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Most of the 500 Amtrak passengers who spent the night onboard three trains stranded in snow in northern Illinois are finally heading to Chicago, rail line officials said Tuesday morning.
The trains — The Southwest Chief from Los Angeles, the Illinois Zephyr from Quincy and the California Zephyr from the San Francisco Bay area — got stuck after 3 p.m. Monday in blowing, drifting snow and ice that Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said made the tracks impassable.
Several passengers speaking to news outlets by cellphone said conditions on the trains deteriorated and that they went long periods without food.
"The conditions is cold; we're wearing coats. And my husband is a diabetic. He hasn't had any food all day," Laurette Mosley told ABC News. "The bathrooms are flooded. The sinks are full with water and the toilets are flooded."
Magliari said emergency workers were on standby, and that train crews handed out food and prepared for any medical issues, though he said there were none.
"There was no good reason to take people out of warm trains ... into the cold," he said. "We sheltered them in place."
Magliari said crews were clearing tracks and hoped to resume operations Wednesday.