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Amtrak's New Great American Stations Could Help Transform Your Train Station

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Amtrak launched a revamped website for its Great American Stations project, providing communities with new tools, resources, and information to help develop the economic power of America's train stations. The redesign highlights resources to help cities and advocacy groups identify projects and complete them successfully. The website has been reorganized around to investment principals: Restoration Tools — For communities unsure of how to start a station projec

More and more are climbing aboard

Written By Malcolm Kenton Every time I travel Amtrak, I continue to be struck by how crowded the trains are these days. Just this past weekend, I traveled from Washington, DC to Rhinebeck, NY to visit my father and stepmother. I took the 4:02 PM Northeast Regional from DC to New York. On this train, I had been accustomed to grabbing a seat in the middle of the last Amfleet coach on the 8-car train and having the two seats to myself in an uncrowded car. On previous trips, many of my fellow rider

Despite federal inaction, states continue to invest in Amtrak

Written By Colin Leach As we’ve been reporting to you for the past few months, Amtrak’s state-sponsored services are enjoying all time highs in patronage and on-time performance. Americans are flocking to trains such as the St. Louis-Kansas City Missouri River Runner, the Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian due to their convenient schedules and reliable on-time performance. What’s most remarkable about increased patronage is it comes at a time wh

High Culture [Re]Discovers The Passenger Train

Written By Abe Zumwalt All aboard from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the nomadic and bohemian art project, Station to Station. So often in the business of advocacy, we feel compelled to bleed our arguments of enthusiasm—to strip every element that can’t be quantified, lest our seriousness be called into question. Certainly, we may speak about the impressive capacity for economic development around Passenger Rail stations. We can present the mode’s ever growing popularity in its explo

Travel choices in the palm of your hand leads to less driving

Written By Malcolm Kenton I have heard it said that while car keys represented freedom to generations of Americans born in the mid-20th century, the symbol and tool of freedom for the current young generation is the smartphone. This is quite literally true, as a smartphone serves as the key to one’s transportation options. A report released todayby the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) has compiled evidence that the proliferation of mobile apps and vehicle sharing programs has contr

Government shutdown shouldn't hamper train travel

Written By Colin Leach If you’re planning to travel on Amtrak in the next few weeks, you might be wondering whether or not your trains will run on time, if at all. Fortunately, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Unlike most federal agencies, which are expected to send all non-essential personnel home beginning at 12:01 AM tomorrow, Amtrak will remain in normal service. Passengers across the country, whether on the Northeast or California corridors, or travelling on long-distance services, can

Shared Economy : Passenger Trains Have Been Ahead of the Curve

Written By Abe Zumwalt I have at many times in the past referred to the great train stations of this country as “Secular Cathedrals”—temples to the ideals of commerce and civic pride. Train stations and train travel assume a baseline of civility, as a shared experience moving from a public temple to mobility, to a public means of mobility. Even at the height of elite train travel at luxury prices, a time when the Pullman company referred to it’s accommodations as “your own 5 room apar

Robust, interconnected train networks underpin prosperous cities & regions

Written By Malcolm Kenton In the first post of a series for the blog Urbanophile, Robert Munson explores what aspects make train stations true “centerpieces of sustainable transit in major North American cities” and what factors may be keeping some stations from reaching their full potential in this regard. This speaks to one of NARP’s three core tenets for how our transportation system must evolve to meet the 21st century’s needs: connectivity. Intercity passenger rail and local transi

A Train Producer Sets the Stage for a Masterpiece

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Photo: Bryan Derballa, Wired Wired has been doing some outstanding coverage of artist Doug Aitken’s Station to Station series, a charter train that uses rail travel to connect a series of art exhibits, musical performances, food displays, literary events, and film showings. NARP’s already reported on the trip, but when we saw Wired had profiled longtime NARP member and all-around-good-guy Adam Auxier, who is working as Station to Station’s “train produce

Flashback Friday: The more things change…

Written By Malcolm Kenton Welcome to a periodic NARP Blog feature where we take a look back at the archives of our members-only newsletter, NARP News, which has been published eleven times a year since 1968. If you join NARP, you will receive NARP News either by email or postal mail. Today’s installment reviews a few stories from the 1990s that show that we were fighting the same battles nearly 20 years ago as we are now. June 1995 NARP presented our Golden Spike Award to John Robert Smith,