Amtrak Cancels Virtually All Train Service Outside of Northeast Corridor as Rail Strike Looms

Travel on an Amtrak Northeast Regional train from Washington, D.C. to New York

Amtrak, the operator of most of the United States’ passenger rail services, said late Wednesday that it will cancel all passenger train service starting Thursday, with the exception of trains in the Northeast Corridor.

The move is being taken in preparation for a nationwide freight rail strike that could start as early as Friday.  While Amtrak workers aren’t going on strike, some 95% of its route network operates on lines owned and dispatched by other “host railroads.”

The shutdown will include major routes outside of the Northeast including the Lake Shore Limited from New York City to Chicago and the Silver Star from New York to Miami.

The Northeast Corridor runs from Boston through Providence, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia through Wilmington, and Baltimore, to Washington, D.C.

“Acela would operate a full schedule, and only a small number of Northeast Regional departures would be impacted,” the railroad said in a statement.

Amtrak’s Acela train service, which operates only in the Northeast Corridor serving nine states and 16 stations, is the fastest in the Western Hemisphere. It is capable of reaching 150 mph (241 km/h) on certain sections of its route between Boston and New Haven and 135 mph (217 km/h) between New York City and Washington, D.C. On average, according to Amtrak, train travel produces 67% fewer emissions per passenger than flying.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh convened negotiators in the nation’s capital in an attempt to head off the strike, an action that could devastate nation’s transportation capacity.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)