Amtrak Suspends Long Haul Service

This coming Friday can be a huge day for our country & not in a good way. Outside of a hail mary being completed in the next 48 or so hours, railroad workers across the nation will go on strike. Such an action will cripple the country as many of our goods are transported via railroad. Due to the high potential of this happening, Amtrak has announced the suspension of long haul service effective Thursday. This will be a huge burden on popular routes such as The Silver Meteor & The Silver Star.

The cause of suspension would be due to the fact most of the tracks Amtrak operates its trains on are owned by freight rail roads where they have lease agreements in place to use them. Some of their regional routes such as the Northeast Corridor will not see suspension due to the agency owning the tracks along the route. Here is more on Amtrak’s decision via a report in the New York Times:

Amtrak said Wednesday that it was canceling all long-distance passenger trains, effective Thursday, because of a possible work stoppage on freight railroads whose tracks Amtrak uses.

The announcement was made as the rail freight industry and two key unions remained at an impasse in contract negotiations. A federally mandated 30-day “cooling off” period ends at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, opening a door to strikes and lockouts. Amtrak said the negotiations do not involve its employees.

Amtrak noted that outside the Northeast Corridor, which connects Boston, New York and Washington, most of its service runs on “track owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads.” As a result, it said, only trains that can reach their final destination by the Friday deadline were continuing to operate.

It said most travel in the Northeast Corridor and on related branch lines to Albany, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Springfield, Mass., would not be affected, since those rails are controlled by Amtrak.

What Amtrak called “phased adjustments” to its schedule began with service suspensions on Tuesday on some of its longest routes, including the Southwest Chief between Los Angeles and Chicago, and the California Zephyr between Chicago and San Francisco.

Amtrak said passengers would be able to change their reservation to another travel date, with any difference in fare waived for departures through Oct. 31, or could receive a full refund without cancellation fees.

Click here for the complete report.

I support the workers if they go on strike as their reasons are 100% justified. It is frustrating if it comes to this as millions of people will be affected. Hopefully we get an Aaron Rodgers hail mary completion & defeat the potential strike.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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