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Rail Passengers Statement on White House EO on Rail

July 9, 2021

For Immediate Release (21-12)

Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; [email protected]

Washington, D.C. -- Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews issued the following statement on President Biden's Executive Order encouraging the Surface Transportation Board to "require railroad track owners to provide rights of way to passenger rail and to strengthen their obligations to treat other freight companies fairly":

"The Rail Passengers Association thinks President Biden’s executive order is, without a doubt, a necessary prerequisite to successfully expanding the U.S. passenger rail network. If states are forced to extract every new train slot through a campaign of attrition—as we’ve seen in the Gulf Coast with the effort to restore only two trains per day—then our country will not be able to build out a modern passenger rail network in any meaningful timeframe. If the U.S. wants to provide a low-emission, energy-efficient transportation alternative to overcrowded highways and airports, then we’ll need the Surface Transportation Board to play an active role in determining what constitutes fair access to host railroad infrastructure.

About Rail Passengers Association

The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works and plays in towns all across America.