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Amtrak to require masks for employees NEWSWIRE

By | April 20, 2020

News Wire Digest for April 20: Transport Canada suggests mask requirement, but VIA demurs; Hartford Line sees new reductions

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Monday morning coronavirus-related rail news:

— Effective today, Amtrak will require all customer-facing employees wear a facial covering of some kind — a mask if available— and strongly encourages all other employees and passengers to wear coverings. At Friday’s employee town hall, the first hosted by new CEO William Flynn, CEO asked employees to start each day with a new disposable mask or a freshly-washed cloth mask. He said the company now has disposable masks available at all staffed stations and crew bases.  “We are not providing customers with facial coverings at this time; they are responsible for bringing their own,” said Flynn, adding, “If a customer refuses to wear a mask after an employee graciously asks, let it go. It’s not a requirement, just a recommendation.” In the question and answer session, obtained by Trains News Wire, Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer D. J. Stadtler, said that Amtrak is not requiring patrons to wear masks, “because we travel through so many states and localities where rules are different. We’re strongly encouraging; If they refuse, make sure the passengers are practicing social distancing away from employees and other passengers,” said Stadtler. While masks are not mandatory at shops, he noted that Amtrak “began distributing 415,000 disposable masks in the past few days and expects to receive over a half a million more in the coming week.”

— Canada’s Minister of Transport is also asking passenger rail operators to require masks or face covering for passengers. As part of measures announced Friday, which require masks or face covering for air passengers, Transport Canada is recommending that passengers are informed when buying a ticket that they should travel with a mask, and verify that passengers have such face coverings before boarding. Rail companies can set and implement their own policies, and are authorized to deny boarding to ensure the safety of their operations. VIA Rail Canada has subsequently said passenger are “invited” to wear masks, but they are not required except for international travelers using the train to reach their place of quarantine.

— The combined CTrail/Amtrak Hartford line schedule is being further reduced as of today because of the COVID-19 related drop in ridership. The new schedule has seven weekday round trips — four Amtrak regional trains and three CTrail trains — in each direction. The schedule which had been in effect since March 30 included 11 round trips, five Amtrak regionals and six CT rail trains. The new schedule is available here.

— Correspondent Bob Johnston contributed to this report.


23 thoughts on “Amtrak to require masks for employees NEWSWIRE

  1. Maybe I’m just old but I find it very difficult to proofread text on a computer. Things that stick out on a page become invisible on a screen, and effective proofreading requires seemingly endless reviews.
    Anybody remember Rosemary Entringer who for years made sure Trains’ text was correct?

  2. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Trains was among the most respected railman publications, largely because of David P. Morgan as editor and Rosemary Entringer as managing editor. They knew their stuff, both in the newsroom and by the tracks. And (I’m pretty sure) their devotion to the magazines cost them their foreshortened lives, tanks to frequent use of “cancer sticks” in the long hours.

    In a previous life, I served as a proofreader for a daily newspaper. If I weren’t happily retired (and under quarantine at the moment), I’d offer to take on the job of proofreader/copy editor…nothing else…for Trains. I’m sure that my smattering of railroading experience (39 years in THAT business) might help. But what wouldn’t help is the likely requirements for specific educational backgrounds, which I pretty much lack. So they wouldn’t touch me…hence my feelings toward pointing out glaringly-obvious errors in anything that bears their name: have at it, guys! And staffers, please pay attention! It’s a self-image thing.

  3. Proofreaders were among the first victims of the challenges that began to confront the print media as digital information became popular and profitable. Most of the print media simply couldn’t afford them. Our two Chicago dailies regularly print gaffes that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. Last week I had to correct the Chicago Tribune for running two blunders in the same photo caption: The photo showed a USPS letter carrier handling a sack of mail in the back of his truck, and the text said he was “wearing a mask” while working in the “5400 block of North Foster Avenue.” He was not “wearing” the mask because it was simply hanging on his chin rather than covering his nose and mouth, and there is no “North Foster Avenue” because Foster is an east-west street.

