News & Commentary

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.

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

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

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.