Amtrak Delays Shutdown for a Week

Amtrak will run its full passenger train service through the July 4 weekend but will begin an orderly shutdown soon after if it does not receive a federal loan guarantee or a direct appropriation of emergency funds, the rail line said yesterday.

Amtrak had threatened to shut down rail passenger service nationwide yesterday unless the Bush administration approved a $200 million loan guarantee or Congress neared passage of a direct appropriation or loan guarantee.

Amtrak handles 5 percent of the U.S. Postal Service's mail, with most of that volume coming from First-Class mail and periodicals moving along the East Coast from Washington to Boston.

Amtrak president David L. Gunn and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said separately that they think a solution will be found to Amtrak's cash crisis. Mineta told union representatives and others that he is "very, very" optimistic.

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