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AMTRAK ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING SERVICE, LABOR ISSUES

 AMTRAK ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING SERVICE, LABOR ISSUES
 Amtrak issued the following:
 Due to the uncertainty of the resolution of the strike which has shut down the nation's freight railroads, and the continuing threat of a strike by three of Amtrak's unions, Amtrak has canceled all long-distance trains scheduled to depart on Friday, June 26. Unless a settlement is reached by early Friday, some short distance trains outside the Northeast Corridor may also be canceled. We are attempting to contact as many of our customers as possible to suggest other transportation options.
 Earlier this week, Amtrak had announced agreements with several airlines and bus companies to either accept Amtrak tickets or offer special fares to en route passengers. Two more carriers have also offered to help. They include USAir, which will accept Amtrak tickets on a stand-by basis; Delta, United and Midwest Express, which are offering special fares for reserved travel; and TWA which is offering stand-by transportation as well as discounted reserved tickets.
 In addition, Greyhound, Trailways and several regional bus companies have offered to accept Amtrak tickets.
 In anticipation of a possible strike at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Amtrak had curtailed long-distance train service, beginning Monday, June 22, to avoid stranding travelers en route when the strike occurred. Once the freight railroads shut down their operations in response to a strike by the machinists' union against CSX Transportation, Amtrak had no choice but to cancel virtually all trains that operate over the tracks of the freight railroads. Service on the Amtrak-owned and operated Northeast Corridor has continued, as well as service on the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor which is operated by the Soo Line Railroad which is not part of the freight railroads' labor dispute.
 Amtrak is either actively negotiating or open to further talks with its three remaining unions that have not yet settled: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, and International Association of Machinists. Those unions postponed their strike decision until 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 26.
 If Amtrak is struck by any or all of its unions, all remaining service in the Northeast will be halted until its employees return to work. That could occur as a result of voluntary agreements at the bargaining table, or Congressional action to force an end to the strike.
 In the event Amtrak is forced to shut down Northeast Corridor operations, nearly a half-million daily commuters in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, the Philadelphia area, and Maryland will have to find other ways to get to work.
 Once the freight railroads are able to resume operations, Amtrak intends to begin operating some of its short-distance trains within hours. However, it will take 18-24 hours to get Amtrak crews and supplies in place to begin operating its long-distance trains. That means that some communities on the longer routes would not be served until as long as two or three days after the end of the strike .
 For information about train schedules, reservations and alternate travel options, passengers are encouraged to call Amtrak's toll-free information number: 800-USA-RAIL.
 Amtrak sincerely regrets the inconvenience this service disruption has caused our customers.
 CONTACT: Amtrak Public Affairs, 202-906-3860.
 -0- 6/25/92


CO: Amtrak ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU:

DC -- DC024 -- 3907 06/25/92 15:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1992
Words:550
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