Amtrak, the nation's cross-country railway system, is canceling all of its long-distance trains ahead of a planned freight workers' strike that threatens to significantly damage the US economy.
Amtrak has already announced that it would be canceling trips on several of its routes in preparation for the strike
The company is not involved in the ongoing labor dispute, but freight companies own almost all of its 21,000 route miles outside the Northeast Corridor, where it owns its own tracks.
Its announcement on Wednesday effectively cancels all planned trips, including those from Washington DC to Sanford, Florida, and the Silver Star from New York City to Miami. The only area that will not be affected by the train cancelations are those in the Northeast Corridor, between Boston and Washington DC.
Amtrak officials had previously announced it would be canceling trips on several of its routes in preparation for the unprecedented strike.
As of Tuesday, the passenger rail agency suspended service on three cross-country routes out of Chicago, going to San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, and Los Angeles, Amtrak said in a statement Monday evening.
Service would also be disrupted for a route along a portion of one of those routes, the company said at the time – between Los Angeles and San Antonio.
Calling the changes 'initial adjustments' made 'in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption' later in the week, the move from the passenger rail comes as many of America's railroads have already stopped accepting shipments of hazardous and other security-sensitive materials due to the looming threat of a strike.
'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,' Amtrak officials said in their statement.