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

NARP Thanks Senate Commerce Committee Leaders for Including Rail Reform in Transportation Bill

Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) The National Association of Railroad Passengers sent a letter today to U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ranking Member Ben Nelson (D-Neb) thanking them for including the Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act (S.1626) as part of the committee’s portion of the surface transportation bill, the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015 (S.1732). A

NARP's July Newsletter Is Out!

July 7, 2015 The July issue of the NARP Newsletter is now available. This month's issue includes legislative updates in the House of Representatives and the Senate on appropriations and rail safety. ColoRail President James Souby is this month's member profile, while NARP Silver Rail and Heritage Circle member Cathy Johnson is the donor profile. We laud Council Member Charlie Hamilton for receiving the Jack Martin Award for his efforts in upgrading the NARP website. Finally, we cover the hiri

NARP To Raffle New England Train Tour

July 6, 2015 America by Rail, the leader in rail tours and train vacations, has generously donated a New England Fall Foliage tour for NARP to raffle off as a fundraiser. Members have asking questions about how this effort will work. The trip, valued at $5690, is an eight-day tour of top spots in New England, including visits to the Trapp Family Lodge and the Billings Farm in Vermont and a ride on three scenic railroads in New Hampshire. Raffle tickets are $150 and will benefit NARP’s legi

It’s The Funding, Stupid

By Abe Zumwalt It’s unfortunate that, given the blunt title of Matthew Yglesias’ recent piece “The Real Reason American Passenger Trains Are So Bad”, never once is the real problem—funding disparity—explicitly stated. Instead, the author dusts off a whole host of old arguments to explain why we don’t actually need further investment in passenger trains at all. Many of these seem to be honest misconceptions: that a whole new high-speed system must be built at enormous cost for pa

Ask Senators to Support Two Important Transportation Bills

The Senate moved two critical transportation bills today, and we need America’s passengers to rally support for Congressional leaders who are working to strengthen investment in Amtrak. The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously passed an exciting passenger rail authorization bill—the multiyear framework that provides the structure for Amtrak's existence and intercity rail investment. You can read about what this bill would mean for a strong national network on the NARP Blog. Meanwhile, the

Senate Appropriators Reject House’s Cuts to Trains

June 23, 2015 The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved a fiscal year 2016 funding bill that extends current levels of funding for Amtrak at $1.4 billion, rejecting cuts made in the House version of the T-HUD bill. That version of the bill slashed Amtrak funding by $262 million, transit funding by $161 million, and funding for the intermodal TIGER grant program by $400 million. Fortunately, the Senate measure provid

Pivotal Point in Washington Union Station Development Represents “Once in a Lifetime Opportunity”

By Berry Mobley, NARP Intern A “once in a lifetime opportunity.” This phrase was repeated multiple times by council members and witnesses during the Washington, D.C., City Council's Committee of the Whole hearing June 18 regarding the expansion of Washington Union Station. When the expansion is completed, it is estimated that Union Station will accommodate 70 million people per day (it currently accommodates around 30-40 million per day). Along with this increase in those using the expan

Senate Passenger Rail Bill: A Huge Leap Forward

The National Association of Railroad Passengers applauds the pro-expansion ideas contained within theRailroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act of 2015 (RREEA 2015), released today by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. This bill -- a response to the House’s Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA 2015) -- covers a series of preventable train accidents by creating prioritizing grants to implement Positive Train Control technology and identifyi

Making the Case for Intermodal Transportation in the Gulf Coast Region

The challenge of seeing that passenger rail is restored to the Gulf Coast has been taken up by the Southern Rail Commission, a group whose members were appoint­ed by the governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. The commission has developed an alliance of local elected officials, business leaders, and civic leaders across the Gulf states that are working together for this expressed purpose. Tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Ohr O'Keefe museum in Biloxi, Mississippi, the commission is holdin

No Gas Tax Hike to Pay for Transportation Projects, Says House Ways and Means Chairman

June 17, 2015 By Jared Hoffman, NARP Intern House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the U.S. should not raise gas taxes, but rather look elsewhere for solutions to the continued failure of national highways to pay for themselves during June 17 hearing. Ranking committee member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) stated that long-term solutions for the continued and long-term funding of the Highway Trust Fund were necessary, but the short term should not be forgotten eithe