Icy weather suspends Amtrak service

Published 6:59 am Thursday, February 13, 2014

NO SERVICE: Amtrak announced that they would suspend operations on Wednesday and Thursday due to the severe winter weather in parts of the South.  Photo by Will Sullivan

NO SERVICE: Amtrak announced that they would suspend operations on Wednesday and Thursday due to the severe winter weather in parts of the South.
Photo by Will Sullivan

Severe winter weather has once again impacted parts of Mississippi and the Southern United States this week causing Amtrak to stop operations on Wednesday and Thursday.

Amtrak announced Tuesday night that they would suspend services from New York to Washington D.C. on Wednesday. Amtrak, which has a stop in Picayune, suspended operations for their northbound and southbound Crescent route.

The route starts in New Orleans, La. and travels through Picayune, Meridian, Birmingham and Atlanta.

Marc Magliari, a spokesperson with Amtrak, said Amtrak made the decision after a discussion with Norfolk Southern, which maintains their railway lines.

Magliari said this is not unusual for Amtrak to suspend operations due to severe weather, but that this is the first weather related closing of the year in the area.

In a press release, Amtrak said, “the suspension of some service in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida is designed to reduce the exposure of Amtrak passengers, crews and rail equipment to extreme weather conditions.”

Passengers with travel plans can confirm their train’s status, change their plans or review refund information by visiting Amtrak.com, using Amtrak’s smartphone apps or by calling 800-USA-RAIL. Service Alerts, Passenger Notices and other announcements are posted at www.amtrak.com/alerts.

Mississippi Highway Patrol has reported that they have handled almost 300 accidents since Tuesday because of the winter storm.

After the highway havoc that was wreaked two weeks ago in Atlanta, city residents decided to stay off the roads this time and stay indoors.

Forecasters warned of a storm that pushed northward along the Interstate 95 corridor that threatened to bring more than a foot of snow and possible ice build up.

In Georgia, ice and wind gusts up to 30 mph snapped trees and power lines, causing more than 200,000 homes and businesses to lose power.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.