Amtrak's time is running out, USPS stands ready

| 6/17/2002

If Amtrak follows through with its threat to stop operations by the end of June, the U.S. Postal Service says it has a plan in place to continue rail mail delivery to its customers. Amtrak has asked the feds for another $200 million bail out.

The 5 percent of mail volume shipped via Amtrak is mostly first-class and periodicals that move along the Eastern corridor.

"We have redundant service to all of those places with things like surface trucking," said Paul Vogel, vice president of network operations management at the USPS, "so if anything does go wrong with Amtrak, there are other opportunities to move mail."

Direct Marketing News reported Amtrak President David Gunn said he was optimistic the loan would be approved and that the borrowed money would be repaid using a $1.2 billion federal subsidy Congress is expected to approve for the next fiscal year.