Happening Now

Hotline #1,113

April 19, 2019

Senators work to ensure future service on National Network, Indiana throws baby out with bathwater with the Hoosier State, 110mph trains to Toledo, Atlantic City Line to reopen two weeks early, Hyperloop open for comment

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.


If you’re concerned about the future of American passenger trains, your federal elected officials are listening! This was demonstrated over the past year as New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas Senators acted to save the Southwest Chief.

Now, Senators are taking the offense to ensure future service on the national network. Senator John Tester (D-Montana) said he is “leading a bipartisan effort to strengthen rural Amtrak service and hold the Trump Administration accountable for attempts to gut funding for the Empire Builder Line.”

“Congress purposely created a national network of long-distance and state supported train service throughout the nation, regardless of how rural it may be,” Tester wrote in an April 5th letter addressed to Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson. “Amtrak is a web of essential connections that bind our country together and link rural communities with major markets and economic opportunities. It provides residents of these communities with transportation options on which families, seniors and businesses rely to access jobs, create economic opportunities, see our beautiful country and visit family. The federal investment in Amtrak ensure small, midsize and rural communities served by Amtrak’s long-distance and state-supported routes continue to receive this essential service.”

Tester was joined by Senators Udall (D-NM), Bennet (D-CO), Roberts (R-KS), Gardner (D-CO), Moran (R-KS), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Heinrich (D-NV), Manchin (D-WV), Durbin (D-IL), and Sinema (D-AZ).

The letter included many specific questions from the Senators:

  • On Amtrak’s decision to eliminate ticket agents, why did Amtrak calculate totals based on weekly boardings on routes that do not run daily?
  • Amtrak’s accounting methods used to determine the cost of operating long-distance service.
  • Is Amtrak planning to alter any long-distance train routes?
    • Which routes are under consideration for alteration?
    • Would any of these routes be altered in such a way that they would fall under the definition of state supported routes, requring states to find local operating funds for existing service? What discussions has Amtrak had with states, if any, that lead it to believe that states would be willing to assume this financial obligation?
  • What basis does Amtrak claim that demand for long-distance service is down, despite ridership numbers growing?

The Senators expect Amtrak to respond to their questions by April 29.


Hoosiers rallied in Indianapolis this week to change minds in the Indiana State Legislature that are intent on throwing the baby out with the bathwater by cutting their state train's operating funds. Indiana’s Hoosier State has had great potential that may now take a generation to be revealed. As it stands, the train has been treated like an ugly stepchild for too long, and it acts like it. While carries a fraction of the ridership other state corridors enjoy, it has the potential to be one of the strongest corridors in the country.

Hoosiers fought and won to maintain the train back in 2013 and again in 2015.The train lived to see an exciting experiment with contracted operations through Iowa Pacific come and go, the concept doomed with the preconception that a public private partnership would ensure less required subsidy rather than improved quality of service. Just this year, stakeholder railroads announced an agreement that would represent the first positive changein the train’s belabored schedule in years. To this the Indiana state legislature is responding with apathy, doing the shortsighted, pound-foolish thing.

The train matches the Cardinal’s thrice weekly 5-hour schedule from Indianapolis to Chicago, hauling a few horizon coaches out early in the morning, and getting back late into the evening.

Last year the Hoosier State carried 27,530 passengers that collectively travelled 4,384,127 miles. According to Amtrak, about 59% of passengers aboard the Hoosier state will now drive, 19% will fly, 14% will take a bus, and 10% of trips the train facilitates won’t happen at all.

The Hoosier State in 2017 relied upon Federal operating support of $802,262 and a state supplement of $2,708,000. This is what the state is balking at paying – and as it stands now, even as a relatively poor performer, the train saves the state about $3,154,432* in road maintenance and congestion costs alone.

