The National Association of Railroad Passengers has issued the following press release in response to a call by the Republican study group to shut down Amtrak. It is important to note that the Republican Study Group represents only 165 of the 242 Republican Congressman in the U.S. house.
National Association of Railroad Passengers
505 Capitol Ct. NE Suite 300 w Washington, D.C. 20002-7706
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (#11-03)
February 4, 2011
Contact: Sean Jean-Gail – 202-408-8362 [cell: 202-320-2723]
CALL TO SHUT DOWN PASSENGER TRAINS IS ON COLLISION COURSE WITH MIDDLE EAST EVENTS
Ending federal funding for passenger trains—as Republican Study Group urges—would increase American dependence on imported oil
As democratic unrest sweeps across North Africa and the Middle East, the National Association of Railroad Passengers is asking Congress to sweep aside a proposal that would gut passenger rail and transit. Instead, U.S. leaders should focus on policies that give Americans real travel choices and reduce the nation's massive dependence on imported oil in the transportation sector.
The democratic uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria—and perhaps elsewhere—highlight the risk of America’s overreliance on oil and the potential inability of Middle Eastern nations to maintain current oil export levels. It also serves as a reminder that gas prices could rise above $4 a gallon more quickly than previously expected.
Despite these developments, the Republican Study Committee is urging an end to U.S. intercity passenger train service, eliminating federal funding for Amtrak and high-speed rail. The proposal also has huge mass transit cuts, including elimination of New Starts, a vital resource in building new transit lines. The Committee includes over two-thirds of House Republicans.
The House Budget Committee is considering drastic reductions in passenger train funding which could also lead to a service shutdown.
If adopted, these policies would deprive Americans of important transportation choices, make America more vulnerable to uncontrollable events overseas, and lead to substantial layoffs at Amtrak and transit agencies.
NARP calls on Congress to fully fund intercity passenger trains ($2.65 billion for Amtrak, and at least $3.5 billion for the high-speed rail program) to build a truly national rail passenger system and embrace President Obama's goal of putting high speed rail within reach of 80% of Americans within 25 years. Passenger trains and transit will help address the consumption side of our oil dependency by providing energy-efficient transportation choices, while creating good paying, non-exportable jobs for our citizens.
Energy consumption facts:
· The U.S. transportation system is 96% petroleum dependent, accounts for 71% of the country’s oil use, and consumes 25% of the world’s net output.
· Amtrak is 30% more energy efficient than cars, and 20% more efficient than air travel (based on BTUs per passenger mile).
· Public transportation saves the U.S. 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline every year—more than three times the annual amount imported from Kuwait.
· U.S. motorists’ fuel consumption alone accounts for eleven percent (11%) of the world’s total oil production.
· Trains are the only mode which can run on electricity over long distances at high speeds.
The Federal Railroad Administration is hoping its new measure to integrate grade-crossing locations into mapping technology will curb the recent increase in crashes and fatalities.
nytimes.comThe Federal Railroad Administration is hoping its new measure to integrate grade-crossing locations into mapping technology will curb the recent increase in crashes and fatalities.
SPRINGFIELD – The Union Station renovation will receive an additional $12 million to finish funding the project. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito officially made the announcement on June 22 at a press event in front of the main entrance to the terminal.
thereminder.comSPRINGFIELD – The Union Station renovation will receive an additional $12 million to finish funding the project. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito officially made the announcement on June 22 at a press event in front of the main entrance to the terminal.
High quality photograph of Vermont Rail System EMD GP38-2 # VTR 201 GMRC 305 at Ryegate, Vermont, USA.
railpictures.netHigh quality photograph of Vermont Rail System EMD GP38-2 # VTR 201 GMRC 305 at Ryegate, Vermont, USA.
North East Association of Rail Shippers Names Vermont Rail System’s David Wulfson Transportation Person of the Year Vermont Rail System President David Wulfson was presented with the 2014 Transportation Person of the Year Award at a special ceremony during the North East Association of Rail Shippers 2015 spring conference in Newport, Rhode Island. The award is a special recognition given to an individual who has made a significant impact on the rail industry, especially in the Northeast region of North America, which NEARS represents. David was selected for the award because of the dedication and leadership he has shown – not only in developing new business on VRS lines, but also in working with shippers and connecting railroads to help them realize new business opportunities in other parts of the region. David’s friend and long-time fellow railroader Frank Rogers, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for the Providence & Worcester Railroad, provided the introduction. He shared several stories of past experiences working with David to grow the partnership between the Providence and Worcester Railroad and Vermont Rail System, as well as some of the personal experiences they have had together. The NEARS award is of special significance to David because he was nominated and selected by his peers in the industry. NEARS is a professional organization dedicated to improving communication between railroads, suppliers, and shippers. VRS staff attend its twice-yearly conferences to network with logistics professionals, shippers, railroads, receivers, and others in the rail transportation field. The meetings provide a setting where a variety of subjects are discussed – railroading and shipping trends, shippers panels and success stories, intermodal industry updates, wall street and main street analysis and outlooks, new technology introductions and discussions, short line railroad advancements, and more. `