Your daily source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the weekly NARP Hotline.

Maryland Commuter Train, MARC, Experiences Continuous Increase in Ridership

Written By Maxime Devilliers A MARC train on its way to Washington, DC from Point of Rocks, MD (Photo by Bob Kaplan) The number of passengers riding the new MARC weekend service has more than tripled since its inception five months ago. The Maryland Transit Administration, or MTA, began offering weekend MARC service on its 75-mile Penn Line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore on December 7th of last year. In its first weekend of operations, a total of 4,085 passengers rode the 15 three-c

NARP Responds to Attacks on Amtrak on Wisconsin Public Radio

Written By Jenna Jablonski Today, NARP's Vice President Sean Jeans-Gail spoke with Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin to speak about the potential impact of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget proposal for Amtrak and the future of passenger rail in America: According to Joy Cardin’s guest, starving Amtrak of funds would deny commuter service to tens of millions of Americans and eliminate more than 20,000 jobs. He says that’s exactly what Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget would do, an

Members of Congress Respond to Passenger Outcry

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Congressional House appropriators met today to markup the fiscal year 2015 transportation budget, and from the pro-train amendments offered it’s clear that key Members of Congress heard your voice! Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment to add $825 million to fund railroad safety technology, which would help implement the life-saving Positive Train Control technology. Congressman James Moran (D-VA) offered an amendment to increase Amtrak funding by

NARP Welcomes New Intern Maxime Devilliers

Written By Maxime Devilliers NARP is pleased to welcome University of Mary Washington graduate Maxime Devilliers onboard as an intern. Max is a lifelong passenger train advocate, and will be helping us carry out our mission to build a modern U.S. passenger train network this summer. Hello! My name is Max Devilliers and I am going to be an intern here at NARP this summer! My interest in passenger rail has been passed down to me from past generations of French train advocates, and I am really

Join America's Mayors in Asking Congress for Better Train Service!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on May 15 exploring the impacts that transportation investment has on states, local communities, and users of the transportation system. Unsurprisingly, the mayors in attendance—the elected officials directly charged with meeting the transportation needs of average Americans—were direct and unequivocal in expressing the need for stronger public investment in passenger trains. These l

President Calls for End to Infrastructure Crisis in Tappan Zee Bridge Speech

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The Tappan Zee Bridge is emblematic of so much in the U.S. transportation network. Completed in 1955, it was built on the cheap with a designed lifespan of 50 years. It was also constructed at one of the widest points of the Hudson River—adding to the cost—to place it outside the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s jurisdiction and ensure that toll revenue would go the state of New York. It currently handles 138,000 vehicles per day, significantly more

National Train Day Celebrated Across the Country

Written By Jenna Jablonski National Train Day on Saturday brought out the train-hugger in everyone: from diehard fans to those stepping on a train for the first time. Event participants enjoyed every kind of train-related activity, from boarding excursion trains and equipment displays to meeting their favorite talking train, Chuggington. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, and especially to the volunteers, the seventh annual National Train Day was a huge success. Amtrak announced tha

In Memoriam: James Oberstar, Legendary Passenger Rail Advocate

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Then-Congressman James Oberstar at the NARP Capitol Hill Reception in 2008. James Oberstar, former U.S. congressman from Minnesota and a legendary figure in passenger train advocacy, passed away earlier this week. He died May 3 at the age of 79. NARP honored Oberstar with our Golden Spike Award in 2005, for his staunch defense of Amtrak and the national network. He understood the value of a well-balanced transportation system with strong rail and transit connecti

Living on Borrowed Time

Written By Colin Leach The North River Tunnels ( Since their opening in 1910, Amtrak’s Hudson River Tunnels have played a critical role in the Northeast’s transportation network. The tunnels, which connect New York City to the rest of the Northeast Corridor, carry thousands of passengers travelling on Amtrak trains each and every day. Additionally, the tunnels also host passengers travelling on both New Jersey Transit and Long Island Railroad, further demonstrating the t

NARP Needs Your Help to Voice Opposition to Cuts to Amtrak

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill today that further tightens the budgetary screws on the national passenger rail network, precluding any chance to improve service and grow the system. In the subcommittee draft, rail is funded at $1.4 billion, representing a reduction of $193 million below what was enacted last year. That number includes $340 million for Amtrak operations (the