A strike by Amtrak workers is considered unlikely, but it is possible. If unions do walk off the job, it will be the first strike in Amtrakâ€™s 36-year history. Service between Boston and Washington would stop, as would Amtrak service to Hartford and Springfield. Shoreline East riders would also be affected because the service travels on Amtrakâ€™s rails. Connecticut Department of Transportation rail administrator Eugene Colonese.
"Our plans right now are to provide alternate bus service in the event of a strike. Based on the timeline, the first time the labor unions could go on strike would be the morning of January 30th."
About 2,000 commuters ride Shoreline East each day. The Metro-North system would not be affected. Officials and union negotiators representing Amtrakâ€™s 7,000 workers have been in talks for eight years. President Bush appointed an emergency panel to help resolve the labor dispute. The panelâ€™s report largely sides with workers and recommends that the railroad pay the workers $62 million in back wages. Amtrak and union leaders returned to the bargaining table earlier this week.
UPDATE: January 18, 2008
Amtrak says it's reached a preliminary deal with nine labor unions, averting a strike at the end of the month that could have closed Penn Station.
Amtrak officials say details of the deal won't be released until it's ratified by union members in the next several weeks.