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Vandals halt Mich. Amtrak train, disrupt service

(The following article by Andrea Mason was posted on the Port Huron Times Herald website on September 13.)

IMLAY CITY, Mich. -- Debris left deliberately on railroad tracks Sunday night damaged an Amtrak Blue Water Line train and delaying passengers for about four hours.

No injuries were reported. The train that travels daily between Chicago and Port Huron was disabled, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

The incident happened between 10 and 11 p.m.

"They placed debris on the track in more than one location in an effort to do damage to the train and perhaps injure our passengers and crew," Magliari said.

Service was unavailable Monday. Amtrak chartered buses to shuttle passengers between Port Huron and Chicago.

Service was expected to resume today.

The train was traveling near Imlay City 11 miles east of Lapeer bound for Port Huron.

Maximum track speed in the area is 79 mph. Magliari was unsure of the train's speed.

The train was towed by a freight locomotive Sunday night to Port Huron.

Four young adults are suspects in the case, Lapeer County Sheriff Deputy Mike Tappen said.

The four were taken into custody with the help of Imlay City police, then released.

Charges haven't been filed. The investigation is ongoing, Tappen said.

The collision wedged some of the debris between the train and the track. Total damage is not yet known, Magliari said.

It is unclear whether Amtrak will pursue civil charges pending any criminal charges.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

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