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Amtrak’s Website Crashes as Long-Distance Trains Canceled

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 9/15/2022 Amelia Pollard
An Amtrak passenger train navigates switches while departing from the south end of Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. © Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg An Amtrak passenger train navigates switches while departing from the south end of Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

(Bloomberg) -- Amtrak’s website was periodically down on Wednesday as the company announced that long-haul trains would not operate starting Thursday in the face of a threatened freight-rail strike.

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Reports of problems with Amtrak’s website began Wednesday afternoon and surged as much as 4,500% from the site’s typical number of reported outages, according to Downdetector. Searches for “Amtrak cancels trains” surged 1,650% in the last week in the US, according to Google Trends data.

“We wanted to confirm with the tech team first but after looking into it, we don’t have a record or any indication that there were issues with the Amtrak website,” said Olivia Irvin, a spokesperson for the company.

The labor talks, led by the White House, between freight-rail companies and unions are racing to avoid a rail-system shutdown spurred by a potential walkout of about 125,000 freight-rail workers. The historic talks have drawn attention online.

Commuters in the Northeast are not expected to be impacted by the long-haul pause, with the route connecting Washington, New York and Boston not part of the planned shutdown.

(Updates with Amtrak comment in third paragraph.)

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