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

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

Washington Post Says Amtrak Should Solve On Time Performance Issues by Cutting Service; NARP Responds

Written By Abe Zumwalt. A map made by Christopher Ingraham to illustrate Amtrak's poor on time performance With 2013 came the highest intercity passenger train ridership in the United States since the creation of Amtrak, despite the system being beset by incredible delays. On the Washington Post Blog yesterday, Christopher Ingraham put forth a solution for Amtrak’s on time performance: simply cancel the trains that don’t run on time. Employing this logic, we should therefore tear up str

From the RIARP Blog: May Amtrak Report

Today we are featuring a blog post from the Rhode Island Association of Railroad Passengers. This post was originally published July 10, 2014 on the RIARP blog. Steve Musen, NARP Council Member, reviews Amtrak's reports each month, and more of his posts can be found on the RIARP blog. (This piece reflects the opinions of the writer and not necessarily of NARP or RIARP.) Steve Musen, NARP Council Member, wrote: May Amtrak Report These are the things I found interesting in this month's report

Investment: the logic behind Amtrak’s Acela RFP

By William Dunn and Abe Zumwalt Amtrak recently issued an RFP for new Acela train sets, expanding capacity for the service. Those of us with a national perspective might find it easy to criticize the move given the average age of equipment system-wide has climbed to more than 28 years, while the Acelas are only a little more than half that age. However, the move can be justified when considering the amount of revenue at stake. FY2014 is on course to be the best year to date for the Acela. As

Europe Is Committed to Developing its Railways Even Further

This blog post was written by NARP intern Karl Haljasmets, who is European (Estonian) himself. Eurail railway map Quick facts about trains in Europe: · Rail carries about 10% of all freight traffic across Europe, with estimated revenue of €13 billion (about $17,7 billion). · 6% of Europe's passenger journeys are by rail annually. That's 8 billion people who are not adding to city traffic jams or heavily congested roads. · The Rotterdam Genoa freight corridor runs approximately 130,00

With First Phase Under its Belt, DC Eyes Future Streetcar Expansion

Written By Maxime Devilliers NARP policy intern Max Devilliers, a longtime resident of the Washington, DC-metropolitan area, attended an open house meeting on Washington's future North-South streetcar line on June 12. Streetcars were once the lifeblood of the Nation’s Capital, much like many other U.S. cities. The last streetcar ride in D.C. on January 28, 1962 marked the end of an era. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) implemented a plan several years ago to bring streetca

Shovels in the Ground for California's High Speed Rail Line

Written By Sean Jeans Gail After six years of hard work by advocates and state leaders, crews have begun construction work on California’s high speed rail line. Contractors are currently building a test piling near Madera, which will be anchored 80 feet below ground and secured with cement. This structure will not actually be part of the line; rather, the piling will be stressed until it breaks, providing necessary load-bearing data for engineers to safely design the viaduct system to supp

NARP Welcomes New Intern Karl Haljasmets

Written By Karl Haljasmets NARP is pleased to welcome Karl Haljasmets as a new summer intern. Karl is a public policy graduate student from Estonia and a Louis and Aldona Wos Scholar with the Fund for American Studies program. Hello! My name is Karl Haljasmets and with great joy I will have the opportunity to intern with NARP from June to August this summer. I am from Estonia and received my bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tartu last summer. In September I sta

Train Wars: The Passengers Strike Back

Written By Sean Jeans Gail As you probably read in NARP's blog post yesterday, the House attached several anti-passenger train amendments onto the House transportation funding bill at the last second. NARP needs your help to let the House know America’s passengers are paying attention. We’re also asking you to help us turn back these awful amendments in the Senate. The amendments in question would cut the lowest-performing long distance route—the Sunset Limited—and eliminate food an

House Lands Sneak Attack on Amtrak

Written By Sean Jeans Gail In a flurry of after-hours activity, the U.S. House of Representatives tacked on several anti-Amtrak amendments to the House Transportation Appropriations bill yesterday. As we reported on Monday, Rep. Paul Broun's (R-GA) two attempts to eliminate funding were rebuffed in a bipartisan fashion. Last night, an extreme amendment offered by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) to kill six long distance routes was also shot down. However, late in the evening, three anti-rail amen