RailNation DC - Monday, April 1 Advocacy Summit Program Detail

Revised to 3-30-19

8:15am - 9:15am

Session Opening Speakers -

  • Chris Zappi - Director Host Railroads - Amtrak

  • Roger Harris - Vice-President Long Distance - Amtrak

9:15am - 10:05am

'Investments, Not Subsidies: How American Long Distance Trains Make Money'

Learn exactly how and why American long distance passenger trains create economic benefits that far outweigh their costs, and how the Rail Passengers Association is quantifying the benefits of America’s National Network trains through economic impact. Panelists will include Rail Passengers President Jim Mathews and Dr. Yuanyuan Zhang, Research Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation.

10:20am - 11:50am

'No Schedules: Regional Rail and the Future of American Passenger Trains'

Panelists will discuss the immediate and long-range visions of transforming current commuter service, and creating a frequent, "schedule free" regional mobility worthy of a 21st century economy. We'll learn about what what Ontario’s provincial transit agency, Metrolinx, is doing with its GO Transit system’s expansion program, including a planned vast uptick in frequency of service. We'll investigate programs in Boston, the DC Metro area, and potential missed opportunities in Philadelphia. Panelists include Peter Brassard, Chair of the Rhode Island Association of Rail Passengers and TransitMatters member; D.W. Rowlands of Greater Greater Washington; T. R. Hickey, Chief Development Officer of Virginia Railway Express; Professor Laurie Schintler of George Mason University; and a presentation on the Toronto's Metrolinx efforts to greatly expand GO Transit regional services.

12:00n - 1:30pm


Keynote Address By Kenneth Hylander - Executive Vice President and Chief Safety Officer - Amtrak

1:45pm - 2:45pm

'The View from the Hill: Infrastructure and the 116th Congress'

We’ll hear from congressional staffers on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about the transportation agenda for the 116thCongress and the plans for addressing the transportation crisis in the U.S. in the coming reauthorization.

  • Kristine O’Brien - Director of Outreach & Member Services – House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

  • Alison Graab - Deputy Policy Director - U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation - Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety

3:00pm - 3:30pm

'How to Sell Trains to Your Member of Congress'

Mike Friedberg, a partner at Holland & Knight who specializes in transportation, will give tips on how to best advocate for passenger rail and investment to your elected officials. Mr. Friedberg most recently served as staff director of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure under former-Chairman Bill Shuster.

3:30pm - 4:30pm

'What Can Passengers Do?: Advocacy Strategies That Really Work'

There are other Rail Passengers around the country, just like YOU, that have made amazing progress for expanded passenger rail service in their communities. This panel of other Rail Passengers’ Council Members will share success stories, advocacy tips, and strategies for bringing about real change. Panelists will include Bruce Ashton of Rail Passengers - Texas.