News & Commentary

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

RPA welcomes summer intern Levente Szabados

Newcomer from Hungary

Hi! My name is Levente Szabados and this summer I am going to be an intern at National Association of Rail Passengers. I was born and grew up in Budapest, Hungary and I recently received a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management at Corvinus University of Budapest. During my studies, I took part in extracurricular activities in student associations and Students` Union. Currently I am a visiting student at George Mason University`s Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems

Rail Passengers Final STB Comments Regarding Texas Central

Earlier this month, Texas Central asked the Surface Transportation Board to re-open the railroad's petition that would clear the way for the STB to assume jurisdiction over the Texas high-speed rail project, and RPA filed a letter (available here) supporting that request. STB said in 2016 that it wasn't clear that the Texas project would have much of an effect on national interstate travel, so the Board felt it didn't have jurisdiction. But the Board said at the time that if TCR were to stroke

Congress Presses Amtrak, Amtrak Leadership Gives Right Answers

Senators get answers about Amtrak’s plans for long-distance trains, and increased funding from the House’s proposed budget.

Congress Presses Amtrak on National Network, and Amtrak Leadership Gives the Right Answers Update as of 5-17-2018 Senators sounded awfully like members of the Rail Passengers Association in hearings last Wednesday on rail safety and to confirm the Trump Administration’s most recent appointee to the Amtrak Board, resulting in some illuminating answers on Amtrak’s plans for the National Network among some other key issues. From what was said on record to congress yesterday, we know now that

Amtrak Communities Petition

It is absolutely necessary that Amtrak-served Communities organize to demand that Amtrak reaffirm its commitment to providing long-term, sustainable train service to its entire network.


Former Amtrak President Questions Current Execs' Motives

Former Amtrak President Joe Boardman has issued a blistering open letter in response to recent moves by current Amtrak management, saying they endanger the sustainability of the national network. The letter came in response to a letter Amtrak sent to elected officials (copied below) applying strict, additional requirements to its match for the Southwest Chief TIGER grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to Colfax County, New Mexico. “I’ve seen enough. I’ve heard enough,

RPA Letter in Response to Amtrak's SW Chief Announcement

The Honorable Jeff Denham U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads --- The Honorable Michael Capuano House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads The Honorable Deborah Fischer U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure --- The Honorable Gary Peters U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastr