NARP Releases, Statements & Letters

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

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

Medical Student Awarded $10,000 For Education By Rail Passengers

Steve Grado Jr. Will Use Money For Third Year At The University of Mississippi Medical Center

For Immediate Release (18-33) Contact: Xenophon Strategies - (202) 289-4001 Jackson, MS - Third-year medical student Steve Grado Jr. was the recipient of a $10,000 award from the Rail Passengers Association. The check was presented to Grado today at his school, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, by Rail Passengers Association President and CEO Jim Mathews. Grado was entered by his father, Steve Grado Sr., into an education sweepstakes hosted by the Association. “This award mea

Summer Travel

Rail Passenger Sets Out On 6,000-Mile Journey To 19 Baseball Stadiums

For Immediate Release (18-32) Contact: Xenophon Strategies - (202) 289-4001 Third Annual Summer By Rail Links Train Travel To America’s Greatest Pastime Washington, D.C. - The third annual Summer by Rail journey kicks-off on May 26, and this year’s trip comes with a curveball. With a route that runs 6,000 miles from Miami, FL to Seattle, WA, the Summer by Rail correspondent Jacob Wallace, 21, will visit 19 different Major League Baseball (MLB), Minor League Baseball (MiLB), and independe