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Off the Rails

Looming nationwide railroad strike threatens supply, travel, markets

The threat of a national railworkers strike expected to begin this Friday has the executive branch intervening. Expectations of a strike affected farming outputs, shipping order, and especially the U.S. stock market as early as Monday, with ripple effects continuing throughout this week, while Washington stated it had reached a "tentative labor deal" to avert a strike that could drastically impact supply chains, travel plans, and markets.

On Wednesday, Amtrak canceled long-term passenger service trips after September 15th. This will not include Acela trains traversing the Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston and in between. However, for many of its longer, cross-country routes, the rail service relies on freight lines that would be affected by the strike if it were to take place.

"Amtrak is closely monitoring ongoing freight rail management—labor contract negotiations," a statement from the company said September 13. "While these negotiations do not involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce, many of our trains operate over freight railroad tracks. 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. If your train is canceled, we will attempt to notify you at least 24 hours in advance at the contact information you provided when making a reservation—as well as offer the opportunity to receive a full refund."

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