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

Senator Daniel K. Inouye, 1924 - 2012

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The following was republished from Travel and Trains and Other Things, a blog written by NARP Board Member Jim Loomis. Dan Inouye has died. He was 88. He was probably never fully appreciated outside of Hawaii, but Dan’s an icon here. War hero who lost his right arm in Italy. Winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Served in the U.S. House and then, for 50 years, in the Senate. I’m proud to say that last April, the National Association of Railroad Pas

NARP takes part in 10th Annual New York Times Travel Show

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Join NARP at the New York Times 10th Annual Travel Show for a spectacular international celebration. The show will be held January 18-20, 2013 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City (655 West 34th Street; New York, NY). [Click here for tickets and more information] January 18 will be reserved for travel professionals only, providing an opportunity for travel agents, wholesalers, packagers, suppliers, and international travel media to network and develop

Transportation Secretary fields questions on high speed rail

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood partnered with the Atlantic Cities blog to answer readers' questions about America's transportation challengers. The first segment addressed a question that has been on the minds of many passenger train advocates since November's election: "Given President Obama's intent to build a better national passenger rail system, will there be an increased emphasis on implementing it for the years to come?" Secretary LaHood provides a bri

Throughout American passenger train history, a theme emerges

Written By Malcolm Kenton I just finished reading Frank Wilner’s new book, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future, a thorough account of the national passenger railroad’s origins and turbulent history. The more one studies the story of passenger trains in America in the latter half of the 20th century and into the 21st, the more the same theme repeats itself. Passenger trains have always had enough popular and political support to avoid extinction, but have never won enough resources to truly moder

NPR report on oilfield workers’ Amtrak use was timely, but biased

Written By Malcolm Kenton National Public Radio aired a report on Friday morning on the growing number of riders Amtrak’s Empire Builder is carrying to and from their jobs in the booming oil shale region of western North Dakota and eastern Montana. While NPR deserves credit for highlighting a story that most media outlets have overlooked – that so many oilfield workers find the one daily train to be the most convenient and affordable way to access the region. This is due to the fact that ta

A locomotive’s-eye view up the East Coast

Written By Malcolm Kenton GE, the maker of most of the locomotives in use today on North American railroads (freight and passenger), produced this high-quality short film from cameras mounted to the front of one of its newest Evolution Series locomotives as it pulls CSX’s Juice Train – containing 550,000 gallons of Tropicana orange juice – from Bradenton, Florida to Jersey City, New Jersey: a 1,220-mile overnight journey condensed into 156 seconds. Much of this is the same route that Amtr

Amtrak reorganization scrutinized by House Transportation Committee

Written By Sean Jeans Gail The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing today to examine Amtrak’s ongoing structural reorganization intended to improve the performance and accountability of the railroad, part of a series held by the committee over the past few months to examine Amtrak and passenger rail. Chairman John Mica (R-FL) accused Amtrak of lagging behind other modes in minimizing the public subsidy required to operate. Critics of these hearings have questioned why

Amtrak's Hoosier State threatened

Written By Sean Jeans Gail A provision in federal law is endangering the popular Hoosier State train, and we need your help to save it! Amtrak's Hoosier State runs between Indianapolis and Chicago. In combination with the Cardinal, it provides seven day a week service connecting those cities as well as serving Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Lafayette and Dyer. Daily service is particularly important for this short route and helps keep alive the idea that trains are a realistic and desirable alte

NARP's Thanksgiving Train Travel Tips

Written By Malcolm Kenton America’s busiest travel days of the year – the Tuesday and Wednesday before and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving – are also Amtrak’s busiest. Thus, Amtrak is adding extra trains on several routes – more this year than in past years. Click the links below to access the special Thanksgiving schedule for each route, which is only in effect Nov. 20-26: Northeast Corridor (Virginia-Washington-New York-Boston, including New Haven-Springfield) Keystone Se

Caltrans doubles bike capacity on San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor trains

Written By Sean Jeans Gail Image courtesy HebCaltrans announced November 9 that it has nearly doubled bicycle storage capacity on its San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor trains, enhancing mobility options for Northern Californians looking to escape road congestion and rising gas prices. “There’s been a need for additional storage as more and more people ride bicycles on their commute,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “By the end of next year, more than a dozen expanded railcars