Amtrak Train 68, also known as the Adirondack, experienced what officials called a “mechanical issue” after two of its cars separated just outside of Albany around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“I’m on an #Amtrak train going down to NYC for Thanksgiving. About ten minutes out of Albany, heard a pop smelled electrical burning and felt a rush of cold air,” passenger Chuck Reeves tweeted along with a photo. “Turned around and looked back and saw the rat of the train is missing.”
There were 287 passengers and crew members onboard the train at the time and no injuries were reported.
Speaking with CNN, passenger Helen Mary Crane explained that train was packed and two additional cars were added to the locomotive when the woman and her son boarded in Rensselaer, New York. Crane boarded one of the cars that detached from the train.
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“I was terrified when I saw the sparks and smelled burning and then realized our car was no longer attached,” Crane told CNN. “I thought we would derail or be hit by the other train.”
Crane told CNN she credits fellow passenger Reuben Clarke for keeping everyone safe after he quickly pulled the emergency braking system.
“He saved our lives tonight,” Crane said. “Our car broke off from the rest of the train and was picking up speed. There was no Amtrak personnel in our car. Reuben calmly went into action and pulled the emergency brake at the front of the car. Thankful he was on the train with my son and I.”
A second train was dispatched to recover the stranded passengers to take them on the rest the trip to New York City.
There’s no word as to what caused the mechanical malfunction.