CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Amtrak says it is suspending all Long Distance trains starting Thursday, September 15 as it closely monitors ongoing freight rail labor contract negotiations. The railroad system says it wants to avoid disruptions ahead of what would be the first railroad strike in 30 years.
Suspended services include the Crescent which serves Charlotte. The Silver Star and Palmetto travel through North Carolina and South Carolina en route to Georgia and Florida.
The negotiations don’t involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce. However, Amtrak says it has now begun phased adjustments to service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later in the 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.
• Amtrak will only operate trains this week that will have enough time to reach their final destinations by 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 16.
Suspended services starting Tuesday, Sept. 13:
• Southwest Chief
• Empire Builder
• California Zephyr
• Train #421 portion of the Texas Eagle
Suspended services starting Wednesday, Sept. 14:
• City of New Orleans
• Coast Starlight
• Lake Shore Limited
• Silver Star
• Sunset Limited
• Texas Eagle
Suspended services starting Thursday, Sept. 15:
• Auto Train
• Capitol Limited
• Palmetto (south of Washington)
Amtrak will notify additional customers scheduled to be on upcoming trains about the possibility of disruptions.
More than 90,000 railroad workers could strike on Friday in a fight over sick time and back pay. Union and railroad leaders met with the Labor Secretary on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to reach a deal by midnight Thursday.