  4. It’s time to pick nits, conjunctive or possessive?
    BTW: a pleasant time at Duplainville yesterday aft yielded what appeared to be an empty eastbound EB, a westbound CP job with the most dingy/rusty/weathered units I’ve seen, 2 southbound CN jobs creeping over the diamond at most 10 mph, the first with 2 units, leading was something like a GP40 in very faded Grand Trunk colors with about 20 cars (anyone know that job?), the second a 2 mile train with one 3 axle and one 2 axle power. No way it could have climbed Byron hill southbound w/o help (anyone know if helpers lurk at FDL?).
    Another comment: while looking at these freight consists I was struck by their sheer ugliness.

  5. One time I got so fed up with the errors in history books that I wrote to a publisher to complain. I got a note back saying that no publisher can afford editors any more. The late Rosemary Entringer was one of the very best. She’s long gone but the standard she set at TRAINS lives on after her.

    Another, more recent loss was Kalmbach librarian George H. Drury, a great writer as well as keeper of the archives. His early death was tragic and though I never met him I felt like I’d lost a brother.

    CURTIS – Decent weather here in Waukesha County. It’s great that you’re back out at Duplainville! It’s an easy bike ride from my home. Why aren’t I out there? Because I’m depressed about the lower traffic count, that’s why.

  6. CURTIS – Personal question and I don’t expect an answer – do you watch at Dupy from legal public streets or do you cheat and walk to the diamond on railroad property? In my senior years I’ve become more law abiding and tend to watch from the legal distance. Don’t ask about when I was younger!

    FWIW in my experience City of Pewaukee police don’t patrol Dupy. Whereas Village of Pewaukee police once kicked us off the ROW at Forestgrove Avenue.

    BTW Dupy has never been written up as a TRAINS-MAG “hot spot”. Apparent reason: Kalmbach doesn’t want to enable trespassers.

  7. You would think Kalmbach(or is it Kalmback or Clambake or callback or flammable (autocorrect spellings)), would use a spellchecker to at least catch simple efforts.
    I still rly on autocorrect to ??ch my errors. See what happens when I ignite spillchecker. 🙂

  8. Charles, City of Pewaukee Police has been dissolved, it’s former area is now patrolled by Waukesha County Sherriff, whom I believe also cover Duplainville now.

  9. A. Kalmbach used to have a spellchecker on the forums.

    B. Yes, Miss Entringer was a wonderful asset to the magazine–and to the reading public..

    C. I find that I have to read my posts before I send them on.

    D. Whoever writes about CSX’s lines between Richmond and Savannah needs to know that the former SAL (through Raleigh and Columbia) is the “S” line and the former ACL (through Florence and Charleston) is the “A” line–it is quite simple.

  10. ERICH – Thanks for info. Now I know who to run from if I’m in the City of Pewaukee. Maybe the only city in Wisconsin without a police force. Heck, here in the Town of Brookfield we have full-time police and fire (and our own sewer and water district) while we aren’t even incorporated. (But we do have Kalmbach Publishing!)

  11. Mr. Landey, I usually do not get into dialogue on the forum, but to answer your question I park on the south shoulder of the access road west of D’ville Rd (and the diamond) across the tracks from the tavern, normally with 2 or 3 other vehicles. Since I do not photograph, the distant view of CN is sufficient.

  12. Note to Kalmback: You people STILL need to get a proofreader. “Require” is spelled R-E-Q-U-I-R-E.

  13. When I was a railfan reader in the 1950s & 1960s, Kalmbach was called “Clambake”. For years, many posters here have called attention to the sloppy grammar and spelling in the news stories. But I think it’s the result of the haste with which Trains staffers write and post these stories. They are probably in a hurry to get on to something else and don’t have the time to work at News Wire.

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