Happening Now

Come Work On New Long-Distance Routes

September 8, 2023

by Jim Mathews / President & CEO

You’ve often heard me talk about how your Association, thanks to a lot of hard behind-the-scenes work, is now in the room and at the table when it comes to nearly everything shaping passenger rail service today. Our fingerprints are all over the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $66 billion rail title, we’re routinely consulted now on policy matters by members of Congress and regulators, and we've been deeply engaged with decisionmakers on food and beverage improvements, accommodating the disability community, getting progress on repair and restoration of train cars, and fighting for on-time trains.

But sometimes members have said to me, “It’s great that you’re in the room, but...I want to be in the room!”

So, here’s your chance to be in the room yourself. The Federal Railroad Administration’s Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study is more than halfway done, and the most critical phase lies just ahead: selecting which of the previously identified corridors will see new and restored service. The plan is for all of us working on this study to return to an in-person workshop sometime in January. And that’s where you come in.

RailNation: Meridian is YOUR opportunity to help the Rail Passengers Association determine which routes our organization endorses! We’ll hold an in-person session in Meridian, and plan to include FRA participation in our informal discussions. This will be our Association’s primary venue so that the professional staff can solicit advice and feedback in advance of the route identification workshops taking place in Winter 2024.

Rail Passengers staff members have been in attendance for each of the regional working groups over the past two phases of the study, and we’ll be able to provide a comprehensive overview on the current status of the network development planning exercise. You can also click this link to read my most recent summary of what the long-distance workshops have created so far.

Here’s your own chance to be in the room and at the table. Come to RailNation: Meridian, enjoy the City of Meridian’s hospitality, see the sights, visit the railroad museum and the MAX museum, hoist a beverage at the Threefoot Brewery, meet up with rail advocates from around the country, but most importantly, take your place at the table during our session on long-distance priorities.

If you haven’t yet registered, do it today to help us map out the future of America’s National Network! You don’t want to miss out, and we don’t want to miss you! See you there!