News & Commentary
Snow rarely stops trains, but funding problems always do.
February 4, 2019
By Abe Zumwalt Airport’s Closed and the highway’s packed, But Amtrak’s running, and that’s a fact - “Snowstorm Boogie” , Garrison Keillor & Pat Donohue ...at least, until recently, and it represents a missed opportunity. Trains are the closest thing we have to all-weather ground transportation, yet they are not recognized in United States transportation policy for it, nor are they funded appropriately because of it. This needs to change. Last April, Rail Passengers’ Member
Relying On Rail When Other Modes Fail
February 1, 2019
by Jim Mathews | Snow shouldn't scare railroaders off the property. But sub-zero temperatures are different.
Freights Fight For Their Right To Be Unreliable
February 1, 2019
by Jim Mathews | Host railroads this week asked the Supreme Court to take up an appeal of the on-time performance (OTP) case that Rail Passengers won last summer. The arguments are the same, but this Court is not.
It's Time for Western MA to Have a Stake in the System
January 31, 2019
by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator In 2017, MA State Senator Eric Lesser brought a number of constituents to Boston from Springfield in order to promote bills that were being discussed at the time for a proposed “high speed” route between Boston, Worcester, and Springfield - the three largest cities in the Commonwealth. I, in my role then as Rail Passengers’ Council Member, joined the chorus of voices advocating for this route. A section from my testimony: “The RPA recentl
“It’s déjà vu all over again”
January 31, 2019
By Bruce Becker - Vice-President of Operations The recent announcement that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak have come to an agreement which will eventually lead to some Metro North New Haven Line trains being routed on Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line to Penn Station is good news for the rapidly growing, but under-served by rail transit, East Bronx. The future commuter trains will serve new four stations along the Hell Gate Line in the East Bronx at Hunts Point, Parkches
So, you've gotten off of your train at Union Station. Now what?
January 29, 2019
Abe Zumwalt If you’re not planning on coming to our meeting in April, you should. You, yourself, can positively impact passenger rail service in the United States. Plus, you get the added bonus of staying in our Nation’s Capitol, as we've managed to secure a good rate at the Westin right in Downtown DC. However, on that last point, I have a recommendation. If you go see the monuments, ever, in this new Rome of ours, I have a piece of advice. Don’t walk. Don’t take a cab. No, when you g
The government shutdown is over thanks to airport delays: there are some important lessons to take away from this.
January 28, 2019
by Sean Jeans-Gail The government shutdown is over thanks to airport delays. For all the political posturing and negotiations, it was the impending collapse of publicly supported transportation infrastructure that forced a compromise. Bloomberg News summarizes the timeline of events: On Friday mid-morning, flights into New York’s LaGuardia Airport were halted for more than an hour because of a ground stop ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration. The delays affected other East Coast
January 24, 2019
by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “It’s just easier to drive!” “We don’t need another ‘Big Dig’!” “Tommy Brady is the greatest eva, kehd!” I hear statements like this nearly everyday (one of them I hear WAY too much). It’s part of the mentality that us advocates need to break when talking to the general public about transportation needs. The “Big Dig” comment comes my way nearly daily when trying to discuss the North-South Rail Link - the project that woul
Recognizing Those Who Make a Difference Everyday
January 23, 2019
By Carolyn Cokley, Rail Passengers Association There are certain rail passenger issues that we will forever be divided over. But, there is at least one issue that I believe that we can all get behind. When it comes to the hard-working men and women who make Amtrak move we can all value the dedication and perseverance that customer-facing employees bring to stations and trains all over the National Network. Today, three Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee members are in LA Union Station presentin
January 23, 2019
by Jim Mathews Late Friday, Amtrak let the world know that it's ready to get industry to bid on supplying "up to 75 trainsets" worth of equipment to replace elderly Amfleet Is. It's great to see Amtrak step up to the plate and start making good on long-overdue promises to get cracking on upgrading coaches for the modern passenger. Sure, it's a baby step...but it's the second step in as many months (following on the heels of the locomotive order) and it can't come soon enough. Just before Amtr