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February 4, 2022 by Kim Williams
Today is Rosa Parks's birthday. We celebrate her because of her efforts to ensure transportation equity for her community. Unfortunately, we are still fighting the same fight to ensure transportation...
February 4, 2022 by Jim Mathews
It’s been 16 years since Amtrak’s Gulf Coast passenger train was knocked offline by Hurricane Katrina. Since then, we’ve seen 16 years of advocates fighting to restore this critical national...
February 3, 2022 by Jim Mathews
Amtrak’s top leadership agreed with nine specific recommendations from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) aimed at repairing broken and mistrustful relationships with state partners on...
January 28, 2022 by Sean Jeans-Gail
Following budgeting decisions by the Missouri State legislature, the Missouri Department of Transportation has cut River Runner service in half. The Kansas City - St. Louis train will now run one...
January 28, 2022 by Jim Mathews
In a week when CSX and Norfolk Southern won a small procedural victory in the Surface Transportation Board to protect their submitted evidence as trade secrets, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation...
January 21, 2022 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) approved the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for a14-mile track segment between Burbank and Los Angeles --...
January 21, 2022 by Jim Mathews
(UPDATED 1.24.22)The meeting is ON, from Sunday, March 27 to Wednesday, March 30. But please, be prepared to be flexible. That’s the short answer. The dates won’t change, but the details might...
January 14, 2022 by Jim Mathews
Sigh.As we slouch toward beginning a third year under the shadow of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, it looks as if Amtrak had to cave in on service cuts to cope with fewer staff in just about...
January 13, 2022 by Sean Jeans-Gail
A second significant agreement between Amtrak and a Class I railroad has been announced in as many weeks. In a Jan. 12th filing to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), CSX Transportation announced...
January 7, 2022 by Sean Jeans-Gail
Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Amtrak announced an agreement today, with the passenger railroad supporting the proposed combination of CP and Kansas City Southern (KCS) railways in exchange for...
December 21, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
For Immediate Release (21-25)Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; sjeansgail@narprail.orgAmerica’s Rail Passengers Recognize Frontline Amtrak Employees for Extraordinary Service During...
December 10, 2021 by Jim Mathews
I really didn’t want to be right. Honest.I had hoped that Amtrak operating employees crucial to keeping our daily services running every day would step up and help us all avoid losing services, even...
December 9, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
[Updated with comments from Ranking Member Graves.]At a hearing held today by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, rail...
December 1, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
For Immediate Release (21-22)Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; sjeansgail@narprail.orgWashington, D.C.—Statement from Rail Passengers Association President & CEO on today’s announcement...
November 29, 2021 by Jim Mathews
The Surface Transportation Board today ordered CSX to let Amtrak survey its Choctaw Yard in Mobile, so that Amtrak can determine whether it makes sense to rebuild the West Stub Track it previously...
November 29, 2021 by Jim Mathews
[You can download a copy of the letter here]Dear Mr. President,I’m writing to convey the immense gratitude of the Rail Passengers Association and the millions of America’s passengers on the passage...
November 19, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), an infrastructure bill containing $10 billion in funding for high-speed rail and $10 billion for a transit program...
November 19, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced awards for nearly $1 billion in discretionary infrastructure grants this week through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with...
November 9, 2021 by Jim Mathews
I hope everyone hoisted their celebratory beverage-of-choice in the wee hours of Saturday morning as, just after midnight, the House finally passed the Senate version of the surface-transportation...
November 5, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Today is a red-letter day for America’s passengers.The trajectory of the U.S. passenger rail network has been fundamentally changed with the passage of the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act...
October 28, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Don’t look now, but the “Great Resignation” is coming for our trains.You may have never heard this term, but it’s what labor economists have been calling the phenomenon that has been gripping the U.S...
October 28, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
After months of prolonged negotiation, House Democrats have finally released the draft text language of their budget reconciliation proposal. Despite massively scaled back ambitions—the topline...
October 20, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The Senate Committee on Appropriations released proposed transportation funding levels for Fiscal Year 2022 this week, outlining a $700 million increase for Amtrak over FY2021 enacted numbers (not...
October 15, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Last year, and especially last summer, your Association professional staff was working the Zoom hallways on Capitol Hill to get Congress to order Amtrak to restore daily service it had cut because of...
October 15, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Tussling over Amtrak’s plans to restore long-delayed Gulf Coast passenger service, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Amtrak will submit evidence and rebuttals between November 3rd and Christmas Eve under a...
October 8, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The U.S. Senate passed a bill last night to raise the debt ceiling through December, buying another few months to come up with a longer-term solution. In similar fashion, Congress also passed an...
