Amtrak said it will cancel all long-haul travel beginning Thursday amid athat could disrupt the US economy, resulting in $2 billion a day in lost productivity.
The potential work stoppage stems from a labor dispute between the rail companies and their unionized workers. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement this week, the strike could start on Friday.
Although Amtrak is not involved in the ongoing negotiations between the two sides, a work stoppage would affect its passenger service because nearly all of its routes outside the Northeast Corridor operate on tracks maintained and dispatched by freight railroads. The announcement follows the cancellation of passenger train serviceearlier this week in anticipation of the strike.
The suspension of all long-distance routes is “necessary to ensure that trains can reach their terminals before freight rail service is interrupted if no resolution is reached in negotiations,” Amtrak said in a statement to CBSNews.
He added: “Amtrak will only operate trains this week that we can ensure will have enough time to reach their final destinations at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 16.”
Most train travel on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, such as the Acela train that runs between Boston and Washington, DC, will not be affected by the cancellations, Amtrak said. The Acela will continue to operate at full capacity.
Amtrak said it is reaching out to customers with tickets on the canceled routes and will allow them to change their reservation or receive a full refund without cancellation fees. If a customer changes to another travel date, Amtrak said it will not apply any fare differences for departures through Oct. 31.
These are the suspended routes with the dates the trains will suspend passenger service:
Starting Tuesday, September 13:
- southwest chief
- empire builder
- California Zephyr
- Part of train no. Texas Eagle #421 (Los Angeles-San Antonio)
Wednesday September 14:
- city of new orleans
- Starlight from the coast
- lake shore limited
- silver star
- limited sunset
- texas eagle
Thursday September 15:
- car train
- capitol limited
- Palmetto (south of Washington)