Happening Now

Hotline #1,112

April 12, 2019

DOT Secretary Reiterates Administration’s Plan To End National Network; Denver’s G-Line Commuter Rail To Open April 26; $1.36 Billion In Capital Investment Grants Awarded For Transit Projects; Amtrak Stops Selling Tickets For Indiana’s Hoosier State; California High Speed Rail Clarifies Northern California Future Plans

We Need Your ‘Nose For News’! When you see rail-related news stories, op-eds, editorials, or letters to the editor in your communities, send them along to us! We include them in our social media efforts, along with the weekly Hotline. Send your news items to Joe Aiello at jaiello[at]narprail.org, and we will share it with members. Are you holding a rally, a community meeting, or another kind of rail-advocacy event? We can help spread the word if you send them to us. We can put them on the website, here. Please follow Rail Passengers on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all things passenger rail.

Rail Nation DC 2019 - Record Attendance & Broad Bipartisan Support For Rail

Over 140 passenger rail advocates and supporters (a record attendance) traveled to Washington in early April to take part in the Rail Passengers’ 2019 Advocacy Summit & Day on The Hill. Attendees learned from a variety of presenters, including Roger Harris, Amtrak’s new Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer; Ken Hylander, Amtrak’s Executive Vice President and Chief Safety Officer; Chris Zappi, Amtrak’s Director of Host Railroads and Fritz Plous, the noted rail industry historian and observer from Chicago. Panels included presentations on important regional rail initiatives and an overview of the Association’s new economic modeling resources.

The Rail Passenger’ Day on The Hill saw supporters directly engage with over 280 House and Senate offices (also a new record). That evening’s Congressional Reception was attended many industry leaders and Washington power brokers, who gathered to honor the six recipients of the Association’s George Falcon Golden Spike Award: U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (KS), Pat Roberts (KS), Michael Bennet (CO), Cory Gardner (CO), Martin Heinrich (NM) and Tom Udall (NM), who were collectively recognized for their recent efforts to save the Southwest Chief.

Among the events optional programs, Carl Fowler’s excellent presentation on Switzerland rail travel generated $1,200 in donations to the Jim Hamre Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Beer & Transit Networking Mixer attracted over 50 participants.

During the gathering’s Business Session, the Association’s Council Members elected Richard Bruss of Wynnewood, PA and Michael Christensen of Salt Lake City, UT to three-year terms as Board Directors. And the Association presented John R. Martin Passenger Train Advocacy Awards to Bruce Ashton of San Antonio, TX and to Doug Kerr of Healdsburg, CA, for their many years of exceptional service to our cause and to America's rail travelers.

For your information & reference, all of the speaker’s presentations & photos and videos from the event are now available.

Next year’s Rail Nation DC Advocacy Summit and Day on The Hill is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, March 29 – April 1, 2020.

The US Department of Transportation Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program is one of the few significant sources for transit capital infrastructure funding, and projects that apply for them jump through multi-year, multi step hoops to get approved.

1.36 Billion has been awarded to 16 projects, 5 of which are new, and notably all are Bus Rapid Transit projects. The majority of the remaining 11 predeveloped projects were rail transit projects. While many BRT projects boast fabulous results, there are right and wrong ways to implement it. Either way, the current DOT seems to be sending a message concerning the kinds of projects it will fund.

The last train service (operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway) that ran directly from Detroit, MI to Toronto, ON ended more than 50 years ago. Amtrak has included this potential service expansion in its FY 2020 budget request as we reported upon the release of that document.

However, news of the potential expansion has reached across the border to Windsor, ON, just across the river from Detroit in interesting way. To many passengers it will be no surprise that the Windsor Star speculates on potential routing for the train, and more lightly, on prospects for the U.S. government of actually funding the extension. The current VIA Rail corridor service to/from Windsor uses former Canadian National trackage, which is not directly connected to the historic 1910 tunnel under the Detroit River, now jointly owned by the Canadian Pacific and Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., an investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System.

Amtrak’s interest in its own expansion is a noteworthy change in policy. For the previous decade it has usually depended on Congress to supply a vision, and now it is beginning to draw its own lines on the map -- and importantly, it is not going unnoticed. The FY2020 grant application included more ambitious service expansion proposals -- including some major right of way acquisitions in the SE, which should generate similar coverage in the coming months leading up to the surface transportation reauthorization.

Rail Passengers Track Update: Where are we and what’re we working on? This section will give you updates on what Rail Passengers HQ is up to.

