FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With no agreement in place between the freight railroads and their employee unions by the end of business day Wednesday, Amtrak San Joaquins officials say they are going to suspend trains 702, 703, 714, 717, 718, and 719 and associated thruway bus service on Thursday.
David Lipari, Marketing Manager for the San Joaquin Rail Commission, says that if things stay the way they are, they will have to make more modifications to their service in case there isn’t an agreement by the end of the day Thursday, to make sure none of their trains are on a line at the time of any work stoppage on Friday morning.
Amtrak officials say station staff are all aware of the situation and have been told what the modified service would look like and can assist people with information. Then will have to wait for the end of the day to find out if they are going to suspend service completely on Friday and beyond if an agreement is not reached.
Lipari says that even if service is completely suspended, they are not planning on laying off any of the labor force.
“We are going to modify their work responsibilites, sort of keep them busy while we wait to resume service. Some of them will be in trainings that perhaps we would have done at a different time. But the goal is to have everybody and on standby to immediatly put back service as soon as possible”David Lipari, Marketing Manager for the San Joaquin Rail Commission
Amtrak San Joaquins currently carries around 1,500 passengers from Tuesday through Thursday and 2,500 to 3,000 passengers on weekends. If trains are suspended this could mean a loss of around $67,000 to $70,000 in daily revenue from ticket sales.
Lipari says that if you already have a ticket, you will be contacted 48 hours ahead of time with a warning message that there may be an issue. Then 24 hours in advance, they will let you know if your trip can continue as planned or if there is an issue that requires you to either be offered a refund or be booked on a different train still in operation.
Anyone planning on traveling on Amtrak San Joaquins is asked to please pay close attention to amtraksanjoaquins.com as well as their social media channels for the latest updates on their schedules and any changes.