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

Hoosier State must be saved before service can be improved

Written By Malcolm Kenton Dave Bangert’s column in this morning’s Lafayette (Indiana) Journal-Courier, while sympathetic to the cause of improving service on the Chicago-Indianapolis corridor, misses the point about why passenger advocates are fighting to preserve the existing Hoosier State service. It’s not sepia-toned nostalgia that motivates the Save the Hoosier State movement; it’s the simple fact that if the Hoosier State disappears, it becomes ten times more difficult to get bette

Local backing for Hoosier State on display at Lafayette summit

Written By Phillip Streby NARP Council Representative Phil Streby filed the following report from the Passenger Rail Summit that took place in downtown Lafayette, Indiana, on Wednesday (Aug. 21). We present it to you as part of our ongoing campaign to convince the Indiana Department of Transportation to commit to paying its share of the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State's operating costs in fiscal 2014 and beyond, as the first step towards bringing faster and more convenient train service, and

Experience-seeking millennials question car dependence, turn to trains

Written By Colin Leach Detroit’s automakers have long counted on new generations purchasing their wares as readily as their parents. And with good reason: car culture has been an integral part of Americans’ lives for so long. For so many, coming of age included getting a driver’s license and the first in a succession of many personal cars. Owning a car was understood to be as American as apple pie. Photo by Colin Brace on for the millennial generation, car ownership is not

Meet the Summer Interns: Colin

Written By Colin Leach NARP has been pleased to host University of Maryland, Baltimore County graduate student Colin Leach as our summer intern. If you come to this site regularly, then you’ve probably already read some of his excellent work. But we wanted to take a moment to introduce him to you directly so you can understand the ideas and passions that motivate his work. Colin Leach presents to Amtrak Government Affairs. Photo by Ross Capon.Working with NARP this summer has been a natural

Final Stops and New Beginnings: Pittsburgh to Washington, DC

Written By Malcolm Kenton The Millennial Trains Project (MTP) private cars arrived early Friday morning (August 16) in the Steel City of Pittsburgh behind Amtrak’s eastbound Capitol Limited, and a Norfolk Southern diesel switched them onto track 2 (one of the two stub-end tracks at the former Pennsylvania Railroad station), in front of two other private cars which appeared to be unoccupied. Shortly after arrival, we headed out to explore a city that has done a lot to reinvent itself after the

Reframing the Debate in Chicago

Written By Malcolm Kenton Millennial Trains Project participants had a relaxed Wednesday morning riding into Chicago aboard the California Zephyr, watching the sun-dappled farm fields and small towns of Iowa and Illinois whisk by and give way to suburbs, and finally the skyscrapers, factories and massive freight rail yards of the Windy City, the nation's railroad hub. We took in iconic views of the Midwestern countryside from the Silver Lariat's dome and enjoyed the fresh breezes through the op

Soviet-style railroad or modern mobility machine? (Hint: check the ridership)

Written By Colin Leach Amtrak rarely catches a break these days in Congress. Hostile legislators attacked the railroad on multiple fronts, offering amendments to both House and Senate transportation bills to cripple the railroad’s operations. These attacks, ranging from Senator Jeff Flake’s amendment to prevent federal funds from being used to cover the costs of long-distance food service, to Rep. Paul Broun’s amendment that would have defunded Amtrak’s operation grant entirely, rest

NARP Welcomes New Team Member Aboard

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Earlier this month, NARP was pleased to grant one of our summer interns, Logan McLeod, a full time position with the Association. As Director of Development, Logan will integral role in strategic planning and the development of the membership fundraising, expanding NARP’s ability to more effectively represent passenger train users and bring about new passenger train routes and frequencies, and modernize existing services. We’re pleased to have him aboard, and look

Omaha: The Effects of Imbalanced Investment

Written By Malcolm Kenton Omaha, Nebraska is the only city that the inaugural Millennial Trains Project journey stops in that I had not previously visited (I had ridden the train through, but had not gotten off). I hadn't thought there was much to Omaha other than the headquarters of the Union Pacific Railroad (one of the nation's big four freight railroads and the oldest federal government-chartered corporation in the US) and several insurance companies. But there is a considerable amount of c

NARP Helps Hoosiers Fight for the Hoosier State

Written By Colin Leach Amtrak's Hoosier State. Photo credit: Wikipedia.Under the terms of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, Indiana has until October 1st to sign a contract covering its share of the costs of operating the Hoosier State. Indiana has the unfortunate distinction of being the only state to have not committed to reaching a service agreement with Amtrak. Should the state fail to reach an agreement with Amtrak before then, the train will be discontinued. As a