A potential strike by a large swatch of railroad unions over quality-of-life conditions in a post-COVID29 world could make holiday travel plans by rail passengers difficult, said economist Sudipta Sarangi.

“A brief strike will not have an impact on prices of most goods. It will have an impact on Holiday Travel,” Sarangi said. “People who were planning to exclusively rely on trains should monitor strike related news and think of alternative travel plans. Given that the strike will encourage some people to shift their travel to other modes -- we may expect airlines to increase their already high-ticket prices.

Sarangi adds that with rail passengers forced to choose drive could lead to booked hotels, slower speeds, road rage, accidents, and generally frustration at being forced to change travel plans.

“If the strike goes on for many days - the already fragile supply chain will take another hit. Prices will go up and there might be shortages of specific things - depending on what is reliant on railroad freight and existing inventories - no it will not be surprising that anticipating the strike - some are already thinking about increasing inventory,” Sudipta added.


Sarangi has served as head of the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech since 2015. He previously worked for the National Science Foundation and Louisiana State University, where he was the Gulf Coast Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc. Distinguished Professor of Business Administration. He has also been a consultant to the World Bank and the Food and Agricultural Organization. He serves on several journal editorial boards and likes to write on topical issues.

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