Blog

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

Final Stops and New Beginnings: Pittsburgh to Washington, DC

Written By Malcolm Kenton The Millennial Trains Project (MTP) private cars arrived early Friday morning (August 16) in the Steel City of Pittsburgh behind Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited, and a Norfolk Southern diesel switched them onto track 2 (one of the two stub-end tracks at the former Pennsylvania Railroad station), in front of two other private cars which appeared to be unoccupied. Shortly after arrival, we headed out to explore a city that has done a lot to reinvent itself after the

Reframing the Debate in Chicago

Written By Malcolm Kenton Millennial Trains Project participants had a relaxed Wednesday morning riding into Chicago aboard the California Zephyr, watching the sun-dappled farm fields and small towns of Iowa and Illinois whisk by and give way to suburbs, and finally the skyscrapers, factories and massive freight rail yards of the Windy City, the nation's railroad hub. We took in iconic views of the Midwestern countryside from the Silver Lariat's dome and enjoyed the fresh breezes through the op

Soviet-style railroad or modern mobility machine? (Hint: check the ridership)

Written By Colin Leach Amtrak rarely catches a break these days in Congress. Hostile legislators attacked the railroad on multiple fronts, offering amendments to both House and Senate transportation bills to cripple the railroad’s operations. These attacks, ranging from Senator Jeff Flake’s amendment to prevent federal funds from being used to cover the costs of long-distance food service, to Rep. Paul Broun’s amendment that would have defunded Amtrak’s operation grant entirely, rest

NARP Welcomes New Team Member Aboard

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Earlier this month, NARP was pleased to grant one of our summer interns, Logan McLeod, a full time position with the Association. As Director of Development, Logan will integral role in strategic planning and the development of the membership fundraising, expanding NARP’s ability to more effectively represent passenger train users and bring about new passenger train routes and frequencies, and modernize existing services. We’re pleased to have him aboard, and look

Omaha: The Effects of Imbalanced Investment

Written By Malcolm Kenton Omaha, Nebraska is the only city that the inaugural Millennial Trains Project journey stops in that I had not previously visited (I had ridden the train through, but had not gotten off). I hadn't thought there was much to Omaha other than the headquarters of the Union Pacific Railroad (one of the nation's big four freight railroads and the oldest federal government-chartered corporation in the US) and several insurance companies. But there is a considerable amount of c

Exploring the intersection of business and values in Denver

Written By Malcolm Kenton The Millennial Trains Project's second day in Denver dawned sunny and cool, and we gathered in the dome car bright and early at 6:30 AM to hear from Erik Mitisek of Startup Denver. He played up the still ongoing Denver Union Station redevelopment project (whose construction we could watch through the windows) as a great example of transit-oriented development that is attracting Millennials and innovators to live in walkable areas around the station. Photo: AASHTOMi

NARP Helps Hoosiers Fight for the Hoosier State

Written By Colin Leach Amtrak's Hoosier State. Photo credit: Wikipedia.Under the terms of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Indiana has until October 1st to sign a contract covering its share of the costs of operating the Hoosier State. Indiana has the unfortunate distinction of being the only state to have not committed to reaching a service agreement with Amtrak. Should the state fail to reach an agreement with Amtrak before then, the train will be discontinued. As a

A Serendipitous MTP Day in Denver

Written By Malcolm Kenton Thanks to the remarkable cooperation of Amtrak and BNSF, the Millennial Trains Project was able to work out a two-day stay for our private cars in Denver, despite the lack of proper facilities at the city's temporary Amtrak station (Denver Union Station is undergoing a major redevelopment and is scheduled to re-open to Amtrak towards the end of 2014). The appearance of a brilliant double rainbow over our train at the end of a thunderstorm last night was a tremendously

Inspiring Landscapes - Salt Lake City to Denver

Written By Malcolm Kenton Yesterday, half of the Millennial Trains Project participants got off the eastbound Amtrak California Zephyr at Salt Lake City at 3:00 AM and had a full day of exploring new frontiers there before flying to Denver in the evening (there was no way for our private cars to be parked overnight in Salt Lake). But I and the other half stayed on board the train for the world-renowned gorgeous ride through the heart of the Rockies on the former Denver & Rio Grande Western

Creating Space - San Francisco to Salt Lake City

Written By Malcolm Kenton This morning, the Millennial Trains Project group finally boarded our three private cars to head eastward (on-time) out of Emeryville, CA (directly across the Bay from San Francisco). Our original plan was to spend last night aboard the cars at the Oakland yard, but a mishap with Amtrak security forced us to find alternate accommodations. We wound up at the Marin Highlands Hostel, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, and started the day with group stretching and a group