Blog

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

Congressional leadership meets in less than 24 hours

Last chance to stand up for a national rail network! 

Your Rail Passengers staff has learned from our allies on the Hill that House and Senate negotiators will meet tomorrow to begin finalizing the details of the Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget. This bill not only fund rail transportation projects and operations across the U.S., but will include policy language that would require Amtrak to preserve that National Network in its entirety--including the Southwest Chief. Take action today! Passenger are being heard! Rail Passenger Associatio

2018 Advocacy Toolkit

Follow-Up With Your Member of Congress NOW!

These documents were used during RPA's 2018 'Day on The Hill' Office Visits and are available for you to print and distribute! And, as ever, be sure to reference our 2017 Ridership Statistics for your area and trains! 2018 RPA Legislative 'Ask' 2018 Policy Sheet NEC & Gateway Project 2018 Policy Sheet On Time Performance 2018 Policy Sheet Rural Mobility 2018 Policy Sheet State of Good Repa

Amtrak to Congress: Trains Will Run on January 1st

In testimony before Congress today, Amtrak provided its clearest statement yet that train service will continue on Positive Train Control-exempt routes in 2019, contradicting earlier reporting by Trains that the Amtrak Board was requiring PTC on those lines. Amtrak’s statement is good news for passengers that rely on the routes in question, including the Cardinal, California Zephyr, Texas Eagle, Downeaster, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, and City of New Orleans. In testimony before a House Transport

MassDOT Sandbags Passenger Rail

After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion, MassDOT only committed about $1.5 million to the NSRL study

When MassDOT initially agreed in 2017 to complete an updated feasibility study of the proposed North-South Rail Link (NSRL), many rail and transit advocates were skeptical. After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion (SSX), MassDOT was only committing about $1.5 million to the NSRL study (even though the legislature had authorized $2 million). The cynical view was that rather than an honest study, this would be an attempt to paint the project in a poor light, and perhaps

RPA Resolution Regarding Amtrak

On August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted an important policy resolution statement

After lengthy discussion, deliberation and debate, on August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted the following policy resolution: The Rail Passengers Association Board will conditionally support the board and management of the National Passenger Rail Corporation (Amtrak) in its 2019 budget recommendations and appropriations request to Congress providing that it maintains the current interstate rail transportation network of trains and routes.

Call Your Rep: Pass the Transportation Bill, Secure the Network

With August halfway done, it’s important that we continue our work in support of passenger rail and Amtrak’s National Network. Members of the U.S. House are back home for recess, and they need to hear that their constituents support the FY2019 transportation appropriations bill—both for its funding levels and the critical language requiring Amtrak to preserve the Southwest Chief provision. It’s important that you call your Representative and ask them to support the higher FY19 funding l

A Win for the National Network and the Southwest Chief

The Senate passed a funding bill that boosts Amtrak funding and keeps the Southwest Chief running. Please join us in saying “thank you” to the Senators who helped us stand up for America’s national train network!

The Senate voted today to pass a funding bill that includes $2.5 billion for passenger rail and ensures the Southwest Chief continues along its established route, turning back an Amtrak proposal to fragment the service with a bus-bridge. Your Rail Passengers Association--both staff, council and membership--has been hard at work over the past few months to ensure the National Network remains intact. We could not have secured today’s win without the help of key allies in the Senate--please join

Rail Passengers Ride the Minibus

Your RPA Staff Reports from the Senate Floor

If you’re one of the passengers that reached out to their elected official in the past year, it’s clear you’re being heard. The transportation funding bill is currently on the floor, and Senators have filed amendments that directly address the importance of keeping Amtrak’s national footprint intact and on-time performance. So far, 122 amendments have been filed to H.R.6147, the vehicle the Senate is using for the FY 2019 transportation funding bill. Out of the 122 amendments, several d

Add Your Name to the Save the Southwest Chief Petition!

The Rail Passengers Association is working to oppose an Amtrak proposal to substitute bus service along the Southwest Chief route in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.

Citing the high costs of maintenance and implementing Positive Train Control (PTC) safety technology, Amtrak submitted a proposal to substitute chartered bus service on the Southwest Chief between Albuquerque and Dodge City or La Junta. Rail Passengers opposes this proposal, and is working with Congressional delegations in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico to ensure that train service is continued. Please see also our fact-checking response to Amtrak's proposal Our list of other routes pot

Southwest Chief Bustitution: Chairman LeCody's take

Busing passengers will dramatically cut revenue and ridership. This has happened in the past and is not a formula for success.

In an unprecedented rebuff undoing years of work, Amtrak refused to live up to its prior agreement with Colorado, New Mexico,and BNSF Railway to contribute a third of the cost of the Raton Pass section of the Southwest Chief route. The Rail Passengers Association opposes therecently proposed bus bridge and has already begun a three-pronged action plan to ensure that train service continues along the ENTIRE route. 1. Rail Passengers staff is already working with Congressional delegations in Kans