News & Commentary

Two Trillion Reasons

Infrastructure Week Part 52: More Infrastructurey

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “I've got 100 resolutions But I've got no solutions” The Lawrence Arms First there was “Infrastructure Week”. Then there was “Infrastructure Week”. Followed up by a new “Infrastructure Week”. We could have 52 different “infrastructure weeks” and the story would be the same in this country - a whole lot of talk and little to no action. All while our rail, bridges, and roads all continue to crumble. In his State of the Union addres

Representative Louise Slaughter - A True Rail Supporter

New Rochester, NY Amtrak Station Named In Her Honor

By Bruce Becker - Vice-President of Operations Dorothy Louise McIntosh Slaughter was born in 1929 in Lynch, Kentucky, a rural Appalachian community about as far removed from the bustling city of Rochester, NY (home to Eastman Kodak and later to Xerox and Bausch & Lomb, among many others) as you could imagine. But, perhaps even more amazing was that Slaughter went on to represent Rochester and the western New York region in Congress from 1987 until her death in 2018, after having served two

Get On Board

Celebrate all things public transportation

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “Mama took the Altimeter Transit bus to work each day All the way down San Pablo, thirty years a Naval base Never heard her once complain about taking public transportation You should ride the city bus just like the rest of us in El Cerrito” Cracker, “El Cerrito” Growing up in Chicago, my friends and I considered the CTA our lifeline to so many great things the city had to offer. I lived walking distance to at least 3 bus routes (the old

Earth Day 2019

A Greener Pacific Surfliner

By Carolyn Cokley, Director Customer Programs This week, the globe is celebrating 49 years of Earth Day. The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 motivated about 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in more than 190 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. The mission of the Earth Day Network is to diversify, educate and ac

A train big enough for us all

American passenger trains face false choices

Abe Zumwalt False Dichotomy ˈfȯls \ dī-ˈkä-tə-mē “a false dichotomy is a kind of fallacy in which one is given only two choices when in fact other options are available.” -Merriam Webster You don’t get to headline that “there is no reason to travel across the U.S. by train,” as was written in the New York Times last month, if in the same article you end up providing a reason. A compelling one, at that: Scale on a rail trip is what’s most arresting. We live so much of our

Whistle Stop (and Delay & Cancel) While You Work

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “And isn't it ironic, l don't you think” - Alanis Morissette So I mentioned in last week’s Hotline that I was invited to give some brief remarks at a Regional Rail “Whistle Stop” event hosted by TransitMatters and Grow Smart RI. It was a great event attended by many local Rhode Island advocates and elected officials. The Mayor of Providence was there and spoke about being open to new ideas in transportation and looking forward some of the

Business & Pleasure

Regardless of my job, this is really my favorite way to travel.

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator Owen: I'm to drive you to Wichita to catch a train? Del: Yeah, we'd appreciate it. Owen: Train don't run out of Wichita... unlessin' you're a hog or a cattle. Owen: People train runs out of Stubbville. from "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles" I know I work for the largest passenger rail advocacy association in the country and all... but this really is my favorite way to travel. @narprail @Amtrak— Joseph Anton Aiello (

The Shame of Indiana

The Hoosier State train could be good for Indiana businesses, and yet "pro-business" politics has undermined it at every turn

Florida Action Alert: Support Next-Gen Trains to Orlando, Tampa

Attend a meeting in Orlando on Friday, April 5th to support Brightline

The Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) is holding a Board of Directors meeting in Orlando on Friday April 5th to consider Virgin Trains USA (Brightline) application to market an additional $950 million in Private Activity Bonds. These bonds are a new allocation in addition to $1.15 billion in bonds already allocated by USDOT and approved by FDFC. Upon completion of this next FDFC board approval, Virgin Trains USA will go to market for the full $2.1 billion. The bankers are ready to

Seamless Transitions

How Can Technology Help Us Get Around?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator I spent a lot of time with Rail Passengers CEO & President (and my boss) Jim Mathews this week working on a final presentation for the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) at USDOT - I have been staffing Jim on this committee for nearly the last year. The idea of new and “seamless” technologies came up in conversation quite often, especially from those involved with other modes of transportation (airlines,