UPDATE (7/16/12 11:43 AM): Railroad crews have reopened a section of track in the Columbia River Gorge near Pasco that was hit by a mudslide Saturday during a thunderstorm with heavy rain.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says the track reopened about 12:30 a.m. for freight and 2:30 a.m. for passenger trains after workers removed boulders that landed on top of 300 feet of track. Workers also filled in washouts that took out the roadbed in two places.
Service has resumed, including passenger trains.
The mudslide was picked up by sensors before any trains reached the scene. The track is used by about 35 freight trains a day and two Amtrak trains traveling between Portland and Spokane.
Melonas says the mudslide was extremely rare for that area. Experts are inspecting the slopes to make sure they're stable.
PASCO, Wash., -- Amtrak travelers were on their way to Pasco from Portland, Oregon when they ended up stuck on their train for hours. A flash flood stalled the train that never did make it to Pasco.
Passengers were very frustrated after being stuck on board for seven hours.
The train stopped near Roosevelt, Washington and required an engineer to come out to inspect the condition of the compromised tracks.
From 7pm until 3am the train stayed there. The decision was then made to reverse the train to Wishram, Washington where passengers could get off or stay on and return to Portland.
One passenger, named Katie, says people kept wondering why it took so long to make a decision. She says they were helpless, but remained calm.
"I mean you start to get a little cabin fever, like, get me out of here. You're trying to sleep and you can't sleep. It's three in the morning so you get a little antsy, but at the same time everyone kept their cool," says Katie.
Katie finally got off the train at 4:30am in Wishram, exactly 12 hours after boarding in Portland.
She says there were no buses provided and a refund for her trip wasn't mentioned to her.
Crew are currently working to rebuild the track bed. The mudslide has additionally closed sixty-six miles of road on SR 14 in Klickitat and Benton counties.