CARBONDALE — A press release from passenger transport service Amtrak on Wednesday reveals the cancellation of select services in Carbondale and across the country.
The passenger train service announced the cancellation of inter-city transportation service out of Carbondale and surrounding areas.
The service cancellation comes in preparation for a likely rail worker strike on Friday, Sept. 16 if the railroad companies and labor unions cannot reach an agreement. If there is no deal, the strike is official as of 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Impacted Amtrak routes
Until further notice, the following routes will be in a state of suspension:
- The City of New Orleans: Services the route from Chicago to New Orleans. The route includes stops in Central Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, Mattoon, and Effingham, and Centralia in south-central Illinois.
- Lake Shore Limited: Services the route from Chicago to New York City.
- Texas Eagle: Services the route from Chicago to Los Angeles. The route includes Central Illinois stops in Bloomington/Normal, Lincoln, Springfield, and Carlinville, as well as the Alton stop in the Metro-East before crossing over into Missouri to the Gateway Station in St. Louis.
The suspension also impacts all state-wide train services on routes with various stops across the state. They include:
- Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg: daily services between Chicago and Quincy
- Illini Service and Saluki: daily services between Chicago and Carbondale
- Lincoln Service: daily service between Chicago and St. Louis
Current services to continue until looming strike, long-distance routes suspended
Current services will continue fulfillment via a set process to phase down as the strike nears. The adjustments are being made to ensure no difficulties in fulfilling existing transport schedules. Unfortunately, this requires the cancellation of long-distance transportation routes.
The looming strikes come as a result of dissatisfaction relating to stalled contract negotiations between railroad labor unions and national railway carriers.
Rail worker strike could impact economic fragility further
Should the strike go into effect Friday, it should expect to cause large-scale disruptions to travel as well as transportation of goods nationwide. The impact could hit harder on an already fragile economic environment, especially as nearly 1/3 of all goods are transported via rail.
The majority of railways outside of the northeastern United States are under the ownership and operation of the railway corporations in the negotiations.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.