HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Due to an impending freight rail strike, Amtrak says it will be pre-emptively canceling trips over an additional seven long-distance routes to avoid possible passenger disruptions.
The deadline for negotiations with workers and unions is Friday at 12:01 in the morning, but what happens if that does not succeed?
PennDOT says passenger travel may be affected on the Pennsylvania line between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Amtrak says most travel within the northeast corridor and related branches to Harrisburg may not.
In a statement, the company said “Amtrak is closely monitoring the ongoing freight rail – rail labor contract negotiations. The negotiations do not involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce. While we are hopeful that parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later this week. Such an interruption could significantly impact intercity passenger rail service, as Amtrak operates almost all of our 21,000 route miles outside the Northeast Corridor (NEC) on track owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads.”
Some adjustments include canceling some long-distance routes which could be followed by impacts to all long-distance and most state-supported routes.
Amtrak said the adjustments are necessary to ensure trains can reach their terminals before freight railroad service interruption if a resolution in negotiations is not reached.
Amtrak said it will reach out to impacted and potentially impacted customers, informing them of the potential situation, offering to change their reservation to another travel date, waiving any difference in fare for departures through Oct. 31, or receiving a full refund without cancelation fees.