News & Commentary

At What Cost?

Are we seeing value in fare hikes?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator This is beginning to feel like I’m in the 3rd Inning of a Ken Burns’ documentary. First I wrote about making the hard choices, then I covered the need for vision - and now I’m hitting on the price we pay for service. (Next week it will be about the all-time greatest first baseman, I promise) The news broke this afternoon (while all eyes were on the Rayburn HOB) that the MTA board in New York approved a biyearly hike that would keep the base f

Recognizing 28 Years of Outstanding Customer Service

By Carolyn Cokley, Director Customer Programs As you all know, my favorite ACAC duty is recognizing Amtrak employees who provide outstanding customer service. I just returned from a trip to New Orleans, LA where I had the very distinct pleasure of presenting the February 2019 ACAC Customer Service Award to Mr. Stephen Lloreda. Stephen is a Train Attendant working aboard Trains 19 &20, the Crescent who will be celebrating 28 years of Amtrak service in June. He is known amongst his peers and

Amtrak to Long Island

A Historic Opportunity!

By Bruce Becker - Vice-President of Operations Last month’s agreement between New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak paving the way for future commuter service along Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line in the East Bronx also included a commitment by both parties to explore providing direct Amtrak service to points on Long Island in the years to come. The potential of future one-seat intercity rides to points off the Island for the over 2.8 million residents of Nassau and Suffolk

President Trump May Ignite Rail Boom

But where it'll happen will come as a surprise....

This week, President Trump is talking about modernizing an outmoded rail system. But where these infrastructure talks are happening will surprise you.

Remember 'National or Nothing'?

National Network Trains And Corridor Growth Can Co-exist

by Jim Mathews / We told the Wall Street Journal last week that more and better trains for the Southeast and West can’t come at the expense of the long-distance National Network on which so many rural communities depend. With Congress preparing to take up surface-transportation policy for the next five years, our members can help deliver that same message to their congressional delegation.

Key Funding and Policy Victories in FY19 Budget Deal

The Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget was passed into law five months late by Congress today averting another government shutdown. The bill includes $2.9 billion for rail and $13.4 billion for transit, along with several key policy riders that Rail Passengers and its members fought for over the past year. "Today is a great day for our members, who fought long and hard to secure these wins on funding and the importance of passenger trains across the entire US," said Rail Passengers Presiden

We're #1?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “A commuter tie-up consists of you - and people who for some reason won't use public transit.” - Robert Brault Traffic is something that we can all relate to. It doesn’t matter where you live, rush-hour(s) is just a way of life. (I once flew into Chicago on Tuesday at 1pm and sat on the Blue Line while the Kennedy was at a stand-still in both directions). The one thing none of us can agree on though is just who has it worse… Well, thanks to

California’s High-Speed Rail Decision is Prudent Politics

But It Tells Us Uncomfortable Things About the State of American Ambition

By Sean Jeans-Gail Faced with problems he neither created nor can solve, Gov. Newsom essentially re-branded the effort, shoring up the project to focus on the achievable while turning down the political heat. The undeniable truth may be that America has lost its ambition to do big things.

Viewliner II: An End in Sight

First New Viewliner II Sleeper Car Delivery Expected Next Week

Abe Zumwalt According to a presentation given today at the monthly Washington IEEE luncheon, Amtrak expects delivery of the 1st of 25 new CAF Viewliner sleeping cars next week, after having completed delivery of the first Baggage-Dormitory car, 70 baggage cars, and 24 out of 25 Dining cars that replaced equipment that had been rolling since the middle of the 20th century. The 25 sleepers, after testing and full delivery, are intended to augment the existing Viewliner fleet of 50, given its r

The Room(s) Where It Happened

Rail Passengers made 375 person-to-person meetings last year during our Day on the Hill. This year, help us get to 400!

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “No one really knows how the Parties get to yesssss The pieces that are sacrificed in Ev’ry game of chesssss We just assume that it happens But no one else is in The room where it happens.” I have mentioned in a previous blog that I’m a “union brat” organizer by heart, which is why I have a knack for town halls and various outreach events. There is another side of me that really gets a kick out of what I do for a living: I am the grandson