A student was trapped inside an empty Amtrak train after she fell asleep during the ride and missed her stop

An Amtrak train park at Chicago's Union Station.
An Amtrak train park at Chicago's Union Station.LUKE SHARRETT/AFP/Getty Images
  • A passenger boarded an Amtrak train to Chicago on Sunday and fell asleep during the ride.

  • When she woke up, she discovered she was alone and trapped in the train car.

  • The train had moved to a train yard. Amtrak was able to get the passenger reunited with her family.

Aria Lockhart boarded an Amtrak train around 3 a.m. out of Carbondale, Illinois, headed for Chicago on Sunday.

When the Southern Illinois University student woke up 330 miles later, she found herself alone and trapped on the train, Chicago's WGN reported.

The train had arrived at Chicago's Union Station and was backing into Amtrak's train yard when Lockhart woke up.

"I stood up, and I looked around, and the entire car was empty," Lockhart told the outlet. "I was terrified." Lockhart did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Lockhart called her mother, Victoria Jackson, who was waiting for her at the station, and Jackson called Amtrak.

Jackson told WGN that Amtrak's customer service representatives didn't offer much help. They did inform her, however, that the train was being stationed in the yard for the day.

"If anyone was trapped on the train that would be some type of urgency, and I didn't see that," Jackson told WGN. Jackson did not respond to BI's request for comment.

Eventually, Lockhart was able to leave the train car and the train yard. BI was unable to determine how long Lockhart was stuck in the train car.

In a statement sent to WGN, an Amtrak representative said their team is reaching out to Lockhart to apologize and learn more about what happened. Amtrak did not respond to BI's request for comment.

"Who could be so careless to not double check the train?" Lockhart asked WGN.

Last year, passengers were stuck on a train for more than 20 hours

This isn't the first time passengers have been stuck on an Amtrak train, though in the past, it was with other passengers.

Earlier this month, passengers were delayed for hours on an Amtrak route between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle due to extreme winter weather, Seattle's KIRO reported.

And in January 2023, Amtrak passengers were stuck on a train for more than 20 hours on a ride from Virginia to Orlando.

As BI previously reported, passengers first faced long delays after a freight train collided with a vehicle, which caused Amtrak to reroute its course.

Then in South Carolina, the train's crew timed out, so passengers had to wait hours for a certified backup crew to staff the train. Passengers waited so long that they started calling the police.

In a video posted on X at the time by ABC News journalist Sam Sweeney, a train conductor said over the loudspeaker: "For those of you that are calling the police, we are not holding you hostage. We are giving you all the information which we have. We are sorry about the inconvenience. As soon as more information is available, we will let you know shortly."

Amtrak told BI at the time that those passengers were delayed about 20 hours, and during that time they received meals, snack packs, and beverages.

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