*(Accounting for the average number of passengers riding in cars (1.64), this means that the loss of the train will add 1.6 Million Vehicle Miles traveled to Indiana roads. Our friends over at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute do a marvelous job of compiling transportation costs, including a report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that the benefit related to congestion and road maintenance was estimated to be $2 per vehicle mile avoided in 2015.)

But that’s nothing to what the Hoosier State route could do if given the chance. The corridor it runs on has for years been a centerpiece route of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association’s vision for modern trains in the United States. Pursuing a vision like that takes a lot longer if you’re starting service from scratch, without a baseline of ridership to justify further investment as the train has now.

If you’re in Indiana, you can still contact your legislators about the mistake they’re about to make. ____________________________________________________________________________

A study being championed by members of the Toledo City Council would connect Detroit, Toledo, and Ann Arbor through a new 110-mph passenger train. Dubbed the “T” due to its layout, the 86-mile route would allow passengers to travel north & south between Toledo-Monroe-Detroit Airport, as well as east & west between Ann Arbor-Dearborn-Detroit. The plan, one of two being considered by the City (the other being a slower 80-mph version), is being viewed as a way to spark long-term economic development for the greater region and another tool in the fight against climate change and reducing carbon emissions. The study puts the infrastructure costs for the higher-speed option at $524M, or about $6.19 per mile.

There is also a long-stalled plan by the Regional Transit Authority to connect Detroit and Ann Arbor through a 40-mile commuter rail link on the table that would use current Amtrak tracks to reduce any needed costs. It is currently unclear how these two separate plans would interact.


New Jersey Transit announced this week that it's Philadelphia to Atlantic City Line will reopen on May 12, two weeks earlier than previously planned. In addition, the ‘Princeton Dinky’ shuttle train will also resume service the same day. Both services were been suspended last September to facilitate the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the lines.

With the resumption of service, the Atlantic City services have been adjusted to better serve passenger demand, with three weekday trains now arriving into Philadelphia before 9:00am and the 12 daily round trips will provide a train at least every two hours throughout the day. View the new weekday & weekend/holiday schedules.


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, Vice President of Policy is on a well deserved week of vacation riding trains in Japan

  • Abe Zumwalt, Rail Passengers Director of Policy Research, spent his week following up with congressional staffers surrounding the hundreds of meetings the Rail Passengers council made during the first week of April at RailNation DC, as well as representing the Association in the OneRail Coalition during its meetings on Capitol Hill this week.

  • Carolyn Cokley, Rail Passengers Director of Customer Programs has spent much of the week continuing to work on improving the Travel Review. You will notice a few new questions the next time you fill out a Travel Review with your feedback. Carolyn has also spent some time consulting with Amtrak managers vetting the Customer Service Award nominations for April, May and June 2019. Thank you for continuing to promote the Rail Passengers Travel Review

  • Rail Passengers Northeast Field Coordinator, Joseph Aiello, was invited to speak at a Regional Rail “Whistle Stop” event hosted by TransitMatters and Grow Smart RI on Tuesday night. You can read more about the event here. Joe has also been working with the rest of the staff to finish edits on the May Passenger’s Voice newsletter as well as the initial planning for our fall conference in Sacramento.

  • Bruce Becker, Rail Passengers Vice-President of Operations, this week represented the Association at a book launch event for Rail Passengers’ member Walter Simpson, who has just completed a book entitled ‘Diesel-Electric Locomotives - How They Work, Use Energy, and Can Become More Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable’. Bruce had assisted Walter in his research for the book. More information is available here!

  • Jonsie Stone, Director of Resource Development, spent a majority of the week focused on developing outreach/engagement plans to bolster and diversify the Association’s revenue streams. Jonsie also continued to coordinate outreach efforts to members who have had issues with their automatic renewal payments.


A Texas State House transportation subcommittee heard 11 bills that were all designed to slow down or kill a private enterprise building a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston late Tuesday night. None of the bills were advanced to a vote, but could be brought back up by the full Transportation Committee in a future meeting. A number of those in attendance spoke out against the measures, including Texas Central Railway spokespersons Travis Kelly and Holly Reed; Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments; and representatives from other local/regional businesses and advocacy groups.

