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The Disruption of a National Railroad Strike

You may have seen news reports in recent days about the potential for a national railroad strike. Though contract negotiations between freight railroads and unions continue and Congress is being urged to intervene to head off disaster,

the deadline for a breakthrough that would avoid a strike is fast approaching. As of today, the likelihood of a national shutdown of rail service is high.

What does this mean for the economy? In simple terms, its not good.

First, the cost is staggering. A strike is expected to result in a $2 billion economic loss per day. U.S. consumers would see disruptions in Amtrak services, food shortages, delays in production, a further lack of new vehicles for purchase, and higher prices.

Second, a strike will exacerbate our already stubborn inflation picture. Today’s updated inflation report was already worse than many expected, and a massive supply chain disruption will only worsen the situation.

For more information on the possible railroad strike, read SCRF’s issue brief here.

For additional information, visit these helpful links:

  • U.S. Chamber – How a National Rail Shutdown will Impact Consumers

  • U.S. Chamber Letter to Congress

  • The Economic Impact of Railroad Shutdown

Service updates from the major freight carriers.

  • BNSF

  • CN

  • CSX

  • Norfolk Southern

  • UP


The State Chamber Research Foundation (SCRF) is the business community’s think tank. Through high quality research and analysis, SCRF educates policymakers and the public about the virtues of the free enterprise system, the public policy ideas that enable free enterprise to thrive, and the positive contributions of the business community to the prosperity and welfare of the people of Oklahoma. As a non-profit, non-partisan research and education organization, SCRF is dedicated to advancing free markets, increasing opportunity, and growing prosperity.

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