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

Senate amendment would eliminate Amtrak food and beverage

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Graphic courtesy of Transportation For AmericaThe Senate is debating a transportation funding bill that would include $1.45 billion for Amtrak and $100 million for high performance rail. The bill also has $550 million for TIGER grants, a program that has effectively funded passenger and freight rail improvements, and $1.94 billion for New Starts, which has been critical in the development of regional rail transit. With the House pushing an alternative proposal that wi

Building for the Future: The Impact of the HSIPR Program

Written By Colin Leach The U.S. Senate is currently considering a transportation funding bill that would provide $1.45 billion for Amtrak and $100 million for the higher speed rail. The Senate proposal stands in stark contrast to the House version, which slashes Amtrak’s budget to $1.05 billion and zeroes out the higher speed rail program. As Congress debates the merit of investment in higher speed rail, it’s worth taking a look at the program’s history and successes. Created as part of

NARP Life Member Talks Trains with Iowa Cyclists

Written By Malcolm Kenton NARP Life Member and former Board member Lance Erickson has been a member since the year NARP was founded, 1967, and has generously supported the Association and spread the word about our cause in various venues since then. On Tuesday, cyclists participating in the RAGBRAI, the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, rode through Perry, Iowa, a small town 30 miles northwest of Des Moines. The paved Raccoon River Valley Trail, which follows an aba

NARP and Amtrak Interns Learn From Each Other

Written By Logan McLeod Colin Leach, Lessie Henderson and myself, NARP’s team of 2013 summer interns, presented on behalf of NARP to Amtrak’s Government Affairs and Corporate Communications staff at a luncheon yesterday. We also had a chance to share experiences with Amtrak’s two summer Government Affairs interns. The NARP interns combined our talents along with our knowledge and understanding of the Association’s mission to create a clear and concise message that said what NARP is, wh

The Journey of the Tide

Written By Lessie Henderson This article was written by guest voice Lessie Henderson, an intern at NARP, and an advocate for passenger trains and transit in Virginia. A referendum passed last November in Virginia Beach supporting the city’s plans to investigate expanding the Tide, a 7.4 mile light rail system to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The city received one private proposal that would extend the Tide five miles from Newtown Road to Rosemont Road via Town Center for $235 million doll

Lay the tracks, and they will come

Written By Colin Leach Photo by Kirsten Jennings on Flickr.comA curious specter has haunted America for the past decade: the specter of old public transportation made new again. Reversing a decades-long trend of flocking to their cars, Americans are using public transportation more frequently than they ever have. Appropriately, much of this new demand stems from increased rail transportation options across the country. But rather than presenting a litany of statistics and figures, we can point

Keeping Them Honest: NARP Answers Mica’s Claims

Written By Colin Leach Florida Congressman John Mica has a well-established reputation as a vociferous critic of Amtrak, taking the railroad to task for what he frequently claims are “Soviet-style operations”. Yet rather than basing his critiques on a sober analysis of Amtrak’s management choices within their operating environment, Mica embraces rhetoric that neither accurately describes Amtrak’s present operations nor understands some of the most basic aspects of the passenger rail ind

Endangered TIGER: The House threatens a map to success

By NARP interns Less Henderson, Colin Leach, and Logan McLeod The House Appropriations Committee voted 27-21 on June 27th to discontinue the TIGER program for FY 2014, as well as slash current awarded grants for FY 2013. The vote, which rejected an amendment offered by Rep. David Price (D-NC) to restore TIGER funding to 2013 levels, affirms the committee’s earlier decision to cancel future grants and starve existing projects of funds. In justifying the cuts, Appropriations Committee Chairman

U.S. House endangers Amtrak; Senate pushes for adequate rail funding

Written By Sean Jeans Gail House refuses to back down from anti-Amtrak proposal The House and Senate Appropriations Committees went very different ways this week. The House approved $950 million for Amtrak (plus a whopping $25.3 million for Amtrak’s Inspector General) and nothing for state passenger train capital grants or TIGER grants. As we have reported, the House levels put the system at risk of collapse in the event of any major disruption. Amtrak President Joseph Boardman said this f

OneRail Coalition Applauds Confirmation of Anthony Foxx as Secretary of Transportation

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The following statement was issued today by the OneRail coalition, of which NARP is a member: The OneRail Coalition congratulates Anthony Foxx on his confirmation by the United States Senate as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In his time as Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Secretary Foxx proved to be an effective public servant and a dynamic leader. Through his advancement of the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility, the Southeast High