According to a post by Texas Rail Advocates President and Rail Passengers Association Chairman Peter LeCody,who was also in attendance to testify, many of the anti-high speed rail bills were retreads from previous bills that failed in the 2017 legislative session - including:

  • Tracks would have to be entirely elevated at least 40 feet above ground level regardless of terrain.

  • Train technology would conform to other existing railroads, even though these trains would run up to 200 mph and not be on the same tracks.

  • Allow a County Commissioners Court to stop a project if permission is not granted for access to a county road.

  • Not allowing Private Activity Bonds for a high-speed rail project which runs contrary to other transportation efforts and is being used by private railway Brightline in Florida.

  • Rule making that would make it difficult or impossible to survey land for the project.

  • Excessive rules concerning bonds and options on land needed for construction.

  • Should the railroad go bankrupt the entire route would be deconstructed and land placed back into its original condition.

A thank you goes out to Rail Passengers Association members in Texas who called and emailed their lawmakers in Austin to fight against these anti-rail bills.


Representative Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) prominently includes high speed rail in the answer to her own question “What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like?”


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!


Louisiana regional leaders and business interests from Baton Rouge and New Orleans have recently commissioned a new poll to gauge support for funding passenger rail service connecting the state’s capital and its largest city. The Southern Rail Commission, Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Greater New Orleans Inc. initiated the poll as part of the Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Network.

Poll results were released Wednesday at a press conference in Baton Rouge and covered data from a survey of 1,050 registered voters in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Orleans, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes and shows that about 75% of those polled responded favorably. The idea that a passenger train would provide an alternative to driving between Baton Rouge and New Orleans motivated respondents with 85% of them saying that it’s “very important” or “important” to have a rail line between the two cities.

At Wednesday’s press conference, John Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and chairman of the Southern Rail Commission said, “The state would need to put up at least $100 million that could be matched dollar-for-dollar by one or more federal grant programs. He goes on to say, “We need to have the state designate experts to actually take the work that has been done off the shelf and build a financial model that will identify the funding sources both local, state and federal to make this happen.” While not a new idea, commuter rail has been studied throughout the region for at least 20 years never resulting in any pledge for action. Regional leaders are looking to Governor Edwards and the state legislature to secure the $260 million needed to bring the proposed and much needed rail service to fruition.

The project would initially make two daily trips at speeds of 79 mph from downtown Baton Rouge to downtown New Orleans with intermediate stops planned for suburban Baton Rouge, Gonzales, LaPlace, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Jefferson Parish and the ticket price would be between $10 to $15 each way. St. John Parish has already proposed plans for train stations, depots and retail centers along the route to include a $5.5 million station that would boost both retail and restaurant development along Main Street in LaPlace.

Other highlights from the poll are, 80% of respondents said they would more likely support the project if the passenger rail line were used for hurricane evacuations; 70% would use the train to get to events at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and arena sporting events in New Orleans; and more than 60% would ride it to see LSU sporting events in Baton Rouge. It is clear that residents are thinking out of the box and want transportation options that could support everything from public emergency demands as well as recreational and sports gatherings.


Whistle Stop (and Delay & Cancel) While You Work

April 18, 2019

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator

So I mentioned in last week’s Hotline that I was invited to give some brief remarks at a Regional Rail “Whistle Stop” event hosted by TransitMatters and Grow Smart RI.

It was a great event attended by many local Rhode Island advocates and elected officials. The Mayor of Providence was there and spoke about being open to new ideas in transportation and looking forward some of the local mobility initiatives they have planned. TransitMatters’ COO Jarred Johnson and RIARP Chairman Peter Brassard spoke more in-depth about the regional rail plan (something that was covered during RailNation DC) and how it would more directly affect the Providence to Boston line.

To read more about the event, click here.


Rail Passengers’ Travelers Tips...A new weekly feature!

