News & Commentary

Embarking on a Journey with a Cause

Written By Malcolm Kenton Tomorrow morning, I head to San Francisco to begin what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a transcontinental train journey in private railcars with 19 other enterprising members of the Millennial generation (those born between 1977 and 2000, so named due to our coming of age at the time of the turn of the third millennium). Each of us is pursuing a different project, aiming to apply a trans-regional perspective and the kind of creative thinking that a con

Rail transit proves key to greater income mobility

Written By Colin Leach Lighter colors represent areas where children from low-income families are more likely to move up in the income distribution.While transit advocates know well the economic cost of congressional refusal to invest in public transit, it is often more difficult to quantify this refusal’s personal effect. For Stacey Calvin, it’s very easy: four hours. That’s the amount of time the Atlanta resident must spend taking a bus to catch a train, which in turn connects her to an

Rail passengers help beat back anti-train amendments!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail First things first. I want to say “thank you” to each and every single NARP Member and passenger rail supporter who has taken time to reach out to their Representative or Senator to defend trains. And thank you for putting up with the deluge of emails that we’ve sent in an attempt to give you the most up-to-date information! It is because of your efforts that the House overwhelmingly defeated Representative Paul Broun’s (R-GA) amendments to zero out Amtrak

America's passengers are being heard in Washington!

Written By Sean Jeans Gail We've heard back from Senate offices, and America's train passengers are speaking out against the Flake (R-AZ) amendment to eliminate food and beverage service! Now, we need to make sure we have the same sort of impact on the other side of the Hill, where some members of the House are proposing amendments so extreme they would literally eliminate every single dollar of federal support for Amtrak: • Rep Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has offered an amendment to zero out

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

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

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