Tools & Info
A library of documents drafted by the Association focusing on Amtrak business lines and public transportation policy.
The Rail Passengers Association (RPA) strongly believes that the ongoing debate concerning the future shape of Amtrak's national network has been distorted by its use of fully allocated costs rather than avoidable costs as required by statute. The adverse outcome of using fully allocated costs is the widespread and incorrect perception that Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is financially self-sufficient and that Amtrak’s need for taxpayer funding results entirely from its operation of passenger trains in the rest of the nation – the National Network, which consists of state supported regional and federally supported long distance routes.
A funding table documenting FAST Act authorized levels of investment for rail programs.
2017 economic report from NARP that looks at the Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal, which calls for eliminating Amtrak’s long distance passenger rail service while preserving service for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and state supported routes.
NARP President Jim Mathew's report on the FAST Act, presented to members of the Mid-Atlantic Division and ESPA.
A signature NARP White Paper on the efficiency and critical importance of the often maligned long distance national network passenger trains
2015 edition of NARP's analysis of the economic benefits of passenger rail investment. Shows how investing in trains promotes greater mobility and economic development, generates new jobs, encourages energy efficiency and enhances Americans’ standard of living.
Like so many parts of the country, a corridor full of potential is served by one train a day, the Lake Shore Limited, leaving much of its population literally in the dark. Really, there should be at least four trains a day-- and this is why
A Summary of Victoria Policy Intitute's excellent dismemberment of the oft unquestioned concept that current North American transportation choices are the result of free market outcomes
Yes, public investment in passenger trains advances many key elements of the Conservative Agenda.
"One unforeseen problem with both Amtrak in general and the state supported trains was that they were funded by annual appropriations with no dedicated operating or capital funding. This meant an annual fight for survival against “free-market” advocates who forgot about the massive subsidies to highways which caused the decline in passenger trains in the first place."
"So while effective policy making is about enabling people access to choice, it seems that American policy makers have gotten myopic the role they play in enabling these choices. The boom in automobile use necessarily led to more roads and highways; but at some point legislators forgot that this growth didn’t occur in a vacuum, and their road legislation played a key role part in encouraging it. Returning balance to the U.S. transportation network means investing in the modes we’ve neglected, like passenger trains and transit. Not just for the benefits specific to passenger trains. By balancing investment in infrastructure, we can develop a clearer understanding of the role government plays in directing the movement of people and goods, and move away from a view of roads and highways as a natural extension of the free market."
Sleeping Car revenues are pure gravy for Amtrak. The cost of operating solely coach long distance trains would be far greater than what is currently paid now. Furthermore, there is pent-up demand for sleeping car service wherever it is offered, indicating a great need to expand such operations. To do so would only help the bottom line of the railroad.
"Food For Thought" as published in Railway Interiors International
"Studies claiming that Amtrak’s lounge and dining car services “lose” money make the mistake of analyzing them as restaurants. That’s the wrong business model. The correct model can be found in the hospitality industry – bed and breakfast operations and that part of the hotel industry that has followed their lead. Operators provide food and beverages free of charge. While this strategy would put any restaurant out of business quickly, it makes economic sense in the hospitality industry because food & beverage service helps sell something of greater value – rooms. Similarly, in the passenger train business, lounge and dining car service helps sell something of greater value – tickets."