UPDATE: The strike has been avoided. It is not yet clear when Amtrak long-distance and California services wil resume.
The original article appears below.
Facing a freight labor rail strike on the tracks it utilizes, Amtrak has proactively cancelled all long-distance service ahead of a looming work stoppage on Friday.
All Long-Distance Amtrak Service Cancelled Indefinitely
The National Passenger Railroad Corporation, known as Amtrak, offers service across the Lower 48, but much of it is on tracks it does not own. Indeed, outside the Northeast Corridor, nearly all 21,000 miles of track that Amtrak uses are owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads.
Ahead of a potential strike that could cripple Amtrak’s ability to utilize such tracks, the rail operator is canceling all long-distance service.
“Amtrak will only operate trains this week that we can ensure will have enough time to reach their final destinations by 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 16.”
These labor negotiations do not involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce, however, many Amtrak trains operate over freight railroad tracks.
Importantly, these service cuts do not impact most of the Northeast Corridor between New England and Washington, where service will remain with limited interruptions.
- Auto Train
- California Zephyr
- Capitol Limited
- City of New Orleans
- Coast Starlight
- Empire Builder
- Lake Shore Limited
- Palmetto (only service south of Washington is suspended)
- Silver Star
- Southwest Chief
- Sunset Limited
- Texas Eagle
Amtrak’s operations in California also face a shut-down, with serivce suspensions likely on:
- Capitol Corridor
- Pacific Surfliner
- San Joaquin
All suspensions are indefinite in nature, with long-haul services not set to resume until a labor settlement is reached.
If you are impacted by this, Amtrak is offering refunds but is unable to offer alternate accommodations.
Even if the freight labor railroad strike does not occur, Amtrak determined it could not afford to risk stranding its long-haul trains in the midst of a journey. As a result, all long-distance services is now suspended until further notice.
Have you been impacted by the Amtrak service cancellations?