Amtrak to suspend all long-distance routes ahead of strike deadline

Across the nation, Amtrak trains are being brought to a standstill. 

After suspending some routes this week, Amtrak is suspending all long-distance routes on Thursday ahead of a possible freight railroad service interruption.

Thousands of railroad union members can go on strike over contract negotiations starting Friday. Though Amtrak is not directly involved in negotiations, many Amtrak tracks operate on freight train tracks.

"Amtrak is closely monitoring ongoing freight rail management—labor contract negotiations," the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "Because the parties have not yet reached a resolution, Amtrak has begun to make initial service adjustments in response to a possible freight railroad service interruption that could occur later this week."


Beyond the impact to commuters, there is broader concern among economists if a strike does occur. Around 30% of U.S. goods are shipped by rail, according to the Bureau of Transportation.

"We are working with other modes of transportation, including the shippers and truckers, air freight, to see how they can step in and keep goods moving in case of this rail shutdown," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday.

With her car in the shop Wednesday night, Tori Powell was glad she was able to catch the last Amtrak train out of Austin for the foreseeable future. But she had the same plan for Friday, planning to visit her friend for her birthday weekend.

"I was going to take the train Friday to San Marcos from Austin so I could spend the weekend with her celebrating, and now I don’t know how I’m going to get there," said Powell, who found out about the Friday cancellations while at the station Wednesday. "I don’t have a backup plan yet."