News & Commentary

The Travel Review is Finally Here!

Your Feedback is Important to Improving Amtrak

By Carolyn Cokley, Director, Customer Programs I am pleased to announce that the Rail Passenger Travel Review is now up and live on our website, and can be accessed directly at Rail Passengers Association will collect passenger feedback from all across the National Network, and results will be summarized, analyzed and reported out to Amtrak--as well as other interested rail passenger providers and transportation advocates. We are asking you all to please promot

Why Do Myths Persist?

Asking If A Route Is Profitable Misses The Point

Politicians shouldn't be asking whether a particular Amtrak route makes money. They should be asking who makes money from the route.

All Weather Transportation?

Snow rarely stops trains, but funding problems always do.

By Abe Zumwalt Airport’s Closed and the highway’s packed, But Amtrak’s running, and that’s a fact - “Snowstorm Boogie” , Garrison Keillor & Pat Donohue least, until recently, and it represents a missed opportunity. Trains are the closest thing we have to all-weather ground transportation, yet they are not recognized in United States transportation policy for it, nor are they funded appropriately because of it. This needs to change. Last April, Rail Passengers’ Member

Blame The Lawyers, Part 1…

Relying On Rail When Other Modes Fail

by Jim Mathews | Snow shouldn't scare railroaders off the property. But sub-zero temperatures are different.

Blame The Lawyers, Part 2…

Freights Fight For Their Right To Be Unreliable

by Jim Mathews | Host railroads this week asked the Supreme Court to take up an appeal of the on-time performance (OTP) case that Rail Passengers won last summer. The arguments are the same, but this Court is not.

Go West, Young Man

It's Time for Western MA to Have a Stake in the System

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator In 2017, MA State Senator Eric Lesser brought a number of constituents to Boston from Springfield in order to promote bills that were being discussed at the time for a proposed “high speed” route between Boston, Worcester, and Springfield - the three largest cities in the Commonwealth. I, in my role then as Rail Passengers’ Council Member, joined the chorus of voices advocating for this route. A section from my testimony: “The RPA recentl

Metro North Commuter Service Coming To Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line

“It’s déjà vu all over again”

By Bruce Becker - Vice-President of Operations The recent announcement that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak have come to an agreement which will eventually lead to some Metro North New Haven Line trains being routed on Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line to Penn Station is good news for the rapidly growing, but under-served by rail transit, East Bronx. The future commuter trains will serve new four stations along the Hell Gate Line in the East Bronx at Hunts Point, Parkches

When in DC

So, you've gotten off of your train at Union Station. Now what?

Abe Zumwalt If you’re not planning on coming to our meeting in April, you should. You, yourself, can positively impact passenger rail service in the United States. Plus, you get the added bonus of staying in our Nation’s Capitol, as we've managed to secure a good rate at the Westin right in Downtown DC. However, on that last point, I have a recommendation. If you go see the monuments, ever, in this new Rome of ours, I have a piece of advice. Don’t walk. Don’t take a cab. No, when you g

Transportation Shutdown Ends Government Shutdown

The government shutdown is over thanks to airport delays: there are some important lessons to take away from this.

by Sean Jeans-Gail The government shutdown is over thanks to airport delays. For all the political posturing and negotiations, it was the impending collapse of publicly supported transportation infrastructure that forced a compromise. Bloomberg News summarizes the timeline of events: On Friday mid-morning, flights into New York’s LaGuardia Airport were halted for more than an hour because of a ground stop ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration. The delays affected other East Coast


by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “It’s just easier to drive!” “We don’t need another ‘Big Dig’!” “Tommy Brady is the greatest eva, kehd!” I hear statements like this nearly everyday (one of them I hear WAY too much). It’s part of the mentality that us advocates need to break when talking to the general public about transportation needs. The “Big Dig” comment comes my way nearly daily when trying to discuss the North-South Rail Link - the project that woul