Passengers Honor Illinois’ Kirk for His Tireless Work on Passenger Rail


Press Release #13-09

April 26, 2013

Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail, 202-408-8362


Washington, D.C.—The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) honored Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois yesterday with the prestigious Golden Spike Award, for his long time support of passenger trains and transit, both in the Midwest and across the U.S.

Over the past 13 years, Senator Kirk has been a forward-thinking leader on transportation in the U.S. Congress.  During his time in the House, he was a champion for legislation that would have created a funding source for clean, energy-efficient transportation such as passenger trains.  The Senator has played a vanguard role in developing a policy framework that encourages Public-Private Partnerships, a necessary element for the 21st Century infrastructure that American businesses need to compete globally.

“Senator Kirk has reached across the aisle to work with both Democratic and Republican members of Illinois’ congressional delegation in securing funds to improve the Chicago-St. Louis passenger rail corridor; residents of not just Illinois, but the whole Midwest will benefit from this work,” said NARP President Ross Capon. “For his support of Amtrak and high speed rail, and his work towards the development of a world-class U.S. passenger train network, America’s passengers thank him.”


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.

About NARP’s Golden Spike Award

Going back to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, golden spikes were used by railroads in ceremonies to mark the completion of important projects. In the 1960s, magazine publishes George Falcon, an active early member of NARP, got the idea for the Golden Spike Award from actress Debbie Reynolds, a train lover whose father worked as a conductor on the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Since 1984, the NARP Board of Directors Executive Committee has approved all choices for recipients.  Past recipients include Ms. Reynolds, Walt Disney, Johnny Cash, and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.