LORTON, Va. (7News) — Hundreds of passengers departing Northern Virginia were stuck on an Amtrak Auto Train for more than 24 hours and still have no estimate of when they will be able to get off the train.
The Amtrak Auto Train left Lorton, Va. Monday night on a nonstop trip to Florida. The train was supposed to arrive at 10 a.m. Tuesday but is currently sitting in a wooded area in South Carolina.
The delay is due to a CSX freight train colliding with a car. The CSX train derailed around 11 p.m. Monday, officials said. 25 cars and two locomotives derailed and the scene is still being cleared.
The Amtrak crew has timed out and is not legally able to operate the train. They are waiting on a replacement crew to access the train from a railroad crossing but so far there is no estimated time of arrival for the new crew. This is a unique train and there are only a few certified crews are able to operate it, officials said.
Another concern is that there are pets on board and it's unclear if they’ve been allowed to step off the train with their owners.
READ MORE: Passenger describes scene as Amtrak train carrying 142 people collides with truck in Md.
The Auto Train is a unique train in that all passengers must also bring their car with them on the train. One train leaves each day from Florida and one from the D.C. area. Many passengers book little rooms with chairs that fold into beds and others book traditional seats.
The train is stocked with 1.5 meals per passenger.
CSX released the following statement about the derailment:
Just before 11:00 p.m. Monday, a CSX freight train came in contact with an unoccupied vehicle on the tracks at Charles Street in Lake City, SC resulting in the derailment of 25 rail cars and two locomotives, which remained upright. There were no injuries to the crew of the train and no hazardous materials involved. CSX crews are on site working to safely clear the tracks and restore the area.
According to passengers on board, the train began moving late Tuesday night. One passenger told 7News that feces was spotted on the floor of the train. Dogs onboard still have not been allowed to get off for a bathroom break and passengers will also need to wait for a minimum of 90 minutes for their cars to be unloaded when they arrive in Florida, a passenger said.
Editor's note: In an earlier version of this article, 7News reported there was no crew and limited food on the train. However, Amtrak tells 7News that the train did have a crew, but due to the delay the crew working on the train timed out and became unable to legally operate it. Amtrak also says the train is stocked with 1.5 meals per passenger.