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Rail Passengers Sends Two Interns on Cross-Country Trip by Train

June 1, 2017

Release #17-11

#SummerByRail 2017 to Stop in 22 Cities Over 27 Days on a Multi-modal Adventure


For Immediate Release (#17-11)

Contact: Xenophon Strategies – (202) 289-4001

Washington, D.C. – Two college students won the summer’s best internship which will take them on a 27-day road trip by train to 22 cities. Victoria Principato and Caitlin Boyle were hired by the National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) for the 2nd annual “Summer By Rail” journey where they will study the transportation system in America. The tandem’s once-in-a-lifetime journey will cross the country, and venture into parts of Canada. They will travel via public transit and their bicycles, stopping along the way to learn about communities that rely on rail. The 21st Century multi-modal “road trip” is the second annual “Summer By Rail” journey NARP has sponsored.

“We are very excited to explore the U.S. and Canada during ‘Summer By Rail.’ This internship will give us a unique opportunity to learn how people in different cities use public transit to get around,” said Boyle, who graduated this year from the Catholic University of America with a degree in civil engineering. “We will also look at the differences we see in style and culture in the various cities and towns on our trip. From food, to fashion, to architecture and design, we hope to spotlight what long distance train travel is like and the incredible experiences that await passengers.”

Boyle and Principato won the internships after a competitive application process in which they proposed their vision for their journey. They will kick-off their “Summer By Rail” on July 31 in New York City, before heading to 21 other cities in the U.S. and Canada, as well as dozens of attractions along the way. Cities the two interns will visit include Burlington, VT; Montreal, QU; Toronto, ON; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; New Orleans, LA and many more. The last leg of the trip, starting in Hattiesburg, MS, will see Boyle and Principato conclude their travels in Washington, D.C. on August 26.

“This is a really unique opportunity that we hope will provide us real-life experiences that we can apply to our future careers,” said Principato, who also attends The Catholic University of America as a finance major, with an interest in politics. “Through this trip, I hope to inspire other people to explore America by train. At the same time, I want to be able to influence how local and state governments, as well as the federal government, view the development of policies that can support public transit and connect our country further.”

During their journey, Boyle and Principato plan to use multiple modes of transportation, including the primary mode which will be Amtrak trains, from east coast to west, and back again. They will bring their bicycles on the trip to explore the many cities they visit. While in each town, the two interns will ride buses, streetcars, ferries, and ride-sharing services--to name a few--in order to explore each city.

“Trains are an integral part of our 21st Century transportation system and bring so many benefits to travelers and communities,” said Jim Mathews, President and CEO of NARP. “During this year’s ‘Summer By Rail,’ Caitlin and Victoria will explore the joys of rail travel from city to city and coast to coast. They will have the chance to meet people from around the U.S. and Canada, and bring back important insights that they learn and can help us advocate for more and better trains in America.”

Leading up to, during and after the trip, Boyle and Principato will share their journey and insights for the world to see on the “Summer By Rail” blog, as well as on Instagram and Twitter. To follow their journey on social media, audiences can utilize the hashtag: #summerbyrail. People can also follow the adventure at Facebook.com/narprail and YouTube.com/narprail.

In the first year of “Summer by Rail” in 2016, George Washington University student Elena Studier and her bike “Stevie” traveled to 20 different cities throughout the U.S., and met with numerous city and transit officials and representatives to discuss the country’s evolving transportation needs. Due to the tremendous success of last year’s trip and a newly found heightened sense of importance to promote support for public transit services, the association continued and expanded “Summer By Rail” in 2017 to include two interns.

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.