Amtrak ride from Metro Detroit to Chicago turns into 'nightmare' for passengers

An Amtrak trip from Metro Detroit to Chicago turned into the "train ride from hell" after the power cut out, the toilets stopped working, and passengers abandoned the rail car for an alternative transportation.

"We've been pulled this far by 353 because our engine is dead. We have no power, toilets can't flush and they're overflowing," wrote one passenger on social media. "Now we're stopped because we have no crew. Help please!"

"No electricity. No lights. No water to flush toilets. No heat. 12 hours to get to Chicago," wrote another social media post. "Still ½ hour to go."

The official ride length was closer to 19 hours after several unplanned stops. 

"I genuinely think it was a nightmare because it was so bad," said Madison Smith, who was stuck on the train for the majority of her trip. "I just don't really want to have to go back on that train and experience that again."

Among the reasons that Amtrak said its train's service was disrupted was because of a power issue with the engine that started roughly 19 miles west of the Ann Arbor station. The Amtrak ride begins in Pontiac

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After the first delay, train 353 coupled with train 351 to get things moving again. But then another delay happened due to a reported medical emergency. There was also a reported brake issue. That was fixed before another power issue with the battery. 

By the time the train had neared Chicago before stopping, Smith and another family she joined up with had enough.

"It was in Gary, Indiana and it was just 30 minutes from the Union Station so I got out with another family, jumped out of the train and we waited on the side of the highway with a bunch of people and in freezing weather," Smith said. "We ended up just getting an Uber to the Union Station so we could just get to where we needed to be."

The public relations team with Amtrak said the no power problems was the case for only a few hours and that food was served to those while they were stopped.