Blog

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

NARP Greets New Cities Sprinter

Written By Jenna Jablonski Amtrak's "Cities Sprinter" dazzled as it rolled into Union Station in the late afternoon sunlight. Today it took its inaugural revenue run from Boston to DC, even boasting a VIP passenger: Vice President Biden. It was greeted by a conglomerate of media attention including Abe Zumwalt and Jenna Jablonski of the National Association of Railroad Passengers. NARP Vice President Sean Jeans-Gail attended the launch ceremony yesterday at Philadelphia 30th Street Station. W

Proposed cuts will strand rural Canadians

Written By Colin Leach CN Railway Network While NARP traditionally focuses on issues of relevance to U.S. passenger rail, we are also firm supporters of passenger train service in our neighbor to the north. Last week, we sent a letter to Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer protesting the proposed discontinuation of passenger train service between Sault Ste. Marie and Hearst, Ontario. In the same letter, we also warned the Ambassador of the possible discontinuation of service between Montréal, Que

"First Transit Super Bowl" Overwhelmed By Passenger Demand

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Parking infrastructure and transit infrastructure at the MetLife Stadium. Image via Google Maps. Organizers dubbed it “the first transit Super Bowl,” but the agencies involved were unprepared for the more than 27,000 attendees who took that to heart. Add in heightened security creating additional chokepoints, and the end result was a completely overwhelmed transit infrastructure. USA Today provided details about the flood of passengers that led to people wait

Pueblo Rally shows strong support for Southwest Chief

Written By Jenna Jablonski Saturday marked another step in the fight to save Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. A crowd of 100 Pueblo residents, politicians, and regional supporters showed up to a press conference in Pueblo Colorado to hear State Representative LeRoy Garcia’s solution for the train which is threatened to be rerouted outside of Colorado or discontinued altogether. Standing on a historic locomotive behind the Union Depot, Rep. Garcia explained his newly introduced bill that would no

Transportation problems require real solutions, not the rule of cool

Written By Colin Leach Opponents of California’s high speed rail line are fond of labeling the project “unrealistic,” arguing that while connecting the state’s major cities via a zooming 220 mph train would be fantastic, Californians simply cannot afford to do so right now. However, noted tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has found an interesting way to spin this narrative by opposing the project for not being fantastic enough. Last summer, the founder of both SpaceX and Tesla Motors propo

New ARP Takes Root in Missouri and Illinois

Written By Jenna Jablonski MIRPA already has 140 members, a quarter of which also belong to NARP. Fifty passenger rail advocates gathered at the Kirkwood Amtrak Station on January 11 for the inaugural meeting of the Missouri-Illinois Rail Passenger Association (MIRPA). Of the fifty guests, 35 were MIRPA members and 15 were visitors. Seven members from western Missouri traveled in on Amtrak. NARP member Rich Eichhorst led the meeting, introducing Missouri Representative Rick Stream to add

2014 Kicks Off With Huge Week for Trains

Written By Sean Jeans Gail With the 92nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C., two critical transportation hearings in Congress, and a $1.1 trillion federal budget in the final stages of negotiations, the stars were aligned to ensure a hectic week in transportation. For transportation advocates, events didn’t let them down. Here’s a roundup of Washington’s action-packed transportation week: Passenger Trains in the Big Appropriations Bill: The dominan

The long term rides on the rails

Written By Colin Leach Political scientists and public policy scholars have often spoken of a particular problem that vexes policymakers, politicians, and the general public. “Short-termism”, as it is termed, refers to the unique combination of politics and political economy that puts a premium on actions for the benefit of the here and now. Politicians, more interested in immediate results for political advantage, often embrace policies that are not necessarily sustainable in the long t

California Trains Get Big Boost in Governor's Budget

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Governor Jerry Brown sent a big message of support for passenger rail with today’s state budget announcement, identifying $300 million for rail modernization. And it’s encouraging for more than just the state’s 220 mph high speed rail project. The Governor’s budget will benefit passengers who rely on Amtrak California, commuter trains, and light rail. Critically, that means Californians won’t have to wait 10 years or more to see the fruits of this investm

Iowans Shouldn't Have to Wonder "What If?"

Written By Colin Leach For many years now, rail advocates in Iowa have worked hard for the restoration of regular service to the eastern part of the state. From 1974 to 1981, Amtrak ran the Black Hawk , which offered a daily connection between Dubuque and Chicago. While the Black Hawk was discontinued following a decrease in Illinois state funding, advocates have maintained that the route would be popular. In 2010, their efforts were rewarded when the federal government issued a $230 million