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'I've had multiple family members calling and texting me, asking if I was OK'

Photo: KOMO News/Air 4

EUGENE, Ore. - Following the frantic rescue operations in Washington State after a major train derailment sent at least 77 people to the hospital and caused a number of fatalities, we are now taking a look at how the Amtrak Station in downtown Eugene is handling operations.

As of right now, everything is running smoothly at the station located at 433 Willamette Street.

We're still waiting for an arriving train from Seattle, which was originally scheduled to get into Eugene just after 5 p.m., but it is said to be arrive about 45 minutes late.

Amtrak Cascades actually launched a brand new schedule, which means that the 501 train that derailed in Washington had a final destination of Portland, not Eugene.

Anyone coming from Washington to Eugene would have to transfer to a new train in Portland.

The first southbound arrival of the day pulled into the Eugene Station around 1 p.m. Amtrak employees say this is one that would have carried any transferring passengers in Portland from the 501 train.

Duane Schlender, a Eugenian who regularly takes the Amtrak, stopped by to see how things were going.

"I take the Amtrak Cascades," said Schlender. "I have a rapport with some of the workers on those trains."

For Bebe Martinez, it was an anxious wait for her son to get off of the train.

"He decided to come down on the train so we didn't have to drive up there, but I kind of wish I did drive in a way," said Martinez.

And Becky Lehr reassured loved ones that she was safe and sound.

"I've had multiple family members calling and texting me, asking if I was okay," said Lehr.

They all say they take the Amtrak Cascades lines often, but some of them say they might rethink taking the train in the future.

Some however, are not afraid after this rare tragedy, calling them "few and far between."

For the moment, though, everyone is just welcoming their loved ones, knowing what could have been.

There is one more train arriving on Monday night from Seattle, and it is scheduled to get into Eugene at 8:40 p.m.

For anyone worried about family or friends, Amtrak has a hotline that can be reached at 1-800-523-9101.

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