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

Chinese Travelers Flock to the Rails

Written By Henry Scherck Photo from With new equipment and hundreds of miles of dedicated right of way, Chinese high-speed rail has begun to cut into airline profits. Earlier this year, China’s Xinzheng International Airport became the site of a massive riot. Angry airline customers swarmed the airport, removing machines and strewing them about the concourse. Police struggled to keep the crowd in check as customers scrambled over ticket counters and entered staff offices. The

Protect America's Passengers From Amtrak-Killing Cuts

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Representative Paul Ryan’s plan to eliminate all funding for Amtrak operations earlier this week (part of a larger budget proposal) is, sadly, part of an all too predictable trend: a leading House Republican argues to eliminate funding to Amtrak because it doesn’t make money—all while failing to apply that same standard to roads and highways. It’s certain that by starving Amtrak of funds, the Wisconsin Congressman’s plan would kill the railroad, denying a

“There Are Three Kinds of Lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics"

Written By Jim Loomis Originally published on Travel and Trains and Other Things by Jim Loomis The people who fuss and fume because passenger rail in the U.S. is subsidized will acknowledge (if pressed) that all public transportation is subsidized. And they will also concede, albeit grudgingly, that the roughly $1.5 billion that Amtrak gets every year from the federal government is a tiny fraction of one percent of the annual budget. But oh how they love to point out that the subsidy Amtrak g

NARP Welcomes New Policy Intern Henry Scherck

Written By Sean Jeans Gail NARP is pleased to welcome Union College student Henry Scherck onboard as a policy intern. Henry is a lifelong passenger train advocate, and will be helping us carry out our mission to build a modern U.S. passenger train network this spring and summer. Hello! My name is Henry Scherck and I am going to be a policy intern here at NARP this spring! I have long been interested in passenger rail, and I am really excited to be working here at NARP. I come from Slingerlan

Monorail? More like Mono-d'oh!

Written By Colin Leach Coming soon to Nashville? "The Simpsons" promotional card licensed via Wikimedia Foundation. Fans of the long-running FOX series The Simpsons might remember a 1993 episode where the citizens of Springfield, swayed by a clever salesman’s presentation, invest the town’s treasury in a monorail service with hilariously disastrous results. While we at NARP don’t pretend that a cartoon can possibly encapsulate the nuances of transportation policy debates, recent events

You can help build passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson

Written By Colin Leach Map of proposed alternatives for Phoenix-Tucson route. Courtesy of Arizona Department of Transportation Phoenix, Arizona is one of the urban centers of what demographers and public policy scholars term the “Sun Belt”. This vast region, stretching from Miami to Los Angeles, has seen tremendous economic growth in the past decades. This growth can be credited to a combination of new high tech industries looking to take advantage of lower labor costs as well as retiree

Illinois Needs Your Input on Next Phase of Chicago - St. Louis Rail Corridor

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for public input on the next phase of the Chicago – St. Louis rail corridor, and the Midwest High Speed Rail Association is organizing local train advocates to ensure that the potential for truly world class high speed operations is protected: IDOT is currently reconstructing the tracks between Joliet and Granite City to increase cruising speeds from 80 to 110 mph. That work is already paying dividends with mu

West Virginia Passengers Need Your Help

Written By Colin Leach The Maryland MARC Train's Brunswick Line. Map from the Maryland Transit Administration. For several decades, the Brunswick Line of Maryland’s MARC commuter rail service has served the West Virginia towns of Harpers Ferry, Duffields, and Martinsburg. Hundreds of commuters use this line every day to commute to and from their jobs in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. Like many other commuter rail services, the Brunswick Line has enjoyed increased ridership in recent years.

Passenger Rail Is the Foundation for the Largest Private Development Project in U.S. History

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Click image to enlarge. The foundation for the Hudson Yards, the largest private development project in U.S. history, is starting to take shape. In a fascinating inside look, the website Gizmodo looks at why the foundation of this megaproject may actually be its most interesting part: West Side Yard, a sunken rail yard wedged above the High Line and two blocks away from Penn Station, is a critical nerve center in NYC's transit system: A 26-acre depot that serves o

When we build trains, we build jobs

Written By Colin Leach As our readers will know, we’ve addressed how passenger rail is the key to creating the sort of new economy that America needs in the years to come. By building commuter rail systems connecting urban cores with their suburbs, we create the potential for new, transit-oriented development sites that integrate transit into new residential and commercial developments. And by offering a convenient, fast, and affordable way to travel between urban and rural communities, pas