News & Commentary

ACTION ALERT: Passengers Seize the Momentum in the Senate

Senate Appropriators Increase Rail Funding: Thank your Senators ahead of Thursday's full committee markup! The Senate Appropriations THUD Committee released its transportation budget this morning and thanks to YOUR calls we saw a positive change in funding for rail and transit: $1.7 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, $76 million above the FY2016 enacted level; $525 million for TIGER grants, $25 million above the FY2016 enacted level; and $2.3 billion for Capital Investment Gran

Don't Let Amtrak Get Stuck in the Slow Lane!

As part of NARP’s ongoing efforts to improve unreliable On-Time Performance, NARP issued formal comments warning that a recent Surface Transportation Board (STB) policy statement threatens to leave passengers stuck in freight traffic. “The law was originally written so that host railroads – rescued by taxpayers in 1970 when Amtrak was created to relieve the host railroads of having to run passenger trains – had to give passenger trains preference unless they could win an exemption by pr

8 Ways to Create New Year Resolutions That Will Help NARP in 2016

Thanks to NARP members, 2015 was a very successful year for rail supporters. A new transportation bill, which included rail-specific provisions, was finally passed after a long draught. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a case to establish metrics and standards for Amtrak, NARP unveiled its “A Connected America” vision to create a nationwide multimodal transportation system, worked with members on rail issues at the grassroots level and expanded its Millennials Campaign. Now that 2016 is her

Join Rising Appalachia on New Year’s Eve at the Jefferson Theatre in Charlottesville, Virginia

Back in the spring, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) partnered with the Asheville, N.C.-based band Rising Appalachia to rally young Americans in support of a 21st Century passenger rail system. The band, working with NARP and Amtrak, did its 'Wider Circles' tour by rail, the first in an effort to explore alternative methods of transportation for touring as a part of their Slow Music Movement initiative. The band used its tour as a platform to inform concert attendees on h

2016 Budget: Congress' Parting Gift for Passengers is Part Naughty, Part Nice

Congress yesterday revealed a $1.1 trillion omnibus budget bill to keep the government funded in 2016, including $57.6 billion in transportation funding. The final document clocks in at just over 2,000 pages, which—given the wide-ranging focus of the budget bill—has industries and advocacy groups all across the country scrambling to see what the bill means for them. NARP has reviewed the omnibus bill, and our initial takeaway is that the bill is decidedly a mixed bag for America’s rail

Why it makes no sense to pit the Northeast Corridor against the National Network (hint: it's the economy, stupid)

Like the man once famously said, "There you go again." Newspapers and media outlets up and down the Northeast Corridor are once again buying into the mythology that Amtrak's NEC operation is profitable, and thus the railroad could be a going concern if it were just freed from its yoke of long-distance service. It's a tidy, compelling narrative. Trouble is, it's just wrong. Editorial boards in Washington, New York and Boston don't seem to be clamoring for Metro, MTA or the MBTA to be prof

The New Rail Bill: You Asked the Questions, NARP Has the Answers

Readers have responded to NARP’s posts on the recently introduced FAST Act—which is already halfway to becoming a law—with a lot of really good questions. We wanted to make sure we took the time to give you the answers. On the Amtrak NEC authorization: how much of the critical repairs (catenary, tunnels and bridges) is this amount be likely to cover? This question is best answered in two parts: 1.) More has been authorized for Amtrak than in previous years, and that is a positive trend

Ridin’ the Rails -- in Japan

My family and I just returned from a wonderful 10-day trip to Tokyo. I was excited about this trip for many reasons, but one of the biggest was the chance to try out the city’s extensive rail transit network. The Narita Express train, left; the luggage rack on the Express train, right. My first chance to ride the rails was getting from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo. We bought round trip tickets on the Narita Express ( N’Ex), operated by JR East. There was plenty of space for luggage (

Section By Section Analysis of FAST Act

The FAST Act is a 1,300 page bill—not exactly light reading, even if you’re the type who enjoys dense, legal text. But don’t worry! NARP went through the passenger rail title to analyze all the promising provisions, the worrisome proposals, and everything in between. From Gulf Coast restoration to pets on trains, we've got you covered! NATIONAL NETWORK — What the bill says: Provides $5.454 billion over five years Within 180 days of enactment, create at least two distinct accounts for

Passenger rail included in first ever COMPREHENSIVE surface transportation bill!

House and Senate conferees released the final transportation bill this afternoon, the product of weeks of negotiations. In a historic win for passenger train advocates, passenger rail was included as part of a comprehensive transportation bill for the first time ever—something NARP members have been working towards for years! The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is a five-year bill that would invest $305 billion in U.S. infrastructure. While the vast majority of it will go