  • Sean Jeans-Gail, Rail Passengers Vice President of Government Affairs, attended this week’s House Appropriations Committee Hearing, where Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao presented the Department’s FY 2020 budget request proposal. Secretary Chao reiterated the White House’s proposal to end Amtrak’s National Network services. The budget proposal contains no federal funding for the critical Gateway - Hudson River Tunnel project.

  • Rail Passengers Director of Policy Research, Abe Zumwalt, is building on the great work by many Rail Passengers last week, by jumping on following up with first time congress members with the OneRail coalition in the coming week. He is also working with Jonsie along with the rest of staff on contacting members with membership auto-renewal issues.

  • Carolyn Cokley, Rail Passengers Director of Customer Programs has been busy fielding feedback and suggestions from last week’s meeting on the Travel Review. Carolyn has also been working on making the Travel Review Card template available to you all so that you can keep a supply of them as you encounter fellow rail passengers who want to share their travel feedback. Carolyn thanks you all for your constructive feedback and for submitting your Travel Reviews from your trip to Washington DC.

  • Rail Passengers Northeast Field Coordinator, Joseph Aiello, after an outstanding trip to DC for #RailNation, it’s been back to the regional work this week. Joe is preparing to give a brief update on the Association's “regional rail” ask for the FAST Act eauthroization at a TransitMatters whistle stop event in Providence next week as well as getting ready to welcome back Governor Dukakis from his winter teaching at UCLA for the next monthly NSRL meeting. Joe was also named to the Grand Junction Path Design Working Group by the Cambridge City Manager.

  • Bruce Becker, Rail Passengers Vice-President of Operations, worked this week to wrap up the details from last week’s Rail Nation DC event. All of the speaker presentations, along with photos & videos from the event, have now been posted!

  • Jonsie Stone, Director of Resource Development, has been coordinating staff outreach to members who have had issues with their automatic renewal payments. If you received an email from Jim on Monday, April 5th about a declined payment and haven’t been contacted by staff yet, please contact me at [email protected] or 202-408-8362 x 3207. Prior to RailNation DC we ran a digital campaign to benefit The Jim Hamre Memorial Scholarship fund raised $3,758. Thank you to all who donated! To all the members I met at RailNation DC, thank you for the warm welcome. I enjoyed meeting you. To those I haven’t met/talked with yet, feel free to call/email me any time.

After more than two years of safety related delays, Denver’s RTD G-Line is set to enter service on April 26. The new regional rail G-Line will bring faster, more frequent service to Denver, Arvada, and Wheat Ridge. Trains will make the 11-mile trip between downtown’s Union Station and Wheat Ridge in just 26 minutes, serving six intermediate stops. Service will be offered every 15 minutes during both peak and mid-day weekday hours.

In an apparent attempt at continuing to provide bike service on the Lake Shore Limited to & from Boston, Amtrak has modified the Amfleet I Business Class/Cafe Cars used on the train between Boston & Chicago by removing two of the six cafe section tables and replacing them with 4 bike racks. Early this year, Amtrak eliminated the Boston section’s baggage car, where bikes had previously been accommodated.

Credit: Bruce Becker

As observed on this morning’s eastbound train during the Buffalo-Depew station stop, of the four remaining tables in the car, one was being used by the car’s attendant for a necessary condiment display and one was reserved for the operating crew’s use, leaving at most just 8 non-revenue seats available for the train’s six cars of coach passengers.

Rail Passengers will be addressing this extremely negative customer service issue with Amtrak leadership in the near future!

Upcoming Regional Rail Passenger & State Association Member Meetings and Other Events:

Please contact Bruce Becker to have a state or regional event or meeting added to the Rail Passengers calendar of upcoming events!

More than 500 passengers have been contacted as Amtrak stops selling Hoosier State tickets beyond June while hope for $3M in funding starts to dim. The customers are being told that they may need to find alternate means of transportation between Indianapolis and Chicago if Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb has his way. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said that they are not giving up on the route but Amtrak needs to be transparent in case funding does run out before July 1st.

State officials have been hoping for ridership on the Hoosier State to make enough of a jump to justify the payments they make to Amtrak to help support the route - which is also funded in part through money from local communities (Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer) who have been fighting to save the train. If funding does not make it into the next two-year state budget, the Hoosier State will cease operation. The Indiana legislature hopes to have the budget done before they adjourn on April 29th.


