Trains For America

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National Ass’n of Railroad Passengers white paper on long distance trains

This is an intelligent rational opinion that offers a reasonable alternative to the chaos of airline and highway special interests. It does not stand a chance, but you might want to explore anyway.

Subject: Long Distance Trains: Multipurpose Mobility Machines
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 12:10:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ross Capon, NARP <>

September 17, 2012

Passenger groups identify unique benefits to intercity trains

/Highlight key recommendations to improve the national network/

Passenger groups identify unique benefits to intercity trains, highlight
key recommendations to improve the national network

“Long distance train routes form the foundation of the national
passenger train network.
Their unique capabilities allow them to connect congested urban areas
and bring economically viable mobility to rural areas and small towns,
many of which are becoming more isolated from major cities as regional
airline and intercity bus service disappears.”

Those were the findings of a white paper released today by the National
Association of Railroad Passengers and the Midwest High Speed Rail
Association. The paper, “Long Distance Trains: Multipurpose Mobility
highlights the benefits of Amtrak’s existing network of long-distance
trains and makes the case for expanding that network.

“Despite limited service, [Amtrak’s 15 long distance routes] account for
42% of passenger miles carried by all of the nation’s intercity
passenger trains. Clearly, these routes perform a significant
transportation function,” states the document. The paper goes on to
demonstrate how “the utility of individual routes grows exponentially
when they become part of an integrated system that provides easy
transfers to trains on other routes, feeder buses, local transit systems
and airports. Such connectivity serves more people, generates greater
revenue, drives economies of scale and improves public mobility.

Much criticism has been aimed at long distance routes in recent months,
with the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure set to
continue its series of attacks on Amtrak operations with a hearing
scheduled for this Thursday.

This document will help move the discussion in a more positive
direction—about how to transform the national passenger train network
from a neglected, barebones operation to an efficient mobility machine.
NARP and MHSRA identified four key recommendations to enable this

1. Filling gaps in the current network to create a grid and gateway system
2. Increasing frequencies to allow daytime service to all stations.
3. Procuring high-performance trainsets suitable for overnight and
longer distance trips.
4. Making track improvements that increase reliability and decrease trip

You can read the full paper here

Check out the NARP Hotline
for all the latest on trains and travel

On this week’s hotline
we look at Amtrak’s record breaking ridership, the continued attacks on
Amtrak by Congressional committees, the northern extension of
/Downeaster/ service, and the Indiana Gateway project.

NARP Links

* NARP Website
* _Hotline_
* _NARP Blog
* _Renew_
* _Contact Us___ <>

Chicago to Los Angeles: A Case Study

All this week, the NARP blog will be providing a closer examination of
individual segments of “Long Distance Trains: Multipurpose Mobility

The first entry
uses the 2,265 mile corridor between Chicago and Los Angeles to
illustrate the unique benefits of long distance trains.


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

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September 2012