Release #07-18—December 6, 2007
The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) welcomed release of the “Vision for the Future: U.S. Intercity Passenger Rail Network Through 2050” unveiled today by the Passenger Rail Working Group (PRWG) of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.
“Today’s report summarizes how we got to where we are today, and gives hard data about the environmental, energy and quality-of-life costs that result from our current over-reliance on automobiles,” said Ross Capon, executive director of NARP and a member of the Passenger Rail Working Group. “The report maps out a strategy of how we can begin to rebalance our transportation system by strengthening our nation’s passenger train network.”
Capon expressed his appreciation to Commissioner Frank Busalacchi for creating the Working Group and cited the hard work of Busalacchi, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation staff and others in creating today’s report.
“By fleshing out ideas and proposing both legislative and funding mechanisms, the Passenger Rail Working Group strengthens the initiative proposed by NARP last June,” added Capon.
NARP, the largest citizen-based organization advocating for train and rail transit passengers, last summer called on America to adopt a nationwide “Grid and Gateway” train network. The gateways are major terminals, in many cases served by short- and medium-distance higher frequency and higher speed services, and the grid is an expanded national passenger train network connecting all major metropolitan areas.
In addition, NARP’s vision includes improvements in linkages between airports and intercity rail, a concept where the U.S. lags as far behind Europe as in passenger rail development generally. A map of the proposed “Grid and Gateway” network and information on its benefits are available at www.narprail.org/vision .
The Passenger Rail Working Group’s “Vision for the Future” adopts many of the routes proposed in NARP’s “Grid and Gateway” proposal and additionally recommends upgrades in frequencies and speed on specific corridors, phases in proposed rail expansions over several years, and proposes funding mechanisms to implement this vision.