By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Republican congresspeople scuttled their carefully-orchestrated exit plan from Philadelphia this morning after local activists organized a send-off protest.

The several hundred people who showed up at 30th Street Station to protest were not discouraged by word that the lawmakers were not there to board their chartered train back to Washington.

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The delegation boarded buses from the Loews Hotel a bit earlier than scheduled, but it’s unclear where they were taken.

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A retreat spokeswoman says she knew of no change of plans, but protest organizer Arielle Klagsbrun says she was told by Amtrak employees the train left empty.

“They’re not going to come meet the actual people who’s lives they were impacting with the decisions they were making at the Loews Hotel. They didn’t want to actually hear people’s concerns with all the things they’re planning around health care, around immigration.”

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Amtrak says it doesn’t comment on the travel plans of its passengers.