NARP Releases, Statements & Letters

An archive of press releases, Congressional statements, letters to officials, and written testimony.

RPA Launches Effort to Support Train Stations Amtrak Abandoned

Volunteers in Niles, MI Lead the Charge Starting Nov. 9 -10 With Other States to Follow

For Immediate Release (18-40) November 9, 2018 When Amtrak chose to remove paid staff from train stations across the U.S., passengers in Niles, MI began to organize an effort to fill the void that was left. This weekend dozens of passionate train and passenger rail advocates will volunteer to pick up where Amtrak once served -- guiding passengers, greeting inbound trains and providing the valuable information and support services that come de riguer in other countries with robust transport

RPA's Open Letter Calls on Amtrak to Lead in U.S. Transportation

For Immediate Release (18-39) October 26, 2018 Contact: Xenophon Strategies - (202) 289-4001 Rail Passengers’ “Open Letter” Calls on Amtrak to Lead Surface-Transportation Policy in U.S. Riders Demand More and Better Trains for the 21st Century Washington, D.C. - In an open-letter to Amtrak, the Rail Passengers Association (RPA) CEO Jim Mathews called on railroad management to “seize this moment” to shape the future of the National Network to create “A Connected America” th

Rail Passengers’ CEO Urges More and Better Trains

Jim Mathews Calls On Amtrak To Adopt A Customer-Centric Approach To Passenger Rail

For Immediate Release (18-39) In a major speech to be delivered this Saturday in Miami, Rail Passengers Association (RPA) CEO Jim Mathews will call on Amtrak management to “seize this moment” to grow and improve the national rail network. The vision Rail Passengers will lay out focuses on “A Connected America,” where the interstate train network serves as an economic engine for communities, reduces environmental pollution and increases transportation safety. To meet the country’s tran

Jim Mathews Debates The Cato Institute's Randall O'Toole

RPA President/CEO Jim Mathews was invited to participate on a panel at the Cato Institute on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. The featured presenter was Cato Institute Senion Fellow, Randall O'Toole, Mr. O'Toole has recently written a book 'Romance of the Rails: Why the Passenger Trains We Love Are Not the Transportation We Need', which served as the focal point of the session. Jim was joined on the panel by Art Guzzetti, Vice President of Policy, American Public Transportation Association and by

Former Amtrak Presidents to Speak at RailNation Miami

Fireside Chat Speakers Include Former Gov. Michael Dukakis and Trains Magazine’s Fred Frailey

For Immediate Release (18-38) October 3, 2018 Washington, D.C. - Former Amtrak presidents Joe Boardman and David Gunn will take part in a fireside chat at the Rail Passenger Association’s RailNation conference in Miami, Florida, on Friday evening, October 19. The event will be moderated by RPA President and CEO Jim Mathews; while Boardman will take part in the chat in person, Gunn will participate via video. Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Trains Magazine columnist Fred Fra

Southwest Chief Train Service Will Continue

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.

When directly confronted with tough questions by Senators representing Southwest Chief states, Amtrak confirmed in a hearing today before the Senate Commerce Committee on Surface Transportation that it will continue to operate train service on the Southwest Chief route. “This is a huge win for our Association, for passengers, and for the states that rely on the Southwest Chief,” said Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews. “It shows that advocacy works, and I want to thank ever

Amtrak Statement Counters Trains' PTC Article

In response to Rail Passengers Association's release calling for clarity on reporting by Trains' Bob Johnston that alleged Amtrak would discontinue service on eight PTC-exempt routes, Amtrak issued a statement denying the validity of these claims: The story is inaccurate. Mr. Gardner did not say what the magazine purports to report – without a direct quote. The posted story was not based on first-hand knowledge of what was said at the meeting. Amtrak was not given an opportuni

Rail Passengers Statement on Trains Magazine's Recent PTC Report

The Rail Passengers Association was shocked and concerned to see the recent reporting in Trains that Amtrak’s board will require Positive Train Control (PTC) on eight routes that the Federal Railroad Administration has exempted from the PTC requirement. If this decision were implemented, eight routes would be discontinued, including the Southwest Chief, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Texas Eagle, Downeaster, Vermonter, Ethan Allen, and City of New Orleans. Amtrak must immediately confirm or deny

Amtrak’s Route Accounting: Fatally Flawed, Misleading & Wrong

The Rail Passengers Association (RPA) strongly believes that the ongoing debate concerning the future shape of Amtrak's national network has been distorted by its use of fully allocated costs rather than avoidable costs as required by statute. The adverse outcome of using fully allocated costs is the widespread and incorrect perception that Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is financially self-sufficient and that Amtrak’s need for taxpayer funding results entirely from its operation of passenger t

Federal Court Acts to Protect Rail Passengers

Decision Allows Amtrak and FRA to Set Quality Standards for Intercity Rail Operations

For Immediate Release (18-34) July 20, 2018 Contact: Xenophon Strategies - (202) 289-4001 Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today in favor of passenger rail service by allowing Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to set their own standards for measuring passenger rail service on time performance. The Rail Passengers Association is in full support of the court’s decision, allowing Amtrak and the FRA to prioritize the service of paying