Starting today, Amtrak will cancel all long-distance passenger trains from New York to anywhere south or west of Washington, D.C. in anticipation of a freight railroad strike that’s set to take place just after midnight on Friday.
The Daily News reports that “the cancellations will not affect the majority of trains in the Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., and Acela service will run normally.” However, according to CNN, rides from New York to Chicago, Miami, New Orleans and Savannah will be impacted.
To be clear, Amtrak employees are not the ones threatening to go on strike—but folks working for the freight rail companies are. Given that Amtrak runs a majority of its trains on tracks that are owned by those companies, you can imagine why a potential walkout is considered a big deal. Add to it the fact that there has not been a national freight railroad strike in three decades and you’ve got yourself pure transportation madness.
The reason why trains in the Northeast Corridor will continue operating normally is because Amtrak actually owns those tracks.
Freight railroad workers are protesting over-schedule pay, noting that some employees are on call 24/7 and don’t get paid enough for it.
The good news is that, according to President Joe Biden, the freight rail companies and unions representing workers have reached a tentative agreement to avoid the strike—so Amtrak might soon restore all service.
“The agreement now heads to union members for a ratification vote, which is a standard procedure in labor talks,” reports the New York Times. “While the vote is tallied, workers have agreed not to strike.”
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.