New Materials from LDR Study Released
July 28, 2023
Rail Passengers Association staff spent most of July traveling to regional meetings for the Federal Railroad Administration's Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study, where we shared your comments and feedback with federal officials.
During these meetings, we pressed the study's authors to be be ambitious when looking at which routes will make the final cut. As the country looks to rebuild the interstate passenger rail network it's important that policymakers have a full menu of options, and that every region feels like they stand to benefit from a robust rail infrastructure program.
We've also stressed the importance of delivering the final report to Congress and the public as quickly as possible. We're already halfway through the five-year span of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and it's important that passenger advocates and the rail industry to be able to point to tangible progress from this initiative when Congress is drafting the BIL's successor. The FRA and consultants are warning that the release of the report won't happen until the first half of 2024; it's vital that the FRA release this bill early enough for the Biden Administration and Congress to take it into consideration when drafting the annual budget.
The FRA has shared the materials from the second round of meetings, including an overview presentation that summarizes stakeholder and public feedback from the first round of outreach; an outline of the enhanced network, representing the full range possibilities for developing potential new long-distance routes; and comparisons of the populations served by the enhanced and baseline networks.
You can also review the region-specific summaries on the Meeting Materials section of the website.
"On behalf of Amtrak’s onboard service staff, I want to thank the Rail Passengers Association for honoring their hard work with this award. The past couple years have indeed been difficult for Amtrak onboard service staff – coping with furloughs and job insecurity, adapting to changing protocols and services, not to mention the unfortunate events such as a tragic derailment and a fatal shooting. Nevertheless, our dedicated members at Amtrak have handled these hurdles with the care, attention and diligence for which they’re known. We thank Rail Passengers for their acknowledgement of our members’ hard work and, as always, look forward to seeing you on the rails."
Arthur Maratea, TCU/IAM National President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.