While Amtrak believes its systems are Y2K-ready, all 53 trains operating on New Year's Eve will stop as briefly as possible in the nearest stations just prior to midnight on Friday, Dec. 31, before resuming operations, the company said.
Amtrak said the stop will allow system administrators to make sure computers make the transition successfully before trains continue along their travels.
On Dec. 31 and throughout the weekend, Amtrak will double the number of staff monitoring train operations from Amtrak's Consolidated National Operations Center in Wilmington, Del. The team will be in constant contact with train crews and with other railroads. Extra personnel will be working through the weekend.
The Year 2000 problem, also known as the millennium bug, stems from an old programming shortcut that used only the last two digits of the year. Many computers now must be modified or they may mistake the year 2000 for the year 1900 and malfunction.