News & Commentary

It’s All About That First and Last Mile

Forget A & B - How Do You Get To Points C through G?

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “I hear the train a comin'. It's rollin' 'round the bend” - Johnny Cash Once the train gets “on down to San Antone” - how is everyone getting around? When we were in Miami back in October, I was tasked with creating a first/last mile panel to give a local view of a universal transportation issue in this country. It’s something that I have been working on for some time here in the Northeast and, as the Regional Coordinator, I wanted to shi

60 Minutes Loses Forest for Trees in PTC Story (Part 2)

Railroad investments are made largely for the sake of private gain, rather than public good

By Abe Zumwalt Last week, instead of inserting needed nuance into the conversation surrounding 60 Minutes’ piece about American Railroad safety, there was first and foremost need for a reality check. Passenger Trains in the United States are about 17 times safer than passenger automobiles, on a mile-per-mile basis. With a gap that big, we can say with certainty that passenger trains save American lives every year, given that about half of Amtrak’s millions of riders would otherwise drive p

Trump Administration Budget Would End National Rail Network

The White House released a budget proposal today that would slash Amtrak funding and eliminate long-distance routes, replacing corridor train service with subsidized bus service.

“What Could [Should] Have Been”

A Look Back at the 1993 “Central Artery Rail Link Task Force” Report

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator It is no secret that I am an unabashed supporter of the North-South Rail Link. It is, in fact, the main project that got me to where I am today. I could write an entire series of blogs on the NSRL alone - which I will probably do. This week though will be more of a visual offering, thanks to a Twitter thread by Rail Passengers & MA Sierra Club Executive Committee Member Robert Kearns. Two of the photos that Robert dug up for this thread really st

What The WSJ Did Not Say

The Wall Street Journal Wasn't Wrong On Illinois...But They Overlooked Important Facts

by Jim Mathews / The paper that hates California high-speed rail for being too ambitious is lukewarm on Illinois' fast-rail project for being too limited. You can't have it both ways.

60 Minutes Loses Forest for Trees in PTC Story (Part 1)

Let’s put aside opinion and look at the facts -- presumably Job One for an investigative news organization

In a report aired this past Sunday, 60 Minutes examined the United States’ implementation of Positive Train Control across its rail system through the lens of a 2018 collision between a CSX freight train and an Amtrak train in Cayce, South Carolina. Unfortunately, in their pursuit of a compelling story they got basic facts about the U.S. rail industry wrong.

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.