Railway strike: What you need to know about cancellations after a tentative agreement

Debra Edwards was organizing her suitcase in her hotel room in Chicago on Tuesday morning when a message from Amtrak appeared on her phone. His to-do list trip – which was due to leave on Wednesday – has been cancelled. There was no additional information on who to contact for assistance.

“I should have left Denver right now,” Edwards told The Washington Post on Thursday.

Edwards’ long-distance train from Chicago to California was one of many Amtrak canceled this week as a precautionary measure ahead of a possible national rail strike. While the labor dispute was between the freight railroads and the unions that represent their employees, most Amtrak routes outside of the Northeast Corridor and many commuter rail systems operate on freight tracks.

On Thursday, the White House announced a tentative agreement between carriers and union leaders to avoid a strike. In an alert the same morning, Amtrak said it is “working to quickly reinstate canceled trains and contacting affected customers directly to accommodate the earliest available departures.” Operations are expected to return to normal by Friday, The Post reported.

Back at her home in Dayton, Ohio, Edwards said Amtrak hadn’t contacted her beyond the alerts and boilerplate responses she received via email. The recent retiree, 65, lost hundreds of dollars after a tumultuous rush to find new accommodation, transportation and deal with refunds and cancellations.

Here’s what customers facing similar issues need to know about the current situation.

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