Blog

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

Monorail? More like Mono-d'oh!

Written By Colin Leach Coming soon to Nashville? "The Simpsons" promotional card licensed via Wikimedia Foundation. Fans of the long-running FOX series The Simpsons might remember a 1993 episode where the citizens of Springfield, swayed by a clever salesman’s presentation, invest the town’s treasury in a monorail service with hilariously disastrous results. While we at NARP don’t pretend that a cartoon can possibly encapsulate the nuances of transportation policy debates, recent events

You can help build passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson

Written By Colin Leach Map of proposed alternatives for Phoenix-Tucson route. Courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation Phoenix, Arizona is one of the urban centers of what demographers and public policy scholars term the “Sun Belt”. This vast region, stretching from Miami to Los Angeles, has seen tremendous economic growth in the past decades. This growth can be credited to a combination of new high tech industries looking to take advantage of lower labor costs as well as retiree

Illinois Needs Your Input on Next Phase of Chicago - St. Louis Rail Corridor

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for public input on the next phase of the Chicago – St. Louis rail corridor, and the Midwest High Speed Rail Association is organizing local train advocates to ensure that the potential for truly world class high speed operations is protected: IDOT is currently reconstructing the tracks between Joliet and Granite City to increase cruising speeds from 80 to 110 mph. That work is already paying dividends with mu

West Virginia Passengers Need Your Help

Written By Colin Leach The Maryland MARC Train's Brunswick Line. Map from the Maryland Transit Administration. For several decades, the Brunswick Line of Maryland’s MARC commuter rail service has served the West Virginia towns of Harpers Ferry, Duffields, and Martinsburg. Hundreds of commuters use this line every day to commute to and from their jobs in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. Like many other commuter rail services, the Brunswick Line has enjoyed increased ridership in recent years.

Passenger Rail Is the Foundation for the Largest Private Development Project in U.S. History

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Click image to enlarge. The foundation for the Hudson Yards, the largest private development project in U.S. history, is starting to take shape. In a fascinating inside look, the website Gizmodo looks at why the foundation of this megaproject may actually be its most interesting part: West Side Yard, a sunken rail yard wedged above the High Line and two blocks away from Penn Station, is a critical nerve center in NYC's transit system: A 26-acre depot that serves o

When we build trains, we build jobs

Written By Colin Leach As our readers will know, we’ve addressed how passenger rail is the key to creating the sort of new economy that America needs in the years to come. By building commuter rail systems connecting urban cores with their suburbs, we create the potential for new, transit-oriented development sites that integrate transit into new residential and commercial developments. And by offering a convenient, fast, and affordable way to travel between urban and rural communities, pas

Frommer's Dig Passenger Rail Development in America

Written By Logan McLeod I recently attended the NY Times Travel show in New York City where I had the privilege of spontaneously meeting world-renowned travel writers and experts, Arthur and Pauline Frommer. Arthur and his daughter Pauline were there meeting with their dedicated fans and fellow travel enthusiasts. I thought to myself, what a great chance to introduce NARP and talk about all the exciting things happening with passenger rail in America! I took the opportunity to introduce myself,

LA Metro Subtly Educates New Passengers through Art Tours

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Photo courtesy of the LA Times With most cities, transit passengers learn the rules of navigating the systems—both written and unwritten—the hard way. Stand on the left side of the escalator in D.C.’s Metro and you’ll hear about it from other passengers. Don’t move your bag from an adjacent seat in New York City’s subway for another passenger looking to sit down at your own risk. But in Los Angeles, a city consciously working to loosen the noose that

Amtrak's New Math for Long-Distance Route Expenses: Marketing Yes, Amenities No

Written By Matthew Melzer Against a backdrop of unprecedented ridership, constrained capacity, and operational challenges, Amtrak's national network of the 15 long-distance routes recently came under the aegis of Mark Murphy, Amtrak's new General Manager Long Distance Services. The reorganized business line is now largely overseen by a cadre of Amtrak veterans such as Murphy, who graciously presented to the joint NARP and RailPAC (Rail Passenger Association of California) “Steel Wheels” mem

Back to the Future

Written By Colin Leach Amtrak's Vermonter at Palmer, Massachusetts. Photo from Wikimedia Foundation Regular readers of our blog will know that we’ve reported to you about the rekindling of our nation’s interest in passenger rail. Frustrated by fewer flights to small and mid-sized communities and clogged highways, Americans from coast to coast understand that trains are a fast, comfortable, safe, and stress-free way to travel. Stories from places such as Michigan, Oklahoma, and Virginiash