Society: Strike in US rail freight - passenger trains also affected

The USA is heading towards a possible freight train strike with serious economic consequences.

Society: Strike in US rail freight - passenger trains also affected

The USA is heading towards a possible freight train strike with serious economic consequences. The US passenger railroad Amtrak announced that it would cancel all long-distance trains from Thursday as a precaution. The adjustments are necessary to ensure trains can reach their terminals before freight services are halted if no agreement is reached in negotiations, it said. Amtrak shares the tracks maintained by freight railroads.

A number of trains in the north-east of the country, such as the Acela express train, which runs between the capital Washington, New York and Boston, should not be affected by the cancellations. The company emphasized that the negotiations did not affect Amtrak or Amtrak's workforce.

The background is that the rail freight companies and unions are negotiating a new contract in the dispute over wages and working conditions - but have not yet been able to reach an agreement. A possible strike could start on Friday and have a significant impact on the US economy. The transport of important goods could come to a standstill. Many industries rely on rail for the transport of their goods - the transport of fertilizer for the landscape, crude oil or car parts could be affected.

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh tried to mediate on Wednesday. If both sides can't agree, Congress could step in to prevent a strike - though it wasn't clear how quickly Republicans and Democrats could agree on a common line. "A standstill in our freight system is unacceptable to our economy and the American people, and everyone involved must work to avoid just that," said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.

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