100+ passengers removed from Polar Express train after breakdown

(Photo courtesy: Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad Facebook)

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — A magical night soon turned into a messy one for families riding the Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad’s popular Polar Express Train ride on Sunday.

Up to 125 people were on board the train when it ran out of gas in Portsmouth around 8 p.m.. The train was refueled but an engine issue kept it from being restarted.

After sitting idle on the tracks for a couple of hours, police and fire officials then helped unload passengers off the train and brought some of them back to their vehicles.

One woman said it was a difficult situation, as families with small children were exiting the train by a ladder in the dark.

“Luckily a country club that was close by was willing to open up their clubhouse so people could wait, while other members of our group were transported back and forth by cabs to our cars, which were parked several miles away,” Vanessa Renehan explained.

Later that night, Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad posted a statement on their Facebook page

Sincere apologies to all our passengers and children tonight, we like to extend our apologies for our equipment failure. We want to thank all our passengers for their patience and perseverance. We thank the Portsmouth Police and Fire departments in assisting our passengers.

Even though the train ride was not the eventful one parents were hoping for, some left notes on the company’s Facebook page saying their kids still loved every minute of it.

No injuries were reported.

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