Governor Holcomb's proposed budget eliminates the $3 million of state money funding the service for the more than 60,000 yearly passengers - even while schedule improvements are being made by the host railroad.

Last month, Amtrak and CSX have reached a mutual understanding on an improved schedule for the Amtrak Hoosier State, Trains 850 & 851, which operates between Indianapolis and Chicago, via Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer, Ind. The schedule reduction will save more than $72,000 in annual operating costs to the state, as well as 15 minutes off the trip from Indy to Chicago.

This may not be enough. We are asking our members in Indiana to help save the Hoosier State service. Write your State Senator today. Go to railpassengers.org/hoosierstate for more information.

Business & Pleasure

Regardless of my job, this is really my favorite way to travel

April 11, 2019

by Joe Aiello, Northeast Field Coordinator

Back in August, my wife was invited to a reunion for her PhD program at the University of Virginia (you know… the current MEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!) and we decided that we would take the Regional the whole way - since we would both be able to work on the train there & back. We wouldn’t have to worry about trying to get to the airport. Don’t need to stress over renting a car. We don’t have to sit in Beltway traffic - probably the biggest bonus.

To read about Joe’s trip, continue here.

In a column published yesterday in StreetsBlog SF, Boris Lipkin, Northern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, sought to clarify the future of the project in Northern California.

In the article, Lipkin stated “The direction laid out by Governor Newson is similar to what the Authority had put forth in our 2018 Business Plan. Where we are building today in the Central Valley, the Governor wants us to finish the entire 171-mile Central Valley stretch to connect the three largest cities, totaling nearly one million Californians, and provide new economic opportunities to the region as we get trains rolling.”

“Beyond the Central Valley, we will continue the planning and environmental clearance efforts from San Francisco to Merced–this will take the next two years. The next milestone in this process will be our Board of Directors identifying preferred alternatives for the San Francisco to San Jose and San Jose to Merced project sections in September of this year.”

Brightline has officially become Virgin Rail USA as the company has been approved for a $950M bond sale to help fund their Orlando Extension. The money will be spent on upgrading the near 170 miles of tracks from the current West Palm station up to Cocoa, FL as well as a new station at the Orlando Airport. The improvements to the Florida East Coast Railway will allow for speeds up to 125mph and a 3-hour trip from Miami to Orlando. Virgin Rail USA will then turn its eyes west to pursue a route from Orlando to Tampa along a state-owned rail corridor along Interstate 4.

Once completed, passengers will have a direct rail route from Miami’s resorts to Orlando’s Disney and Universal theme parks.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson was in Miami with Brightline President Patrick Goddard the day before the bond sale was announced to unveil the newly christened Virgin hub at the MiamiCental station. Branson took to social media during the event to welcome the employees to the Virgin Family and to serve tea to passengers.

Passenger Rail Service Notices

Current and upcoming service notifications that could affect upcoming train travel include:

Hoosier State Trains To Be Suspended

Effective July 1, 2019

A federal law requires states to pay a portion of the cost of certain Amtrak trains. Indiana’s state budget does not include funding for the Hoosier State trains, starting July 1, 2019.

What You Need to Know

The Amtrak Hoosier State, Trains 850 and 851, normally runs Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to and from Chicago, Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Indianapolis.

  • The State of Indiana has not agreed to fund the service in accordance with Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act.

  • Hoosier State trains have been removed from our reservation system, starting July 1.

  • Amtrak and State of Indiana officials are in discussions for the continuation of the Hoosier State service. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

Alternatives: Amtrak Cardinal Trains and Amtrak Thruway Buses

  • The Amtrak Cardinal, Trains 50 and 51, continues to provide service to and from Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer, Dyer and Chicago three days each week. Train 50 departs Chicago on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while Train 51 departs Indianapolis on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

  • Amtrak Thruway Buses continue to operate multiple times daily to and from the Amtrak stations in Indianapolis, Lafayette and Chicago.

Wolverine Trains 350-355 Blue Water Trains 364 and 365

Effective Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Due to track and signal work being performed by Amtrak, Michigan Line Wolverine and Blue Water Service will be affected on Tuesday, April 9, as follows:


Trains 350, 352, 354 and 364 are expected to encounter delays of 15-20 minutes while operating between Hammond-Whiting and Kalamazoo. Delays can be expected through Pontiac or Port Huron.


Trains 351, 353, 355 and 365 are expected to encounter delays of 15-20 minutes while operating between Kalamazoo and Hammond-Whiting. Delays can be expected through Chicago.

