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Two Central Coast fires cause Amtrak delays

A fire caused by a cooking stove broke out Friday afternoon in a Summerland homeless encampment. Firefighters had to close down the tracks to knock the flames out.

Also, just before rush hour another fire erupted near El Capitan State Beach.

Those fires created major delays for Amtrak customers for most of the afternoon.

Service has since been restored along the Central Coast but for folks on vacation and heading out of town for the weekend, those two fires impacted travel time long after the flames were put out.

“This is my first time in Disneyland with my boyfriend, so I’m really excited for that. Hopefully I’ll be able to get there,” said Ingrid Tien.

Ingrid Tien’s journey to the happiest on earth is anything but happy.

“First off it was over an hour late and now we pretty much just got stalled here,” said Tien.

Tien wasn’t the only passenger facing a dead end with their travels.

“We’re getting a ride home. Somebody has to come get us from Simi Valley and take us home because we don’t know how long we’re going to be here,” said Barbara Bodden, Simi Valley.

Amtrak says Train 792 was held up for over two hours and Train 769 was running over an hour behind schedule.

Travelers tell us they didn’t receive timely alerts about the delays.

“They didn’t really give us very much information if any and it seems like they were bothered by it as much as I was,” said Bodden.

“They’re not giving us an ETA, they’re not giving any information. I’m going to honestly try and find a friend to take me there and try and get a refund,” said Tien.

Many weekend plans were almost derailed.

“We need to get back to Santa Monica tonight because we’re checking out of the hotel in the morning so I’m kind of nervous because we need to get back,” said Sue Cunha, visiting from Boston.

“Instead of getting in at 11:00 p.m. which is right before bed, it looks like we’ll be getting in at 11:45 and there’s even more delays in LA, said Jacob Kirkse, who is traveling to San Diego.

According to the Pacific Surfliner’s Twitter account, tracks reopened at 5:10 p.m. but were shut back down just before 6:15 p.m. for a brush fire investigation.

“This is my first time on Amtrak and I’m not impressed,” said Bodden.

Amtrak says tracks opened without further delay around 7:00 p.m.

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