The effect of the potential rail strike on Amtrak

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haroldo

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The strike discussed in this article focusses on US freight trains. If the strike occurs (after Sept 16 cooling off date) what will be the effect on Amtrak services?

 
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There seems to be the opinion of many that Congress will intervene to stop it if no settlement is reached. But, knowing Amtrak, I might be a little concerned that Amtrak would cancel overnight trains departing on the 15th just in case a strike is called at midnight and congress hasn't had time to act.
 

jis

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There seems to be the opinion of many that Congress will intervene to stop it if no settlement is reached. But, knowing Amtrak, I might be a little concerned that Amtrak would cancel overnight trains departing on the 15th just in case a strike is called at midnight and congress hasn't had time to act.
The alternative of stranding a bunch of people at random places en-route does not seem terribly attractive to me, Amtrak or not. Lufthansa for example canceled all flights that would in normal course not be completed before the start time of the pilot's strike.
 
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I read an article on the CNN website about the factors in play. At this point only Congress can act to prevent the strike. They can either kick the can down the road until after the election by extending the "cooling off" period, or they can impose the Presidential Emergency Board's settlement. Given the partisan gridlock in Congress, especially in this period right before the election, and the fact that a rail strike would cause supply-chain disruptions that could possibly affect the results of the election, I would vote for kicking the can down the road, extending the cooling-off period until after the election, and then dealing with the issue without the immediate political pressure. However, given the partisan gridlock, I'm not sure that Congress can even do that. The whole thing is intensely political, and I'm not sure how much more I can say without the moderators deleting the post.
 
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Cancellations will be rolling on a day-to-day basis to minimize size of disruption, expect to start receiving (potential) cancellations notices on Monday assuming no deal is made.
 

Bonser

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There seems to be the opinion of many that Congress will intervene to stop it if no settlement is reached. But, knowing Amtrak, I might be a little concerned that Amtrak would cancel overnight trains departing on the 15th just in case a strike is called at midnight and congress hasn't had time to act.
But wouldn't that be the wise thing to do?
 

John819

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Ordinarily the Congress would pass a resolution putting the strike off until after the midterms in a matter of hours. But these are not ordinary times. I have to expect that Rand Paul or someone else will object to unanimous consent in the Senate, resulting in a three day delay, and therefore in a strike starting.
 

jis

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: Please refrain from straying too far from discussing the effect of the potential strike on Amtrak. That is the subject of this thread primarily. The subject is not the pros and cons of the politics of the strike. If it strays too far from its core subject area the thread will be locked.

Over the next few days we will carry out a bit of cleanup of this thread.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and participation.
 
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The strike discussed in this article focusses on US freight trains. If the strike occurs (after Sept 16 cooling off date) what will be the effect on Amtrak services?

I am a little nervous, our train leaves Rochester on 9/14, heads to Chicago, then 9/15-9/16 to Denver. We are hoping either Amtrak does something or Congress does soon!
 
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If, presumably, the NEC is not affected by this, how will they handle the extended NEC trains that go into Virginia on CSX and NS? I would hope that they will just terminate/originate them in Washington, as canceling them will devastate the frequency of the Washington-Boston service.

What about the Empire Service? Part of it is on CSX tracks being leased by the state of New York and (I think operated by Amtrak.)

Also, will this affect the smaller railroads like the New England Central (which hosts the Vermonter), or Pan Am (which hosts the Downeaster?)

Amtrak also owns the tracks in Michigan up to Porter, IN, if I understand correctly. While they couldn't run trains into Chicago, could they continue to run trains from Pontiac to, say, Kalamazoo?
 

AmtrakBlue

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If, presumably, the NEC is not affected by this, how will they handle the extended NEC trains that go into Virginia on CSX and NS? I would hope that they will just terminate/originate them in Washington, as canceling them will devastate the frequency of the Washington-Boston service.

What about the Empire Service? Part of it is on CSX tracks being leased by the state of New York and (I think operated by Amtrak.)

Also, will this affect the smaller railroads like the New England Central (which hosts the Vermonter), or Pan Am (which hosts the Downeaster?)

Amtrak also owns the tracks in Michigan up to Porter, IN, if I understand correctly. While they couldn't run trains into Chicago, could they continue to run trains from Pontiac to, say, Kalamazoo?
Re the NEC extended trains, they'll put together make up trains in WAS to cover trains severely delayed south of WAS, so I suspect they'll still run those trains to/from WAS.
 

jis

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I am almost certain that Empire Service will operate fine between New York and Albany and will be curtailed beyond Albany.

Similarly Keystones will continue to run to Harrisburg, but the Pennsylvanian won;t run beyond Harrisburg.

Of course all this will depend on whether Amtrak unionized crew will cross possible picket lines or not too.
 

zephyr17

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Of course all this will depend on whether Amtrak unionized crew will cross possible picket lines or not too.
Would there be picket lines to cross on Amtrak properties? Amtrak isn't one of the railroads that are part of this bargaining and would not be the target of a strike itself. Of course, any of the freight railroads would be and Amtrak union members would likely respect those picket lines. But on the NEC and Hudson Line to Albany (MetroNorth and Amtrak) where the freight roads being struck are uninvolved?
 

jis

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Would there be picket lines to cross on Amtrak properties? Amtrak isn't one of the railroads that are part of this bargaining and would not be the target of a strike itself. Of course, any of the freight railroads would be and Amtrak union members would likely respect those picket lines. But on the NEC and Hudson Line to Albany (MetroNorth and Amtrak) where the freight roads being struck are uninvolved?
I have no idea. Hopefully there won;t be.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Would there be picket lines to cross on Amtrak properties? Amtrak isn't one of the railroads that are part of this bargaining and would not be the target of a strike itself. Of course, any of the freight railroads would be and Amtrak union members would likely respect those picket lines. But on the NEC and Hudson Line to Albany (MetroNorth and Amtrak) where the freight roads being struck are uninvolved?
Perhaps where the freight lines converge with the NEC. One such line is the access track to the Bear Shops where Amfleet cars are serviced.
 

west point

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What about California?. Especially for Commuter RRs. Its complicated there. example-- UP runs by the San Jose station and runs parallel to the Cal Train track for some distance,
 
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