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

Forget the sleigh; Santa opts to use Amtrak in upstate New York this year

By Logan McLeod This past weekend, it wasn’t sleigh bells the children in upstate New York were listening for. Oh no, this year Santa was arriving with the sound of whistles blowing. Sure, what you saw approaching in the distance was red, but it sure wasn’t Rudolph’s nose you were looking at. It was a Canadian Pacific GP-38-2 #7307 locomotive hauling an Amtrak Train with three baggage cars packed with over 1,000 bundles of collected toys, hats, food items, and assorted clothing for the

Senate Hearing Says Passenger Trains Have the Power to Strengthen U.S. Economy

To read NARP’s policy recommendations for achieving a better national rail network, you can read the witness testimony we submitted this week to the Senate. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation held a hearing on the future of passenger rail, underscoring the growing urgency of investment needs and the potential for trains to act as a catalyst for growth for the U.S. economy. Titled “Passenger Rail: Investing in our

"If Millennials vote, then transit wins"

The midterm election saw several important transit ballot initiatives fail, and some commentators have pointed to low turnout by Millennials as the culprit. The argument is simple enough to understand: Young people are demanding more trains and transit, and their travel habits are changing how transportation officials are planning for the future; therefore Young people have the most to lose when, as a cohort, only 23% of them show up for midterm elections containing investment decisions which

Trainsforming America: A Documentary Moving Minds in the Right Direction

Rebecca Sansom, Director of Trainsforming America, with Debra Gerod and Matthew Parrent of Gruen at the New Urbanism Film Festival in LA. Gerod gave the film two thumbs up! By Logan McLeod Rebecca Sansom, NARP member and grassroots advocate for passenger rail, has crafted an insightful and motivating documentary that speaks to the benefits of having an efficient intermodal transportation system that includes high-speed rail. Trainsforming America takes you on a journey through Europe and de

Riding the Iron Longhorn: An Overview of the Texas Central Railway Project

By G.E. Vann When one visualizes Texas, several images come to mind: things like cowboys, cattle, barbeque, oil fields, big cities, small towns, open plains and Friday Night lights. A high-speed train blasting through the open Texas countryside may not be part of your vision -- but that might change soon. Two years ago, a private company, Texas Central Railway, announced that it was planning on building a high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston by 2021. The company would run trains on the l

A New Station for Atlanta

by G.E. Vann Following the demolition of Pennsylvania Station in New York City, Vincent Scully commented that passengers used to enter New York like gods, but now they scurry in like rats. New Yorkers might consider themselves luckier than citizens of Atlanta: at least they can scurry into their city. The residents of Atlanta do not have that option. When their two stations, Atlanta Union Station and Atlanta Terminal Station, were demolished in the 1970s, nothing was put in their place. Now w

Elections create new landscape for passenger trains

The election results are in, and it’s official: the Senate now belongs to the Republicans, granting the GOP full control of Congress. So what does this mean for trains? Make no mistake: there are still individual Republican voices calling for deep cuts to Amtrak. Some of these voices, such as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), are as powerful as they are dangerous. And while there are many individual Republican members of Congress who support a strong Amtrak, the party’s focus on achi

The New Tunnel to Gotham: A Closer Examination of the Ticking Time Bomb Beneath the Hudson River

by G.E. Vann For the past hundred years, the two North River and four East River tunnels have been a vital piece in our nation’s rail infrastructure. Completed in 1910, the tunnels, which are roughly 12,000 to 13,500 feet long, transport tens of thousands of people per day to and from North Bergen, New Jersey to Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and onwards to Queens. Commuters from throughout New Jersey and Long Island use them, as well as Amtrak passengers from New York traveling througho

Your Stories: Passengers Speak Out Against Delays Afflicting the National Network

By now, nearly everyone has heard about the delays plaguing Amtrak’s trains as they move people across the U.S. Things have gotten so bad that the on-time performance of Amtrak’s long distance services is down 21% when compared to the same period last year. Some trains are even worse, with the Capitol Limited (Washington-Chicago) arriving on time only 3.2% of the time in August! But sometimes it’s hard to put a human cost to those numbers. That’s why NARP has launched a campaign to te

The Trans-Siberian Railway and BAM: Not as Alien as One Might Think

Written By Karl Haljasmets In a truly all-encompassing dialogue on train travel, one way or another the conversation is sure to pass by the Trans-Siberian Railway. This is because it is, with its 5,772-mile span, the longest railroad in the world, spanning over seven time zones. It is also considered one of the most beautiful train routes in the world, going places where most people have never set foot. It is, in essence, a legend, shaking stories out of every joint in the track—like the ti