Amtrak train stranded in Culpeper due to wreck in Crozet

An Amtrak train carrying members of Congress hit a truck near Crozet Wednesday morning, tying up the tracks and causing one train to remain stuck in Culpeper.

According to Paige Read, Director of Tourism for Culpeper County, the Cardinal 51 train in transit to Chicago arrived a little after noon to Culpeper and is being delayed there while the accident in Crozet is being investigated.

About 90 passengers have disembarked the train and are visiting the town, Read said, while local businesses are stepping forward with donations to help feed them.

Read said Domino’s and Panera have donated lunch for riders that are waiting patiently at the Culpeper Depot.

“We’re trying to make everyone comfortable as possible,” Read said. “We couldn’t do it without the support of our business partners.”

Read credited Domino’s Pizza owners Andrew and Christina Kearney and Panera manager Chad Guthrie for stepping forward and donating to the riders.

Karen Quaintance, Visitor’s Center Assistant, said the train comes through Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. She said that the situation is fluid as there as has been little communication with Amtrak following the accident.

The train in Crozet was taking members of Congress – including House Speaker Paul Ryan to their legislative retreat in West Virginia. According to multiple sources from the Associated Press, at least one person is dead but all members of Congress and their families on the train are OK.

Amtrak said in a statement that the train came into contact with a vehicle that was on the tracks at 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, Virginia, outside Charlottesville. Amtrak’s statement said “There are no reported injuries to passengers or crew members” as of noon, though some passengers told reporters of more serious injuries.


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Jeff Say is the editor for the Culpeper Times. He can be reached at