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Amtrak cancels Empire Builder trips through Milwaukee amid strike threat

The passenger rail company says a strike from rail workers could disrupt three long-distance routes including the Empire Builder route, which heads through Milwaukee between Chicago and Minneapolis.
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Posted at 5:57 AM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 07:00:07-04

MILWAUKEE — Possible strikes may cause problems for anyone wanting to take Amtrak's Empire Builder line from Milwaukee.

The passenger rail company says a strike from rail workers could disrupt three long-distance routes including the Empire Builder route, which heads through Milwaukee between Chicago and Minneapolis. The other routes that could be impacted are the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief. The popular Northeast Corridor route between Washington and Boston will not be affected.

"While we are hopeful that parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later this week," according to a statement from Amtrak on Monday.

Unions representing workers for freight railroads are in a dispute over pay and working conditions. 10 of 12 unions have signed onto a compromise, but the two largest unions have not. A "cooling off" period ends on Thursday, and that's when workers could go on strike, leading to passenger route cancellations, according to the Washington Post.

The Hiawatha commuting line between Milwaukee and Chicago is not impacted by the possible strikes.

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