ORLANDO, Fla. — Amtrak is reversing course after announcing plans to cancel all long-distance trains.
7:10 a.m. Monday update:
After the Biden administration announced a tentative railway labor agreement was reached early Thursday, Amtrak is canceling a move to halt long-distance trains.
“Amtrak is working to quickly restore canceled trains and reaching out to impacted customers to accommodate on first available departures,” a company spokesperson said.
Channel 9 is following these breaking developments and will have continuing coverage on Eyewitness News.
All long-distance Amtrak trains are canceled starting Thursday to avoid possible passenger disruptions while en route, including the auto-train that runs out of Sanford, the company announced Wednesday.
The cancellations are in response to ongoing railroad contract negotiations.
“Amtrak is closely monitoring the ongoing freight rail — rail labor contract negotiations,” the company wrote in an email. “The negotiations do not involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce. While we are hopeful that parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later this week.”
Amtrak said it is only operating trains this week that can assuredly reach their final destination by 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Suspended services as of Tuesday include Southwest Chief, Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Train #421, a portion of the Texas Eagle.
Suspeneded services starting Wednesday are City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Star, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle.
Suspended services starting Thursday are Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Cardinal and Palmetto (south of Washington).
Amtrak said the interruption could “significantly impact” intercity passenger rail service. Additional customers scheduled to be on upcoming trains will be notified about the possibility of disruption.
“These initial adjustments include canceling all Long Distance trains and could be followed by impacts to most State-Supported routes,” Amtrak wrote. These adjustments are necessary to ensure trains can reach their terminals before freight railroad service interruption if a resolution in negotiations is not reached.
Amtrak said it operates almost all of its 21,000 route miles outside the Northeast Corridor on track-owned, maintained and dispatched by freight railroads.
In an statement emailed to WFTV, Sunrail, which is operated by the Florida Department of Transportation, said, “The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is aware of ongoing negotiations between rail carriers and rail unions. The Department continues to monitor the situation as a labor strike could impact SunRail service. More information will be available as developments occur..”
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is aware of ongoing negotiations between rail carriers and rail unions. The Department continues to monitor the situation as a labor strike could impact SunRail service. More information will be available as developments occur.
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