Amtrak riders diverted due to fire on tracks near Spillway

ST. CHARLES PARISH -- Witnesses reported a large fire Saturday morning, February 13, on the train tracks just off the Bonnet Carre Spillway of Interstate 10.

Officials in St. Charles Parish said they received a phone call around 8:20 a.m. from workers on the bridge reporting a fire that started while they were working on the tracks. Officials said the workers said they tried to put out the fire but it continued to get worse. 

St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center and multiple agencies are currently responding to a fire. WWL-TV reporters said fire crews were working from the marsh area, by boat and by helicopter to put out the fire.

Canadian National Railway owns the railroad. Louisiana State Police said about 450 feet of the railway has been impacted by the fire. 

Amtrak routes that utilize this stretch of the railway will be affected. A representative from Amtrak, Christina Leeds, said alternate transportation for passengers on the City of New Orleans Trains 58 and 59 (Chicago – New Orleans) will be provided between Jackson, Miss., and New Orleans Saturday, February 13.

"We are working on arrangements for future travel," Leeds said. "All affected passengers will be contacted directly."

One Amtrak passenger, Tim Lazaroe, said he was traveling on the 'City of New Orleans' line when he was told he would be diverted in Jackson, Ms due to a fire.  

"I'm on the Amtrak between Chicago and New Orleans," Lazoroe said. "They just announced that due to a fire that has closed the rails, all passengers will have to exit the train in Jackson, MS and will be bussed to New Orleans."

St. Charles Parish officials said there are no off-site impacts, and the public is not advised to take any protective measures at this time.

Any questions may be directed to the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center at (985) 783-5050. 

Parish social media sites will be updated, and residents can sign up for emergency text messages and e-mails here: visit www.scpemergencyalerts.com.


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