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HomeNewsCollege Student Who Fell Asleep On the Train Wakes Up Trapped Inside

College Student Who Fell Asleep On the Train Wakes Up Trapped Inside

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College Student Who Fell Asleep On the Train Wakes Up Trapped Inside
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Imagine falling asleep on the train and waking up hours later to an empty train. Alone and afraid in a rail yard. This was the eerie feeling Aria Lockhart, a Southern Illinois University student, had felt on a Sunday morning in January. 

Lockhart boarded the train in Carbondale, an Illinois college town around 330 miles from Chicago, at around 3 a.m. However, she fell asleep shortly after boarding. “I boarded the train at about 3 a.m. I got on, I asked for assigned seating, and they told me ‘no’ because there was so little passengers,” she said to WGN-TV.

She continued, “I fell asleep because it’s 3 o’clock in the morning; I was pretty tired.” More than four hours later, she awoke to the scary realization that she was the only one in her car. In fact, she was the only one on the entire train. Scared and alone, she filmed herself walking from car to car, trying to find someone.

“I stood up, and I looked around, and the entire car was totally empty.” She called her mother, Victoria Jackson, as she tried desperately to get some help. Immediately, Jackson reached out to Amtrak customer service as they owned the train. As she waited for her daughter at Chicago’s Union Station, she reportedly received little help from the team. 

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According to Jackson, the company representatives said her daughter was already in the yard, and the train was not due until the next day. They had no sense of urgency and were not very forthcoming with help. 

“There are no directions of how to get out if you are trapped,” Jackson said. Both the mother and daughter talked to different representatives, hoping to get help. “When we were on the phone with customer service, they’re like, ‘You are already in the yard, and the train isn’t due until tomorrow,’” Lockhart said.

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However, Jackson stood her ground and fought for them to free her daughter immediately. She later got Lockhart freed, but it took a very long time. The mother was not happy with how long they left her daughter on the train. 

“If anyone was trapped on the train, that would be some type of urgency, and I didn’t see that,” she told reporters. However, Amtrak said it would apologize to Lockhart for the incident. Its representatives also said that they would like to understand what happened better. 

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Lockhart’s incident is quite similar to what happened about six years ago. Claire Connelly, a then-18-year-old college student, also fell asleep on a train in New Jersey. Like Lockhart, she also woke up locked in a train yard. 

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She was trying to evacuate Florida before Hurricane Irma hit, but little did she know that she was going to end up stuck in a train yard. Unlike Lockhart, she didn’t stay locked for long. She called 911, and police officials let her out within the hour. 

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