America’s foremost passenger rail policy institute


Special Report: An Analysis of Amtrak’s 2013 Performance

URPA’s Andrew Selden’s special report on Amtrak’s 2013 Performance looks at ridership, revenue passenger miles, and the dichotomy between reality and the official party line.

“This Week” Columns

Other Columns and Posts

2014 Calendars Now Available

It’s here, the first URPA passenger train calendar. You can choose from a full year single page version, or 12 individual monthly pages chocked full of selected passenger train events and dates.

The photographs are all from the personal files of URPA passenger train professionals, with one guest photo included.

As we move forward into the new year we hope you enjoy using the URPA 2014 passenger train calendar as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Happy new year to all.

We’re bullish on passenger trains.

Amtrak brings its TALGO train to Phoenix, May 2000. How long must we wait before all of America’s 50 top cities have passenger trains?

Travel by passenger train in North America, as in civilized countries around the globe, can serve as an essential part of our domestic transportation network. We are just now entering a new Golden Age of Rail Travel. Not for over half of a century have so many opportunities for good, reliable passenger train service been available.

As every mode of transportation has its strengths, so, too, does passenger rail. Passenger trains work well for long, medium, and short distances of travel, both on a national and regional basis. Cities and States across this great nation are starting to understand the limitations of our highway and airway systems, and to see the profound and proven economic, social, and environmental advantages of railways.

Private enterprise, too, is now actively seeking expansion of our passenger rail network: According to their website,

The Association of Independent Passenger Rail Operators (AIPRO) was established to actively promote the expansion of passenger rail service in the United States of America. Our core mission is to positively promote an understanding of the public benefits of our nation’s current passenger rail infrastructure, while seeking to proactively work with our partners in the industry to increase passenger rail opportunities through a dynamic and competitive marketplace.

None less than Gil Carmichael, Founding Chairman of the Intermodal Transportation Institute, author of the “Interstate II” concept, and Federal Railroad Administrator under President Bush, has called for the sale of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) in an Open Letter to the American People.

The United Rail Passenger Alliance is dedicated to the viability of a new Golden Age of Rail Travel. You are invited to investigate our plans and join us in the attainable quest for more trains to more places more often in a robust and viable national passenger rail network.

Freight and passenger trains of the near future co-exist in artist J. Craig Thorpe’s vision of Virginia’s Shenandoah Rail Corridor.

A Note from Mr. Thorpe:

Original art is a powerful tool to show how trains connect and shape the nation.  Rail concept art, such as this (above), can help refine, communicate and fund visions.  For more information on the work of J. Craig Thorpe, please see


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