Last Updated: 9/15/2022 at 9:00am PST
SJJPA is extremely pleased to hear the news of a tentative agreement being reached between the freight railroad carriers and all of their respective employee unions. SJJPA and Amtrak was able to restore most of the service planned to be suspended today. On Thursday, September 15, 2022, Amtrak San Joaquins will operate all trains and buses except 702 and 703. On Friday, September 16, 2022, Amtrak San Joaquins will be operate full service. SJJPA will continue to monitor the situation and keep the passengers and community informed.
Last Updated: 9/14/2022 at 5:00pm PST
With the freight railroads and all of their respective employee unions not yet coming to an agreement, the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) will implement a modified operating plan for Amtrak San Joaquins on Thursday, September 15, 2022. To ensure that passengers and equipment do not run the risk of being caught in the middle of the corridor should a work stoppage occur, Amtrak San Joaquins will be suspending Trains 702, 703, 714, 717, 718, and 719 and associated Thruway Bus service on Thursday, September 15, 2022.
The nation’s Class I freight carriers, including Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), are currently in negotiations over salary, benefits, time off, and work practices with their respective employee union workforce. The Railway Labor Act (RLA) establishes a structured process of negotiations with the intent to avoid any disruption to the nation’s railroad network, however, the RLA’s cooling-off period ends on Friday, which legally enables a freight railroad work stoppage to occur.
While this negotiation does not directly involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce, a work stoppage would include the freight dispatchers and other servicepeople that work to keep the line safe and operational. As such, preparations for a work stoppage have begun to impact Amtrak San Joaquins service. Amtrak and SJJPA will continue to notify passengers of potential impacts to service.
As a part of the RLA process, on August 16th, the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) released recommendations for a resolution between freight railroads and their employees. The release of these recommendations started a required 30-day cooling-off period before any work stoppage may occur. While there have been positive developments towards an agreement, a work stoppage may still occur. If the freight railroads and their employee unions do not come to an agreement, a stoppage will be allowed to commence as soon as 12:01 AM Pacific Time on Friday, September 16th. Freight and passenger operations on corridors managed by freight railroads would cease, including on the Union Pacific and BNSF lines on which the San Joaquins operates. Should a work stoppage commence, the San Joaquins would be required to begin suspending service on Thursday, September 15th until a resolution.
As an agreement has not been reached as of this release, Amtrak San Joaquins will be modifying service for Thursday, September 15, 2022. If an agreement is not reach by 5:00 PM PST on September 15, 2022, Amtrak San Joaquins will suspend all service beginning Friday, September 16, 2022, until a resolution is reached. Our dedicated passenger rail team stands ready to reintroduce service as quickly as possible.
SJJPA is working closely with Amtrak, Union Pacific, and BNSF to address the impact of a strike on operations and will continue to keep our passengers informed as this situation develops.