July 22nd, 2009

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Via Rail Strike

Several people have helpfully contacted me to tell me of the pending strike on Via Rail Canada. Although Via, Canada's national passenger railway operator, is preemptively canceling trains, it is unclear what effect this would have on the Amtrak service on the Adirondack between Rouses Point NY and Montreal. That train does not carry passengers between stops in Canada, and I don't know if it is operated by Via Rail engineers or not. Amtrak's web site has nothing about the situation yet, and I don't have time to call and bug Amtrak about it yet. At the moment, I'm hoping that (a) the strike, if it happens, is short and resolved by next week and (b) that my train isn't affected due to being operated by Amtrak rather than Via.
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Via Rail Strike - Amtrak in the Dark

As I rather expected, the agents at Amtrak have no idea whether the strike of Via Rail Canada's locomotive engineers, if it happens, will affect service on the Adirondack. The same union represents the engineers to both companies, but the Amtrak agent said it's an Amtrak crew that operates the train clear through to Montreal. Whether the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers would oblige their Amtrak-contract members to honor the strike on Canadian lines is still apparently up in the air.