News & Commentary

BREAKING: Senate Hearing Reveals Key Amtrak Details

Senate Commerce hearing on next steps for Amtrak produced several noteworthy and significant moments

Today's Senate Commerce hearing on next steps for Amtrak produced several noteworthy and significant moments, which will no doubt play a big part in shaping intercity rail programs and Amtrak in the upcoming rail reauthorization. While the hearing is well worth watching in its entirety, we’ve highlighted some of the key moments.

President Trump Threatens Veto Over Passenger Rail Funding

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The White House issued a veto threat against the fiscal 2020 funding bill, saying President Trump was "disappointed" at Congress for boosting investment in Amtrak instead of eliminating the National Network, as outlined in the President's budget request.

Off The Rails

How much more can commuters in Boston take?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator MBTA Derailments: Two in the last week. Four in the last four months. Five (so far) in 2019. 43 in total over the last five years. Thanks to the Red Line fiasco this week, it’s been reported that the MBTA stands behind only behind the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has the worst safety record in the country. We are already #1 in the country for worst traffic, maybe this is another top ranking we should NOT be striving for… SInce activism

Gulf Coast Rail Restoration Receives $33 Million Federal Grant

Funds for major infrastructure & capacity improvements to restore passenger rail service

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded $33 million to fund major infrastructure and capacity improvements to restore passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast, a huge step forward in the long battle to restore this missing link to the national passenger rail network. 

House Appropriators: It's National Or Nothing

Lawmakers Monday Offer Strong Language Backing Long-Distance Trains, Station Agents, Private Cars

by Jim Mathews / On Monday House Appropriators released report language ahead of tomorrow's markup of the Fiscal 2020 T-HUD money bill faulting Amtrak for ignoring congressional intent on customer-facing issues like station agents and long-distance trains, and strongly supported a truly national long-distance network serving stations staffed with station agents and improving transportation options for rural areas. Lawmakers also criticized DOT and FRA for foot-dragging on grants and adding conditions contrary to congressional direction.

RailNation:California - Call for Speakers

RailNation:California is your opportunity to present directly to activist passengers and commuters who rely on rail and fight for sustainable rail transportation in the U.S.

Find out about presenting to the RailNation:California meeting

Passengers Win...Again

Supreme Court Declines To Hear AAR's Appeal Of Passengers' DC Circuit Victory

by Jim Mathews / The Supreme Court today decided to turn down the Association of American Railroads' bid to appeal passengers' victory last summer in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, removing the final hurdle to Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration once again setting metrics and standards to ensure that passengers have the right to be on time.

Gateways

Taking in some much needed transit-oriented development in Lowell, MA

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “Papier-mache canals flowed in downtown Lowell, men smoking cigars stand by the rail spitting in the waters that reflect the drizzle hopelessness of 1926.” ― Jack Kerouac, Visions of Gerard Come on, Jack. It’s not THAT bad. I will fully admit that in the 10 years that I have lived in Cambridge, I have had little reason to spend time in Lowell. That is not a shot at the city - it’s just that there hasn’t been much of a pressing need for m

No, Amtrak Does Not Have To Make A Profit

It's Time To Focus On Value

by Jim Mathews / Let's retire the pernicious myth that Amtrak is legally required to turn a profit. It's not, and hasn't been since 1978. Instead, let's look at the value Amtrak returns to the communities it serves, which represents a return many times over what we spend to have the train.

House Gives Passenger Rail a Boost in FY2020 Budget

Rail Passengers is providing tools for passengers to support this bill—and improve it. Please join us in taking action!

Rail Passengers is providing tools for passengers to support this bill—and improve it. Please join us in taking action!