Amtrak Reduces Rail Schedule Amid Bad Weather and Staffing Issues

by Joe Rutland

Bad news if you have some travel plans on Amtrak. The rail service has reduced its schedule amid bad weather and staffing issues.

Outsiders, let’s get a little more information about this from a story by The Washington Post.

These staffing issues are because COVID-19 cases among employees of Amtrak are surging. Amtrak says that these schedules will be reduced. The rail service makes the announcement on Thursday. It affects rail service between New Year’s Eve and Jan. 6.

What trains are going to be affected by these moves? Two dozen of them connected to its Northeast Corridor as well as the service’s long-distance routes.

In a statement, Amtrak says that it “regrets any inconvenience.”

The rail system adds, “We are continuing to monitor changing conditions and will make any further adjustments as required.”

Amtrak Says 97 Percent of Workforce Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Amtrak also says that 97 percent of its workforce has received vaccines against COVID-19. But the rail service has seen an increase in positive cases. That mirrors what is happening around the United States. They did say this week that this surge was not leading to cancellations.

Putting these reductions into place totals to nearly 1.5 percent of Amtrak trains scheduled for the week.

According to the Post, this trimmed train schedule mirrors thousands of canceled airline flights since Christmas Eve. In addition, there have been disruptions to local transit services as the fast-spreading omicron variant drives case counts to their highest levels of the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just this week, reduced a required isolation period for people who have tested positive for the virus. This move has been done, in part, for concern and worry. Why? Well, a number of essential economic parts might suffer.

Rail Service Did Cancel Overnight Trains Out of Boston, D.C.

Amtrak says it’s canceling overnight trains between Boston and Newport News, Va., between Friday and Thursday. Four other trains between Washington and Springfield, Mass., have been canceled on the rails from Friday to Sunday.

Long-distance trains on four routes set up for departures on Friday in each direction will not be going at all. This goes for trains in both directions between New Orleans and New York on Saturday and Tuesday.

Amtrak gained a $66 billion boost in the infrastructure law that President Biden has signed. This is a major infusion of money for it. It also will help underwrite some expansion projects.

The rail service has been keeping Americans traveling between cities even with the pandemic these days. But Amtrak will continue to be a part of the transportation plans in the United States.