A library of documents drafted by the Association focusing on Amtrak business lines and public transportation policy.
Commissioned by the City of Monroe, LA as part of their Federal Railroad Administration grant package, this 2023 Research Note shows the economic impact of passenger rail service for communities along the I-20 Corridor between Meridian, MS, & Fort Worth, TX.
This 2021 research note, an assessment of the restoration plan proposed by the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority, studies the economic impact of the return of Amtrak service along the Southern Tier of Montana.
A 2019 white paper by the Rail Passengers Association that outlines the benefits of daily passenger train service on the I-10 corridor between Los Angeles and New Orleans, also know as Amtrak's Sunset Limited.
2019 assessment of an Amtrak feasibility study for a new train to St.Paul, Minnesota from Chicago, Illinois. By diverting thousands of car trips and inducing new travel and spending that would not otherwise take place, a new, second daily train between Chicago and the Twin Cities could generate total annual economic returns in the range of eight- to ten- times Minnesota’s annual net spending to support the service.
2018 socioeconomic study that estimates direct economic impacts, indirect social impacts, and the effects of replacing Southwest Chief passenger rail service with Bus Bridge Service (BBS) in New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas using numbers that Amtrak provided along with its proposal for BBS along Raton Pass.
2018 Association critique of Amtrak's Performance Tracking reporting system.
2017 economic report from NARP that looks at the Trump Administration’s FY2018 budget proposal, which calls for eliminating Amtrak’s long distance passenger rail service while preserving service for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and state supported routes.
A signature NARP White Paper on the efficiency and critical importance of the often maligned long distance national network passenger trains
2015 edition of NARP's analysis of the economic benefits of passenger rail investment. Shows how investing in trains promotes greater mobility and economic development, generates new jobs, encourages energy efficiency and enhances Americans’ standard of living.
Like so many parts of the country, a corridor full of potential is served by one train a day, the Lake Shore Limited, leaving much of its population literally in the dark. Really, there should be at least four trains a day-- and this is why
A Summary of Victoria Policy Institute's excellent dismemberment of the oft unquestioned concept that current North American transportation choices are the result of free market outcomes
Yes, public investment in passenger trains advances many key elements of the Conservative Agenda.
"One unforeseen problem with both Amtrak in general and the state supported trains was that they were funded by annual appropriations with no dedicated operating or capital funding. This meant an annual fight for survival against “free-market” advocates who forgot about the massive subsidies to highways which caused the decline in passenger trains in the first place."
"So while effective policy making is about enabling people access to choice, it seems that American policy makers have gotten myopic the role they play in enabling these choices. The boom in automobile use necessarily led to more roads and highways; but at some point legislators forgot that this growth didn’t occur in a vacuum, and their road legislation played a key role part in encouraging it. Returning balance to the U.S. transportation network means investing in the modes we’ve neglected, like passenger trains and transit. Not just for the benefits specific to passenger trains. By balancing investment in infrastructure, we can develop a clearer understanding of the role government plays in directing the movement of people and goods, and move away from a view of roads and highways as a natural extension of the free market."
Sleeping Car revenues are pure gravy for Amtrak. The cost of operating solely coach long distance trains would be far greater than what is currently paid now. Furthermore, there is pent-up demand for sleeping car service wherever it is offered, indicating a great need to expand such operations. To do so would only help the bottom line of the railroad.
"Food For Thought" as published in Railway Interiors International
"Studies claiming that Amtrak’s lounge and dining car services “lose” money make the mistake of analyzing them as restaurants. That’s the wrong business model. The correct model can be found in the hospitality industry – bed and breakfast operations and that part of the hotel industry that has followed their lead. Operators provide food and beverages free of charge. While this strategy would put any restaurant out of business quickly, it makes economic sense in the hospitality industry because food & beverage service helps sell something of greater value – rooms. Similarly, in the passenger train business, lounge and dining car service helps sell something of greater value – tickets."
As the average number of miles driven by Americans heads into its eighth year of decline, a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds that the slowdown in driving is likely to continue. Baby Boomers are moving out of the phase in their life when they do the most commuting, while driving-averse Millennials move into that phase. These demographic changes and other factors will likely keep driving down for decades, according to the report.
This study, undertaken by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shows that most airports have seen a reduction in scheduled domestic flights over the past six years as a result of a difficult global economic climate and a U.S. recession, high and volatile fuel prices, and a recent trend of “capacity discipline” strategies by major airlines. The nation’s small- and medium-sized airports have been disproportionally affected by these reductions in service, and recent airline behavior appears to signal a trend towards consolidation of service at the largest airports with fewer direct flights available from smaller airports.
In his official blog, The Fast Lane, Secretary Ray LaHood touts passenger trains in general, and specifically the proposed train connecting Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Newton and Kansas City. NARP President Ross Capon was one of the panelists at the April 5, 2012 symposium, organized by the Northern Flyer Alliance.
This Texas Transportation Institute study goes over the benefits of Amtrak’s Oklahoma City-Fort Worth Heartland Flyer to the economies of on-line communities and the mobility freedom of their residents, and reports the results of surveys of Flyer riders.
Based on surveys of riders on-board Amtrak’s Hiawathas and of transfer passengers at Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport Station, the Texas Transportation Institute concludes that “As part of a fully integrated multimodal intercity corridor, passenger rail can provide a number of measurable impacts on urban, regional, and national mobility,” including by giving greater Chicago more access to (often less expensive) air service.
A 2003 study by the Montana Department of Transportation that outlines the economic benefits Amtrak’s Empire Builder to state of Montana
"The Rail Passenger Association's recognition of the essential work done by SMART-TD members aboard Amtrak during this difficult period is appreciated. The Golden Spike Award serves as a testament to the compassion and dedication our conductors, assistant conductors and other workers exhibit constantly through times both ordinary and extraordinary."
Jeremy Ferguson, SMART-TD President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.