Amtrak cancels long distance trains, announces other schedule adjustments as rail strike looms

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Amtrak says it has begun rearranging its schedule in anticipation of disruptions to its rail service this weekend. The coming strike.

Amtrak said in a statement, “While we hope the parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a potential freight rail service disruption this weekend.” ” “Such a disruption could significantly affect the intercity. Passenger Rail ServiceAs Amtrak operates nearly all of our 21,000 route miles outside the Northeast Corridor (NEC) on track owned, maintained and shipped by freight railroads.

An Amtrak passenger train leaves Chicago early Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Amtrak said the adjustments are necessary to “ensure that trains can reach their terminals before disruption of freight railroad service if negotiations fail.”

Amtrak said most trips within the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor (Boston – New York – Washington) will not be affected and only a small number of Northeast Regional departures will be affected.

Among the Empire Service New York and Albanythe Keystone service between New York and Harrisburg, the Amtrak Hartford Line between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Downester between Boston and Brunswick, Maine, are expected to operate as scheduled.

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For Thursday, however, all Amtrak long-distance trains have been canceled. For Thursday evening, Amtrak said the following state-supported frequencies have been canceled: Capitol Corridor, Amtrak Cascades, Heartland Flyer, Illinois Service, Michigan Service, Pacific Surfliner (in part), Piedmont, San Joaquins , Springfield Service (north of Springfield) and Virginia Service.

Amtrak will notify affected and potentially affected customers of this situation, and will change the customer’s reservation to another travel date, leave any fare difference for departures by October 31, or will provide a full refund without cancellation fees upon request.” Amtrak said. “Service updates for Friday, September 16 will be announced on Thursday.”

The union said Wednesday that the schedule changes came after about 4,900 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 19 voted to reject a tentative contract reached with the railroad by IAM leadership. .

The IAM agreed to postpone any strike by its members until September 29 to allow more time for negotiations and to allow other unions to vote.

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The railroads are trying to reach an agreement with all of their other unions to avert a strike before Friday’s deadline. Unions are not allowed to strike before Friday under federal law that governs railroad contract negotiations, including the U.S. operations of BNSF, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Kansas City Southern and Canadian National.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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