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Amtrak restores service for its long-distance trains as rail strike is averted

Amtrak restored its service for its previously canceled trains on Friday after a tentative agreement prevented the freight railroad strike.

WASHINGTON — Amtrak restored all of its long distance trains Friday morning after a tentative labor deal averted the looming rail strike. 

The company announced its services were fully restored as of Friday 9 a.m. and that all of its trains will depart their stations. Amtrak issued that some intermediate stations could still be impacted, but urged customers to check train statuses on Amtrak's website or app.

Amtrak canceled several of its long-distance routes this week because there would not have been enough time for them to reach their destinations before the strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Friday. 

The company explained the cancellations were necessary to avoid possible passenger interruptions while en route. 

Amtrak said Thursday that it was reaching out to customers whose plans were disrupted and that it will accommodate them on the earliest available departures.

Freight railroads union representatives were in negotiations for 20 hours at the Labor Department to push out a deal ahead of the strike, which threatened to cause headaches to a national supply chain that is already reeling due to the pandemic.

The deal, which includes a 24% pay raise, will go to union members for a vote after a cooling-off period of several weeks.

While the negotiations didn't involve Amtrak, most of the company's 21,000 route miles outside of the Northeast Corridor are on tracks owned, maintained and dispatched by freight railroads.

The company noted that most travel within the Boston to New York to Washington corridor, and related branch lines to Albany, NY, Harrisburg, PA, and Springfield, MA, would not be affected won't be affected because Amtrak owns those lines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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