NARP Council Member goes above and beyond for Cardinal passengers

Written By Sean Jeans Gail

In Saturday’s edition of the West Virginia Gazette-Mail, reporter Phil Kabler covered some of the fallout from the previous week’s massive derecho storm. Kabler ends up unearthing the following story about one of NARP’s own:

Among the untold acts of kindness after the storm, Chuck Riecks, state representative for the National Association of Railroad Passengers, sent along word about the 232 Amtrak Cardinalpassengers who were stuck at the station in Prince for 20 hours after downed trees blocked the tracks.

An Amtrak road foreman was dispatched to the Beckley Food Lion to buy food for the passengers (since the dining car's provisions at that point were down to snacks and breakfast for June 30); however, store management insisted on donating an entire truckload of food.

One of the ironies, Riecks noted, is that the Cardinal passengers were the only people for miles around to have electricity, air conditioning and running water. That, he said, probably contributed to the high morale among passengers and crew during the ordeal. "My experience in the service tells me, keep 'em fed, keep 'em cool and watered, and it is amazing what the troops can do," he commented.

Council Members like Chuck Riecks are what make NARP the leading voice in passenger rail in the U.S. This association is composed of over 22,000 men and women who understand what it’s like out there on the rails; why trains are so important to Americans; and what it will take to build a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want.