Rail Passengers Supports New Approach to High Speed Trains



January 18, 2013


Rail Passengers Supports New Approach to High Speed Trains

The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) applauds yesterday’s announcement by Amtrak of a joint procurement effort with the state of California for next-generation high-speed trains.

NARP also supports Amtrak’s January 2 announcement that it intends to seek approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which regulates railroad safety, to expand capacity on its high-speed rail service in the Northeast with “lighter, faster equipment,” to supplement current Acela Express service (eventually replacing the 20 current Acela train sets early in the 2020s).  Such approval will be an integral part of the successful implementation of that joint procurement. 

The new equipment that Amtrak envisions would have many designs and components common with the newest, overseas high-speed trains, and a higher standard of crash energy management than older European high-speed trains.  The proposed equipment would be lighter than Acela.

NARP President Ross Capon said, “Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority deserve praise for their efforts to advance high-speed rail in the U.S.  We also are encouraged by FRA’s work regarding advanced equipment, including approval of intermixing standard European rolling stock and regular, ‘FRA-compliant’ passenger equipment on the San Francisco-San Jose commuter line.

About the National Association of Railroad Passengers

NARP is the only national organization speaking for the users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by over 22,000 individual members.