St. Joe Bound Amtrak Train Hits Vehicle on Sunday Night Run

Amtrak riders headed back to Michigan Sunday night got a bit of a jolt when their train rammed a car that was blocking the tracks near Chesterton, Indiana.

Amtrak officials say that the Pere Marquette train was making its standard run from Chicago to Grand Rapids, with stops in St. Joseph, Bangor and Holland along the way when it struck an unoccupied vehicle on the tracks. Fortunately, no passengers or crew members were injured in the incident.

A statement from Amtrak indicates that the accident took place around 8:30pm Michigan time as the train with 163 passengers aboard was nearing Chesterton, about 46 miles outside of Chicago on the Pere Marquette route.

Beth Toll is a spokesman for Amtrak. She told media that it was not clear why the vehicle was left on the tracks with nobody inside. She cited only minor, "cosmetic" damage to the Pere Marquette train.

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The train reportedly was delayed by an hour and 40 minutes as investigators reviewed the scene and talked with witnesses before it was released to continue on to the next stop in St. Joe. Authorities are continuing their investigation into the incident Sunday night.