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

National Train Day Celebrated Across the Country

Written By Jenna Jablonski National Train Day on Saturday brought out the train-hugger in everyone: from diehard fans to those stepping on a train for the first time. Event participants enjoyed every kind of train-related activity, from boarding excursion trains and equipment displays to meeting their favorite talking train, Chuggington. Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, and especially to the volunteers, the seventh annual National Train Day was a huge success. Amtrak announced tha

In Memoriam: James Oberstar, Legendary Passenger Rail Advocate

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Then-Congressman James Oberstar at the NARP Capitol Hill Reception in 2008. James Oberstar, former U.S. congressman from Minnesota and a legendary figure in passenger train advocacy, passed away earlier this week. He died May 3 at the age of 79. NARP honored Oberstar with our Golden Spike Award in 2005, for his staunch defense of Amtrak and the national network. He understood the value of a well-balanced transportation system with strong rail and transit connecti

Living on Borrowed Time

Written By Colin Leach The North River Tunnels ( Since their opening in 1910, Amtrak’s Hudson River Tunnels have played a critical role in the Northeast’s transportation network. The tunnels, which connect New York City to the rest of the Northeast Corridor, carry thousands of passengers travelling on Amtrak trains each and every day. Additionally, the tunnels also host passengers travelling on both New Jersey Transit and Long Island Railroad, further demonstrating the t

NARP Needs Your Help to Voice Opposition to Cuts to Amtrak

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill today that further tightens the budgetary screws on the national passenger rail network, precluding any chance to improve service and grow the system. In the subcommittee draft, rail is funded at $1.4 billion, representing a reduction of $193 million below what was enacted last year. That number includes $340 million for Amtrak operations (the

All Transportation is Local

Written By Colin Leach Loyola Avenue Streetcar (Photo by New Orleans City Business) Washington’s current dysfunction has left many transit advocates disheartened about prospects for funding today’s needs and doubtful of any long-term commitment. Budget battles present stark contrasts between grand visions of massively increased federal investment and a huge scaling back of the same, leaving little room for the real action required to address the nation’s transportation needs. What, the

Top Train Facts for Earth Day 2014

Written By Jenna Jablonski Often what's good for people is good for the planet, too. That’s why we’re celebrating trains today. Trains are a travel choice that’s all around responsible. They ensure mobility for America’s growing population while minimizing harmful impact on America’s beautiful and vital natural resources. Here are the top reasons why trains are worth celebrating on Earth Day: 1. Trains are 17% more efficient than planes and 34% more efficient than cars. They’re

What Do Young People Seek in a Place to Live... and Stay?

Written By Jenna Jablonski The boardwalk at Long Beach, NY. (Photo by Long Island Press) We’ve long known that young people are choosing to live in cities in increasing numbers. Recent research shows that beyond just moving to urban areas, they’re staying put, and “settling down” is no longer synonymous with “suburbs.” The reasons for this trend are up for debate. Some say relatively poor job prospects have young adults pushing off families and home ownership. Others call the al

Parochial Politics Shouldn't Stop Statewide Progess

Written By Colin Leach One of the more exciting ventures in American passenger rail today is All Aboard Florida’s proposal to offer passenger rail service between Orlando and Miami. The service, which will complement Amtrak’s existing long-distance trains in the same corridor, will offer Floridians an excellent alternative to Interstate 95 and promises to jumpstart economic growth in Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. However, like many other proposed passenger rail ser

How Valuable is the Northeast Corridor to Our Economy?

Written By Sean Jeans Gail When looking at infrastructure investment—especially for megaprojects that cross multiple jurisdictions—it’s important to look at the case business case for investment. How much will this project cost to complete? What are the alternatives? What is the cost of not improving this infrastructure? This type of business case is imperative for the Northeast Corridor (NEC), which needs to find $52 billion in capital investment over the next 20 years just to maintai

High Speed Rail in the Lone Star State's Future

Written By Colin Leach If Texas Central Railway succeeds in building its high speed line, you can expect to see American copies of the Japanese N700 speeding between Dallas/Fort Wortth and Houston. Licensed through Wikimedia Foundation. When Americans think of high speed rail, we’ve typically thought of Amtrak’s Acela Express on the Northeast Corridor. More recently, we’ve also thought about California’s ongoing construction of a 220 mph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, wh