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Passengers Thank Amtrak President Joseph Boardman for His Service

December 10, 2015

Release #15-26

For Immediate Release (#15-26)

Contact: Benet J. Wilson

443/838-7033 mobile

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Following yesterday’s announcement that Amtrak President Joseph Boardman will be retiring effective September 2016, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) issued a message of thanks and congratulations on his decades of service to the rail industry.

NARP has worked with Boardman from his days as head of the New York State Department of Transportation, through his service as chief of the Federal Railroad Administration, to his nearly eight-year stewardship of Amtrak.

“We don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, but Joe has always been willing to listen to passengers and respect their right to have a voice in the process,” said President and CEO Jim Mathews. “NARP has greatly valued working with an Amtrak president who understands that for the railroad to thrive, it needs to be a national service, and that long distance trains are—as Joe said himself—the ‘backbone’ of America’s national network.”

“[National Network trains] are vital to the communities and people they serve, and increasingly important as airlines and bus companies abandon significant regions of America,” said Boardman in an April 2014 meeting with mayors. “We see the characteristics of our population are changing… people are coming back to the centers of cities. But they need to get between the metropolitan areas. That's what intercity rail is about, that's what Amtrak's about. We connect the country border to border, coast to coast.”

“As Amtrak begins the process in selecting its next president, we will encourage its board to focus on candidates who are committed to a policy of national expansion and modernization,” added Mathews. “The U.S. is expected to add 100 million people by the year 2050. To accommodate that growth, Americans will need to be able to count on a strong and resilient Amtrak.”

About the National Association of Railroad Passengers

NARP is the only national organization speaking for the nearly 40 million users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by more than 28,000 individual members nationwide.