Some Amtrak trains canceled starting New Year’s Eve following bad weather, COVID-19 surge

In what might seem like a never-ending nightmare of cancellations and delays for holiday travelers, a combination of bad weather and employees’ COVID-19 cases led Amtrak to reduce its trains’ schedule between New Year’s Eve and Jan. 6, The Washington Post reports.

About 1.5% of Amtrak’s trains are being reduced until Thursday, with two dozen trains on the Northeast Corridor and long-distance routes affected, according to The Washington Post.

The uptick in cases among the railway system’s employees comes even as 97% of its workforce is vaccinated against COVID-19. The Washington Post reports the cases are in line with the nation’s increased spread of the virus and that Amtrak had said the surge wasn’t leading to cancellations this week.

The reduced schedule comes a week after a Virginia Amtrak train was delayed nearly 12 hours because of a freight issue.

Some of the cancellations:

  • Four trains between Washington and Springfield, Mass., were canceled between Friday and Sunday.
  • Overnight trains between Boston and Newport News, Virginia, between Friday and Thursday.
  • Four routes for long-distance trains canceled in both directions on Friday.
  • Trains going in both directions between New Orleans and New York on Saturday and Tuesday.

The schedule changes come after Amtrak executives warned Congress earlier in December that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate could lead to cancellations in January if employees refuse to get vaccinated.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to that warning at a Dec. 9 press briefing, she noted the high percentage of Amtrak employees who are vaccinated and that a period of “counseling, accommodations and enforcement.” will follow the mandate’s deadline.

For more information about cancellations or schedule changes, go to Northeast Corridor Amtrak’s Twitter.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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