Days after President Trump abruptly cut off talks on a broad coronavirus relief package, Amtrak shifted its focus to Congress, pleading for funding to keep its trains running and pay front-line workers.
In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders Thursday, Amtrak urged swift passage of legislation that would extend government support for the passenger railroad, warning that without additional funding by the end of the year it would need to cut more than 2,000 jobs, further reduce service and defer major capital projects.
“We will be unable to avoid more drastic impacts that could have long lasting effects on our Northeast Corridor infrastructure and the national rail system,” Amtrak chief executive William J. Flynn said in the letter. “For example, insufficient funding levels could force Amtrak to reduce its workforce by an additional 2,400 jobs.”
Earlier this month, the company further slashed operations and furloughed 2,050 workers. Amtrak said the 11 percent reduction in its workforce came as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis, which has substantially cut into its revenue.