Thruway Bus Schedule Changes due to Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals

Mondays, April 15, 22 and 29, 2019

Attention Amtrak Passengers:

Beginning April 12, Indio, CA will host the Coachella Music and Arts Festival followed by the Stagecoach Festival beginning April 26. As a result, there will be heavy traffic on Interstate 10 caused by participants departing the festivals on Mondays, April 15, 22 and 29. Amtrak Thruway Bus service will adjust some schedules to avoid train connection problems, as outlined below.

  • Buses 5417 and 5419 will operate 60 minutes earlier from Indio through Palm Springs Downtown, missing station stop Cabazon and resuming normal schedule at San Bernardino.

  • Bus 4985 will operate 30 minutes earlier from Palm Springs Airport through Riverside and will not stop at Cabazon April 15, 22 and 29.

  • Buses 4967 and 4968 will operate on a regular schedule but will not stop at Cabazon on April 15, 22 and 29.

California Zephyr Trains 5 and 6 Track Work Affects Service

Effective Apr. 4, 2019

Attention Amtrak Passengers:

Due to track work being performed by BNSF, Amtrak California Zephyr, Trains 5 and 6, will operate a detour route between Ashland, NE and Oreapolis, NE, missing the station stop at Omaha. Alternate transportation will be provided, as outlined below:

Alternate Transportation:

  • Bus/van service will be provided for ticketed passengers between Omaha and Lincoln.

  • Passengers with existing reservations will be offered the option of re-booking with the alternate transportation or traveling to/from alternate stations Lincoln or Creston.

  • Buses 4005 and 4105 will connect to Train 5

  • Buses 4006 and 4106 will connect to Train 6

Please note: Bus 4006 will depart Omaha 3 hours and 14 minutes earlier than the normal train schedule

Bus 4005

Bus 4006


11:00 PM

2:00 AM


12:01 AM

3:00 AM

Bus 4105

Bus 4106


12:20 AM

3:30 AM


1:20 AM

4:30 AM

Temporary Suspension of Placerville Thruway Bus Stop

Effective April 15 through 26, 2019

Attention Amtrak Customers:

Due to repairs being made to a bridge on Highway 50, the Thruway bus stop at Placerville will be suspended from April 15 through 26. Highway 50 will be reduced to one lane in each direction during the construction. Delays of up to 45 minutes are expected Monday through Thursday, with more significant delays expected over the weekend of April 19 through 21. The Mosquito Road westbound on and off ramps, as well as the eastbound off ramp to Broadway will be closed until Thursday, April 18.

Please plan for additional travel time and use alternate routes when possible. There is no alternate stop for Placerville. Sacramento is the nearest Amtrak location.

Keystone Service Schedule Changes

Effective April 15 through July 17, 2019

Due to track work being performed along the Keystone Service line, some schedules will be affected from April 15 through July 17 as outlined below.

Eastbound Weekdays

  • Train 600 will operate 5 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Philadelphia

  • Train 648 will operate 5 minutes earlier from Harrisburg to Paoli and will arrive on time into Philadelphia.

  • Train 650 will operate 5 minutes earlier from Harrisburg to Paoli and 1 minute earlier into Philadelphia

Eastbound Weekends

  • Train 612 will operate 10 minutes later from Harrisburg to Philadelphia

  • Train 670 will operate 3 minutes later from Harrisburg to Philadelphia Westbound Weekdays • Train 641 will operate 5 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Middletown and 3 minutes later into Harrisburg

  • Train 643 will operate 4 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Harrisburg

  • Train 651 will operate 4 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Middletown and will arrive on time into Harrisburg Westbound Weekends

  • Train 611 will operate 5 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Harrisburg

  • Train 661 will operate 3 minutes later from Elizabethtown to Harrisburg

Empire Service Schedule Change

Effective April 14 – June 29, 2019

Due to ongoing trackwork performed by Metro North, Empire Service schedules are affected as outlined below.


  • Trains 64, 252, 254, 260, 280, 284 and 290 will arrive between 3 to 5 minutes later into New York.

  • Train 48 will arrive 12 minutes later into New York

  • Train 244 will arrive 15 minutes later into New York


  • Trains 69, 233, 281, 283 and 295 will arrive between 2 to 5 minutes later into Albany.

  • Train 49 will arrive 8 minutes later into Albany

  • Train 253 will depart 8 minutes earlier out of New York and arrive 10 minutes earlier into Albany

  • Train 259 will operate 10 minutes later between New York and Albany

Northeast Corridor Service Schedule Changes

Effective April 14, 2019

Attention Amtrak Passengers:

Due to track and infrastructure improvements being performed along the Northeast Corridor, beginning April 14, minor schedule changes will affect Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains as outlined below.

