Amtrak’s long-distance trains are under the microscope again! On June 6, House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) reportedly said Amtrak’s nationwide service mandate is “something we have to take a hard look at… There are places that it costs us a lot of money and the ridership is not there.”
Some 173 million Americans—more than half of our total population—live within 25 miles of an Amtrak station that is served by long distance trains. Moreover, in 23 of the lower 48 states, long-distance trains are the only intercity passenger trains. If we cut Amtrak's long distance service, then we eliminate all train service for scores of millions of passengers.
Long Distance Trains: A Foundation for National Mobility, a white paper by NARP and the Midwest High-Speed Rail Association, aims to correct common misconceptions about Amtrak's national network of overnight trains and to demonstrate the valuable role they play in connecting small towns and rural areas to larger cities, with multiple city-pair "corridors" served by one highly productive train.
NARP believes that the long distance trains should remain a federal responsibility. which was reaffirmed in the 2008 law. We believe connecting all parts of the country with reliable, affordable passenger train service is an important federal policy objective.