Service disruptions already beginning: Freight and passenger rail service is already being affected by anticipation of a doable work stoppage as early as Friday, when a federally-mandated “cooling off” interval ends.

Amtrak is suspending service on three long-distance routes and a part of a fourth on Tuesday. Norfolk Southern announced Monday that beginning Tuesday it’s closing all gates to intermodal site visitors that travels by ship or by truck earlier than or after a rail journey. The railroad can also be starting to close down a wide range of different companies. The Class I railroads began to suspend service of hazardous and security-sensitive materials on Monday to keep away from stranding them in stopped railcars.

Potential situations: Whereas a strike may occur beginning Friday, folks near the negotiations inform POLITICO they’re not anticipating it — no less than not that quickly.

“There’s this narrative being developed {that a} work stoppage is inevitable and unions are chomping on the bit,” mentioned an individual acquainted with the conversations, however not licensed to talk to the press. “My view is {that a} strike is unlikely, and that the likeliest situations are, one, that they attain an eleventh hour or eleventh hour and 59 minute deal. The second likeliest situation is that they lengthen the cooling off interval in order that they will have extra time to cross all of the t’s and dot all of the i’s.”

Whereas many of the 13 unions concerned in negotiations have both reached a tentative settlement with the railroad corporations or are shut to 1, the 2 unions representing engineers and conductors have rejected the compromise deal proposed by a presidentially-appointed board of arbitrators with out the inclusion of modifications to work guidelines, like new attendance insurance policies that staff have discovered onerous.

Chris Cadelago and Eleanor Mueller contributed to this report.

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