Roanoke, VA to Boston, MA: Scheduled departures and arrival times of Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains may change by 1 to 15 minutes in both directions between Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and Roanoke.

Pacific Surfliner Service Schedule Changes

Effective April 8, 2019

Please be advised that adjustments have been made to Pacific Surfliner schedules, effective Apr. 8. See outlined schedule below.

Train 572 will depart Los Angeles 14 minutes earlier than scheduled at 10:40 am. Train 573 will depart San Diego 30 minutes later than scheduled at 11:15 am.

Train 572

Monday - Friday

Los Angeles 10:40 am

Fullerton 11:11 am

Anaheim 11:19 am

Santa Ana 11:28 am

Irvine 11:41 am

San Juan Capistrano 12:01 pm

San Clemente Pier - Oceanside 12:38 pm

Solana Beach 12:54 pm

San Diego (Old Town) 1:26 pm

San Diego 1:38 pm

Train 573

Monday - Friday

San Diego 11:15 am

San Diego (Old Town) 11:22 am

Solana Beach 11:52 am

Oceanside 12:16 pm

San Clemente Pier - San Juan Capistrano 12:53 pm

Irvine 1:07 pm

Santa Ana 1:18 pm

Anaheim 1:28 pm

Fullerton 1:38 pm

Los Angeles 2:15 pm

Pacific Surfliner Weekend Service Changes Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 12 through 14, 2019

Attention Amtrak Passengers: Track work being performed by North County Transit District will affect Pacific Surfliner service, on the dates shown below:

Friday, April 12

  • Train 590 will be cancelled. Passengers can make reservations aboard other Amtrak trains.

  • Bus service will be provided from Los Angeles to San Diego, making stops at Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town San Diego and San Diego Downtown. No alternate transportation will be provided to Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and San Juan Capistrano.

Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14

  • Trains 562, 583, 1565, 1566, 1569, 1572, 1573 and 1590 will be cancelled. Passengers can make reservations aboard other Amtrak trains.

  • Southbound Train 782 will terminate at Los Angeles. No alternate transportation will be provided between Los Angeles and San Diego. Passengers can make reservations aboard other Pacific Surfliner trains.

  • Southbound Train 796 will terminate at Los Angeles and bus service will be provided for all missed stops.

  • Southbound Trains 580, 768, 774, 792, 1564 and 1584 will operate normally to Irvine, where bus service will be provided from Irvine to San Diego. Express buses will run from Irvine to San Juan Capistrano, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town San Diego and downtown San Diego only.

  • Northbound Trains 591, 595, 763, 777, 785, 1579, 1761 and 1767 will originate in Irvine. Bus service will be provided from San Diego to Irvine to connect with the trains listed above, with the exception of Train 1761. Buses will depart downtown San Diego, Solana Beach, Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano earlier than the train schedule to allow time to connect with trains in Irvine.

    • Buses will not pick up at Old Town San Diego. Passengers can take the trolley to downtown San Diego to board buses to Irvine.

    • Bus service will not be provided to connect with Train 1761.

    • Metrolink will honor Amtrak tickets between Irvine and Los Angeles.

Please note: There will be no checked baggage or express service south of Santa Ana on the dates shown above. Alternate bus service will not serve San Clemente Pier.

Palmetto Train 89 and 90

Effective Mon. through Thurs. Apr. 1 through May 2, 2019

Due to track work being performed by CSX, Palmetto trains 89 and 90 will be impacted as described below.

April 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 22-25 and 29-May 2:

  • Palmetto Trains 89 and 90 which normally operate between New York and Savannah will operate between New York and Washington, only.

  • Trains are cancelled between Washington and Savannah, with no alternate transportation provided.

  • Thruway Buses 6089, 6090, 6189 and 6190 are cancelled.

Weekend Track Work Affects Downeaster Service at Woburn

Saturdays and Sundays March 23 through June 23, 2019

Attention Amtrak Customers: Due to track work being performed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Downeaster trains shown below will not stop at Woburn on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning Mar. 23.

Southbound Trains 690, 692, 694, 696 and 698 and northbound Trains 691, 693, 695, 697 and 699/1689 will detour between Boston North Station and Haverhill and will not stop at Woburn. Alternate transportation will not be provided to or from Woburn.

