Amtrak travel returning to normal hours after averted strike


RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Normal operations are underway again after Amtrak announced it was canceling all its long-distance services on Tuesday.

After 20 hours of negotiating, the White House announced Thursday that a tentative agreement was reached between rail companies and the unions representing railroad workers.

The deal includes a 24 percent wage increase during a five-year period, a 14 percent wage increase that goes into effect immediately, plus five annual $1,000 lump sum payments for railroad workers.

The agreement also includes more time off for medical care without facing discipline.

The deal still needs to be ratified by union members, but a vote isn’t expected for a couple of weeks.

“I hope everything works out well for the strikers. I hope they get their demands met, and we can keep the trains moving,” Rider Donette said.

Local riders like Donette experienced an hour and a half delay from New York City to Richmond Thursday morning.

“It’s an inconvenience. Who wants to sit in the train station for an hour and a half or two? It could be that it didn’t move at all, and I would’ve had to get up and find some other way to Richmond,” Donette said.

Christine Redellent also arrived late in Richmond from NYC but didn’t mind the delay since she finally took a nap.

“It did stay in D.C. for a while. It didn’t come here on time. It said 9:30 a.m., but I didn’t mind because I slept through it.

“I had fun sleeping. Sleep is a beautiful thing,” Redellent said.

Donette says she did arrange a backup plan for her return trip ahead of Thursday’s announcement.

“To tell the truth, I did book a trip with the bus. I can get a voucher if it doesn’t work out. I did prepare myself,” Donette said.

Amtrak says normal operations will resume Friday.


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