Fresno, California. (KSEE/KGPE) – Amtrak says it continues to be a record year for holiday travel on railroads, despite a national railroad strike hitting supply chains and slowing travel across the country.
As millions of Americans head home for the holidays and thousands of commuters continue to ride Amtrak trains, the rest of the country braces for a possible railroad strike that experts say could cost the economy $2 billion.
With the threat of an impending strike, Amtrak released a statement:
“Amtrak continues to monitor ongoing freight train management-labor contract negotiations. Neither Amtrak nor Amtrak employees are involved in the negotiations.
In Fresno, that doesn’t cut the holiday travel short. Olivia Irwin with Amtrak says we’re seeing an increase in pass and ticket sales.
“Holidays can be very stressful, and I think getting on the train allows you to relax and have someone else at the wheel,” Irwin said.
The Fresno Amtrak station is packed with commuters heading home, having meals with loved ones.
Traveler Liz Fiocchi said, “Whenever I travel in California.”
Fiocchi, from Long Beach, travels to Sacramento to thank his friend. Current flight prices make riding the train an easy decision, Fiocchi says.
“I spent 46 on today’s ticket … the cheapest flight was 348 dollars,” Fiocchi said.
Irwin says Amtrak ignores highway traffic across the state as millions of people take to the roads.
Amtrak public relations manager Olivia Irwin continued, “Many people traveling this year can get stuck in traffic and fortunately our trains don’t have the same challenges.”
While today is a busy day for Amtrak, the company says its busiest day is the Sunday following Thanksgiving.