News & Commentary

Driving Governor Dukakis - A Push for Needed 'Regional Rail'

A Trip From Mattapan to Boston to Lowell in a 1949 Hudson to Highlight the Need for Unified Massachusetts Rail

Former Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis, who along with former Republican Gov. William Weld heads the North South Rail Link Working Group, will drive from Mattapan through Boston to Lowell on Friday in a 1949 Hudson, a vehicle that is as outdated as parts of the public transit system in Greater Boston. At 11 a.m. Friday, Nov.16, 2018, Gov. Dukakis will arrive in the rusty 1949 Hudson at the MBTA station in Mattapan, MA (where the trolleys running everyday are as old as the Hudson). At 1 p.m., Du


This time last year, we announced our rebranding, a move that formally took us from being The National Association of Railroad Passengers to The Rail Passengers Association. Our former name was a mouthful and didn’t succinctly get to the point of who we are, and what we’re about. Our old logo always had a train in it, even though we’re not a railway. Our new logo is the very window you look out of as a passenger. We started our #ViewsFromATrain photo contest because we wanted you, the ra

RPA Photo Contest Winners

We started our #ViewsFromATrain photo contest in September 2017 because we wanted you, the rail passenger, to be a part of our new identity. We’ve been astounded by the quality of the photo submissions that we’ve received. From the ocean views of the Pacific Surfliner, to the mountain snow on the Coast Starlight, to the Chicago skyline on the California Zephyr, you all have wowed us with the views you’ve seen from the train. Now its time for them to wow you, too. Here are the Grand Prize

Midterm Election Transportation Takeaways

In the biggest win for transit infrastructure of the night...

The media’s focus has quickly shifted from the election results, to President Trump’s press conference, to the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We’d like to back up and take a moment to highlight a few transportation takeaways from the 2018 Midterms this week. Transportation Ballots In the biggest win for transit infrastructure of the night, CALIFORNIA voters rejected an attempt to rescind a 2017 state gasoline tax. Through their overwhelming rejection of the repeal i

Election Day is Coming—Vote for Transit!

The media is fixated on what Tuesday, November 6 means for control of Congress, but election day is also one of the few chances citizens have to directly demand more investment in the transit and rail systems we all rely upon. While there aren’t many rail-specific ballots on this year’s slate of midterm ballot initiatives, there are still some crucial measures facing passengers next week. We’ve done a survey of what’s out there and issued some recommendations for voters looking to suppo

Amtrak to Congress: Trains Will Run on January 1st

In testimony before Congress today, Amtrak provided its clearest statement yet that train service will continue on Positive Train Control-exempt routes in 2019, contradicting earlier reporting by Trains that the Amtrak Board was requiring PTC on those lines. Amtrak’s statement is good news for passengers that rely on the routes in question, including the Cardinal, California Zephyr, Texas Eagle, Downeaster, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, and City of New Orleans. In testimony before a House Transport

Congressional leadership meets in less than 24 hours

Last chance to stand up for a national rail network! 

Your Rail Passengers staff has learned from our allies on the Hill that House and Senate negotiators will meet tomorrow to begin finalizing the details of the Fiscal Year 2019 transportation budget. This bill not only fund rail transportation projects and operations across the U.S., but will include policy language that would require Amtrak to preserve that National Network in its entirety--including the Southwest Chief. Take action today! Passenger are being heard! Rail Passenger Associatio

MassDOT Sandbags Passenger Rail

After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion, MassDOT only committed about $1.5 million to the NSRL study

When MassDOT initially agreed in 2017 to complete an updated feasibility study of the proposed North-South Rail Link (NSRL), many rail and transit advocates were skeptical. After spending roughly $40 million studying South Station Expansion (SSX), MassDOT was only committing about $1.5 million to the NSRL study (even though the legislature had authorized $2 million). The cynical view was that rather than an honest study, this would be an attempt to paint the project in a poor light, and perhaps

RPA Resolution Regarding Amtrak

On August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted an important policy resolution statement

After lengthy discussion, deliberation and debate, on August 30, 2018 the Board of Directors of the Rail Passengers Association unanimously adopted the following policy resolution: The Rail Passengers Association Board will conditionally support the board and management of the National Passenger Rail Corporation (Amtrak) in its 2019 budget recommendations and appropriations request to Congress providing that it maintains the current interstate rail transportation network of trains and routes.

Call Your Rep: Pass the Transportation Bill, Secure the Network

With August halfway done, it’s important that we continue our work in support of passenger rail and Amtrak’s National Network. Members of the U.S. House are back home for recess, and they need to hear that their constituents support the FY2019 transportation appropriations bill—both for its funding levels and the critical language requiring Amtrak to preserve the Southwest Chief provision. It’s important that you call your Representative and ask them to support the higher FY19 funding l