Metra, Amtrak alert riders to possible disruptions from pending rail strike

Metra Electric Line, which serves the South Suburbs, will not likely be affected by a rail strike that could start at the end of the week, but other lines could be shut down by the strike. Amtrak is already reducing service in anticipation of the possible strike.

“A potential work stoppage by freight railroad workers, which could possibly begin Friday, Sept. 16, may directly impact Metra’s ability to operate most of its services,” the company said in an email notice posted Tuesday, Sept. 13. “With the exception of the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines, Metra’s nine other lines either use tracks owned by freight railroads, intersect with tracks operated by our freight partners, or are dispatched by freight railroads.”

Metra Electric and Rock Island lines are owned and operated by the company, so they will continue to operate.

“Negotiations between the freight railroads and unions are ongoing, and we are hopeful that a settlement will be reached before the strike deadline.”

Amtrak also posted a notice on Tuesday. 

“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.”

Trips could be canceled Wednesday over an additional seven long distance routes to avoid possible passenger disruptions while enroute, the company said in an update.  

Officials said the company will attempt to notify anyone with tickets on affected routes at least 24 hours in advance and offer the opportunity to receive a full refund.

Amtrak operates almost all of its 21,000 route miles on track owned, maintained, and dispatched by freight railroads. The route adjustments are necessary to ensure trains can reach their terminals before freight railroad service interruption if a resolution in negotiations is not reached, the company said.  

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