This week’s ‘Travelers Tip’: Amtrak offers Station Lounges, including Club Acelas along the Northeast Corridor and Metropolitan Lounges along other parts of their national system, including at:

  • Washington, DC

  • Philadelphia - 30th Street

  • New York Penn Station

  • Boston - South Station

  • Chicago Union Station

  • Los Angeles Union Station

  • Portland, OR Union Station

  • St. Paul, MN - Unstaffed

  • St. Louis, MO - Unstaffed

  • New Orleans, LA - Unstaffed

All sleeping car passengers have access to these separate, exclusive, facilities, at both their departing and arriving stations. Business class passengers on mid-west corridor trains also have access to the lounges at Chicago and St. Louis. Services do vary by location, but all of the staffed Lounges offer complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.

Check out all of the information on Amtrak’s Station Lounges and take advantage of them on your next trip!

Have a ‘Travelers Tip’ you would like to share or have a question/topic you would like us to address, please drop us a message at [email protected] - Attention ‘Travelers Tips.


The Adirondack Scenic Railroad saga in Upstate New York continues, as reported this week in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. 2019 will be the third year without trains operating on the northern segment of the historic former New York Central Railroad Adirondack Division between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. New York State, which owns the 118-mile rail corridor, continues to move forward with plans to remove the rail structure between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, to be replaced with a trail built on the right of way, though the start of any such construction is not expected during 2019. In 2017 the State lost a lawsuit which prevented the trail plan from moving forward, but the State has now changed the wording of the applicable land use regulations to apparently allow the rail removal plan to proceed. The potential of additional lawsuits aimed at blocking the trail plan is currently unclear.

The State has pledged that the currently out-of-service 45-mile segment between Big Moose and Tupper Lake (which traverses some of the most remote sections of the Adirondacks) will be rehabilitated allowing for through train service from Utica to Tupper Lake, but to date this commitment has gone unfulfilled.


Elon Musk’s scaled down version of the “hyperloop” is one-step closer to reality as the US Department of Transportation announced that the project has finished its environmental assessment. While the original plan called for a DC to New York trip in under 30-mins, the current twin-tunnel project will take people via driverless cars traveling at 150-mph between DC and Baltimore - the same as the max speed of the Acela Express - under the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The DOT’s newly created “Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council” is currently overseeing the proposed loop to determine what role the department will play in oversight.

While it is not known at this time whether or not the Boring Company will need to go through a full environmental impact statement (EIS) process for the project, we know some of our members will have choice things to say during the public comment period for the initial assessment which is open for the next 45 days (HINT HINT)


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.

Elizabethtown Station Boarding Track Changes

Effective Apr. 15, 2019

Due to track work being performed along the Keystone Service line, track 1 will be closed for boarding beginning on Apr. 15.

Passengers traveling to Philadelphia will need to board on track 2 at Elizabethtown Station.

Carolinian Train 80

Extra Service between Washington, D.C. and New York

Fridays and Sundays, Apr. 19-May 24, 2019 Monday, May 27, 2019

Attention Amtrak Passengers: Amtrak is providing extra service on the Carolinian Train 80, between Washington, D.C. and New York on Fridays and Sundays, Apr. 19 through May 24 and Monday, May 27. See detailed schedule below.


Train 80, Sun, Fri

Washington, DC

5:15 PM


5:50 PM


6:39 PM


7:04 PM


7:35 PM


8:15 PM

New York

8:38 PM

Please note: Sunday, May 26, Train 80 will not run on this schedule due to the Memorial Day holiday. It will run on the above schedule on Monday, May 27, instead.

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 April 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 April 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

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.


Have you received an e-mail from the Association recently, noting that your auto-renew membership dues credit card charge has been declined?

If so, please contact the DC office staff at 202-408-8362 during regular weekday business hours so we can update your account information and get you ‘back on track’ as an active current member. We need your support now more than ever!


Your Feedback is Important to Improving American Passenger Trains

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.