May 4 and 5: All Downeaster trains will be represented by bus service between Haverhill and Boston North. Buses will operate with normal train numbers and schedules and will not stop at Woburn.

Elizabethtown Station Temporarily Closed

Effective Immediately

The Elizabethtown station is temporarily closed until further notice. Trains will continue to stop at the station and passengers will have access to platforms.

Passengers will not have access to the inside of the station or the elevator during this time. Passengers requiring an elevator, ticketing or a staffed station may board at the Harrisburg station, approximately 30 minutes northwest or Lancaster station, approximately 30 minutes southeast of Elizabethtown.

Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian Trains 42 and 43

Reservations Required During the Easter Holiday Period Thursday through Tuesday, April 18 through 23, 2019

To better accommodate the increased number of passengers traveling during the Easter

holiday period, reservations will be required on all Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service

trains from Thursday, April 18 through Tuesday, April 23.

Note: Monthly and ten-ride tickets will be accepted on these dates.

Easter Holiday Travel Reminders:

  • To avoid ticket counter lines, passengers are encouraged to utilize eTicketing.

  • Allow ample time to arrive at the station and board the train.

  • Make sure your baggage is tagged with your name and address.

Your Feedback is Important to Improving Amtrak

The Rail Passenger Travel Review is now up and live on our website. For those who have taken recent Amtrak trips and want to provide their feedback, it can be accessed directly at RailPassengers.org/TravelReview.

As you travel , please help us promote the Travel Review with other rail passengers. As you encounter passengers who want to make their positive and negative opinions known, please direct them to www.railpassengers.org/Travel Review. All participants will remain anonymous. If you encounter any problems with the Travel Review, or have any questions, please send an email to [email protected]

Planning a summer vacation including trains (and who wouldn’t be?), then you need a copy of Lonely Planet’s ‘Amazing Train Journeys’ guidebook! And with every purchase Lonely Planet will donate 15% of the proceeds to your Association, to help us keep working for More Trains, Better Trains and a commitment to better infrastructure.

Through this beautiful book, you’ll experience 60 of the world’s greatest and most unforgettable train journeys, from classic long-distance trips like Western Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer and Darwin to Adelaide’s The Ghan, to little-known gems on regular commuting lines. It’s the culmination of asking more than 200 travel writers for their absolute favorites.

Some are epic international adventures, others are short suburban routes along stunning coastline. There are incredible feats of engineering, trains that snake their way through mountain peaks, and even those which have achieved Unesco World Heritage status.

More than just a collection, each profile will give you the practical information you need to experience one or more of these epic journeys yourself -- including ticket options, timetables and stops, plus inspiring photos and illustrated maps. It’s all here!

Amazing Train Journeys is available as a book, e-Book or in both formats at a low combination price. And your purchase helps supports your Association’s mission too! Remember, Lonely Planet is contributing 15% of all Amazing Train Journeys sales to Rail Passengers! You can order copies by clicking here!


Rail Passengers’ partnership with MemberDeals will give members access to exclusive savings on movie tickets, theme parks, hotels, rental cars, tours, Broadway and Vegas shows and more through the members only area of the Rail Passengers website. Be sure to check back often as new products and discounts are constantly being added!

Whether you are from Bakersfield, Bismarck or Boston, Rail Passengers and MemberDeals have you covered! Our MemberDeals partnership covers venues, services and attractions throughout the country...take a look to see where there might be savings on fun outings near you!

Remember, if you want to use these great internet-only discounts, you must be a member in good standing AND be logged in to the Rail Passengers website. If you need help accessing these discounts email us at [email protected], or call the office at 202-408-8362.

Openings Available For Rail Passengers State Council Representatives

The following vacancies now exist for state representatives on the Rail Passengers Council of Representatives: Alabama (1 opening); California (6 openings); Idaho (1 opening); Illinois (1 opening); Louisiana (1 opening); Minnesota (1 opening); North Dakota (1 opening); Ohio (2 openings); Pennsylvania (2 openings); Texas (1 opening); Utah (1 opening); Washington State (1 opening); Wyoming (1 opening)

If you are interested in becoming more involved in passenger rail advocacy and serving in a Rail Passengers leadership role, this is your opportunity to be considered for an appointment by the Board of Directors to an open state representative seat. There is no deadline to apply and submissions will be considered on a rolling basis as they are received.

Please review the position responsibilities & required qualifications and complete & submit a Candidate Information Statement if you would like to seek a position.