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.
"When [NARP] comes to Washington, you help embolden us in our efforts to continue the progress for passenger rail. And not just on the Northeast Corridor. All over America! High-speed rail, passenger rail is coming to America, thanks to a lot of your efforts! We’re partners in this. ... You are the ones that are going to make this happen. Do not be dissuaded by the naysayers. There are thousands of people all over America who are for passenger rail and you represent the best of what America is about!"
Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation
2012 NARP Spring Council Meeting