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Amtrak to suspend some routes - including Southwest Chief - due to threat of freight rail strike

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Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 20:14:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Amtrak says it will start to suspend some long-distance trains Tuesday due to a looming strike associated with freight rail workers.

According to a statement Monday night, the Southwest Chief, which officers daily service between Chicago and Los Angeles with a stop in Kansas City, is among the long-distance routes affected by the suspension of service.

Amtrak operates many of its long-distance routes on rail track owned and operated by freight railroads.

“These initial adjustments include the cancellation of three long-distance routes on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022 and could be followed by impacts to all long-distance and most state-supported routes,” Amtrak’s statement read. “These adjustments are necessary to ensure trains can reach their terminals prior to freight railroad service interruption if a resolution in negotiations is not reached.”

An Amtrak spokesperson said that as of Monday, Missouri River Runner and Lincoln Service between Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago would not be affected by the possible freight rail strike.

Amtrak and its employees are not part involved in freight rail negations.

CNBC reported Monday that at issue are vacation, sick day and attendance policies at several labor unions representing freight rail workers.

A “cooling off” period is set to expire on Friday, which would allow workers to strike.