September 15, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked-up a $57 billion transportation title that includes dedicated funding for high-speed rail and transit, part of a sweeping budget...
September 10, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
With a series of critical deadlines facing Congress this month, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure took the lead with the transportation section of the Democrat’s budget...
September 2, 2021 by Jim Mathews
The entire U.S. surface transportation system is once again facing the sobering possibility of ridership shocks as the Covid pandemic returns to levels of infection and death we saw last year before...
August 25, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Amtrak police in Chicago yesterday shot and killed a California man getting off the California Zephyr who had several open warrants – including one accusing him of murder – after he opened fire on...
August 20, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
Democratic leaders in Congress are signaling that they will try to use budget reconciliation as a vehicle to add dedicated funding for high-speed rail projects, which were largely ignored in the...
August 19, 2021 by Jim Mathews
In a Surface Transportation Board filing on Wednesday night Amtrak posed some tough and long-awaited questions to CSX and Norfolk Southern about those railroads’ objections to re-starting Gulf Coast...
August 18, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Today we confirmed what most folks knew yesterday – the Federal government is extending its transportation mask mandate until at least January 18, 2022.We also learned that CDC is working to amend...
August 13, 2021 by Jim Mathews
To paraphrase a well-known former politician, “Here we go again.” The worrying surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, coupled with the effects of the Centers for Disease Control’s July 29th...
August 6, 2021 by Jim Mathews
I’ve spent a lot of time this week ruminating over the idea of “good faith” – what it means, how it plays out in the real world, and the degree to which a chronic shortage of it seems to underpin...
August 6, 2021 by Jim Mathews
In a significant procedural victory for Amtrak, the Surface Transportation Board this morning issued a decision denying CSX’s motion to dismiss Amtrak’s action aimed at CSX and Norfolk Southern and...
August 4, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The Senate has combined the two investment bills to create a truly ambitious investment program in passenger rail in the U.S. Combining both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the Surface...
July 30, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
Rail Passengers reported yesterday that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) was “a welcome first step,” but well below what was outlined in President Biden’s ambitious plan to transform...
July 29, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Last December we publicly expressed our strong support for the incoming Biden team’s intention to nominate former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor and presidential candidate “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg as...
July 29, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
[Having had an opportunity to review the draft bill text integrating the BIF and the Senate’s Surface Transportation Investment Act (STIA) of 2021, Rail Passengers has provided an updated analysis of...
July 22, 2021 by Jim Mathews
The good news: Amtrak ridership is way up from where it was a year ago, nearly double. The bad news: the odds are that, depending on the route, half or more of those new and returning passengers have...
July 16, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) passed a Fiscal Year 2022 bill this afternoon that provides $4.1 billion for passenger rail, Amtrak and...
July 9, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
For Immediate Release (21-12)Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail (202) 320-2723; sjeansgail@narprail.orgWashington, D.C. -- Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews issued the following statement on...
July 7, 2021 by T.J. Girsch
I had hoped this post would be different.Back in mid-June, after getting a tour of some newly-refreshed Superliner cars in Chicago, I decided to take the train back to Boston. The most direct route...
July 2, 2021 by Jim Mathews
In April I warned all of you that a well-funded and organized attack on passenger rail was taking shape in Washington, DC. This week we saw another salvo fired in this onslaught: the prominent...
July 2, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Made you look!For most of you, this kind of picture and headline is the equivalent of puppies, kittens and babies on Facebook and Twitter. Our data show that you look at our rolling stock and...
June 17, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Within just a few days, Amtrak’s long-distance Coach passengers will begin to see real, meaningful upgrades to their experience – daily service is restored nationwide to trains that lost it during...
June 16, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
Today the Senate Committee on Commerce passed the Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021 (STIA) by a bipartisan vote of 25 to 3.STIA includes many of the policy goals Rail Passengers has been...
June 15, 2021 by Sean Jeans-Gail
A letter written by Rail Passengers' President Jim Mathews to the Senate Commerce Committee asking for increased passenger rail funding in the rail title. June 15, 2021 The Honorable Maria...
June 4, 2021 by Jim Mathews
Yes, it’s true. Amtrak is doing more than just restoring what was previously a kind of “meh” traditional dining on the Western trains beginning June 23rd. They’re offering a much better menu with...
June 4, 2021 by Jonsie Stone
I forgot how rude my alarm sounds at 4:45 am but I didn’t mind it Tuesday morning. I got out of bed and started my old morning routine. Boy did that feel good, a return to the old normal for the...