW YORK — When an electrically-powered train loses power, nothing works.

That includes toilets. And as a delay mounts, the train may not go, but passengers still have to.

Passengers on an Amtrak Acela Express stalled north of Penn Station for about five hours on Sunday dealt with a rather rustic solution, according to a report on Boston’s WBZ-TV: a cardboard box became a makeshift toilet. (Please note: that’s makeshift.)

Passenger Nick Yeh told the station that an hour into the delay on Boston-bound train No. 2230, the crew opened doors on one side of the train “to help circulate air because it was starting to get warm and stuffy. Because we were out of power, the toilets were unflushable for the entire five hours we were waiting.”

Another passenger, Beth Jacobsen, explained the solution, which involved some out-of-the-box thinking (although hopefully not activity of a similar nature). “What the stewardesses ended up doing was making a porta-potty out of a cardboard box,” Jacobsen said.

Maybe the sturdy wooden packaging for those boxed lunches on some other Amtrak routes now makes more sense.

The train, with 299 passengers aboard, arrived in Boston about 8:20 p.m. It had been due at 1:35 p.m. An Amtrak spokesman told the Boston Globe the train stopped because of pantograph damage caused by “debris in the catenary.”

 

Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of TrainsMag.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.
0 COMMENTS

SEE INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today
+