Amtrak cuts 3 long-distance routes, citing potential railroad strike

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Amtrak said Monday it has canceled three long-distance rail routes ahead of an impending railroad union strike Which is threatening to ruin the economy of the country,

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The train operator, which is not a party to the labor dispute, said in a statement that the strike, which could begin on Friday, “could happen”. Its intercity significantly affects passenger rail service, as it operates almost all of its 21,000 route miles outside the Northeast Corridor “on track owned, maintained and despatch by the freight railroad.”

To avoid stranded passengers in the event of a worker strike, Amtrak said, it was pre-cancelling Tuesday’s departures for its western US-focused Empire builder, the California Zephyr, and Southwest Main Streets. The rail line said it was phasing in additional schedule “adjustments” as needed.


The company said most travel on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and associated branch lines to Albany, NY, Harrisburg, Penn and Springfield, Mass., would not be affected by the strike. It stated that its East Coast Acela Express line A full schedule will continue to operate, and only a small number of Northeast Regional departures will be affected.

Freight rail workers are threatening to strike for higher pay, more generous paid leave, and a renegotiation of stricter attendance policies and wider working conditions. A White House official told the Associated Press on Monday that President Joe Biden and members of his cabinet are in contact with both sides to postpone the strike. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh participated in the talks on Sunday, the AP said.

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The head of the US Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark, said Monday that the “national rail strike” would be an economic disaster – halting the flow of goods, emptying shelves, closing workplaces and raising prices for families and businesses. The Association of American Railroads trade group has estimated that closing railroads would cost the economy $2 billion a day.

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