Passenger Rail

Passenger Railroads
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A Look Inside Amtrak’s Next-Gen Acela Express

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A Look Inside Amtrak’s Next-Gen Acela Express


Amtrak’s Acela Express, which replaced the iconic Metroliner service that helped define the Northeast Corridor for the better part of 30 years, is now approaching age 20 (kind of old for a train). The equipment, popular with customers but sort-of affectionately called “The Fast Pig” in railroading circles, will soon be replaced with new, lighter, sleeker and faster trainsets from Alstom.

Amtrak Video Tour of Acela Interior

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Are you ready to experience the future of Amtrak travel? Check out this exciting first look at the onboard amenities and innovative features that customers will be able to enjoy when the next generation of Acela trainsets launch next year.

Brightline West high-speed rail construction expected to start soon, but work can still be scratched

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Brightline West high-speed rail construction expected to start soon, but work can still be scratched


The high-speed line that will run from Las Vegas to southern California is coming to life these days. Brightline has released a construction schedule for the service, which will be called Brightline West.

After a bond sale is complete that will help pay for the initial phase, construction is expected to begin in 2020 and will be complete in 2024.

Work all hinges on the bond sale. If the $3.2 billion action does not happen by Dec. 1, California will put its allotted amount of the project back into the state’s affordable housing fund. The total cost of the project will be $8 billion.

Biden, an Amtrak Evangelist, Could Be a Lifeline for a Rail Agency in Crisis

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Biden, an Amtrak Evangelist, Could Be a Lifeline for a Rail Agency in Crisis

Amtrak has reduced service and is poised to cut thousands of jobs. Rail supporters argue that, win or lose, the Democratic presidential candidate could shift the debate over the agency’s future.

Joe Biden says he loves ice cream, aviators and Amtrak. But if elected president, his love for the rail agency may be put to the test.

Amtrak is facing a crisis. The coronavirus has led to scores of riders abandoning its trains, causing huge drops in revenue. The agency has cut back on service to America’s heartland. It has furloughed over 2,000 workers. If it does not get $2.8 billion in emergency funding by December, another 2,400 employees could lose their jobs, Amtrak officials warn. High profile projects across the country, including those in New York and New Jersey, are facing delays.

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KIDS RIDE FREE SALE AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL ON AN AMTRAK RAIL ADVENTURE THIS FALL

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KIDS RIDE FREE SALE AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL ON AN AMTRAK RAIL ADVENTURE THIS FALL

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Make memories onboard with your family

WASHINGTON – Families can travel this fall, without the hassle of driving or flying, by taking advantage of the Kids Ride Free flash sale. This sale allows one child, age 2-12, to travel free with each paid adult ticket and is available for purchase Tuesday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Oct. 25. The sale is valid for travel in Coach and Acela Business Class from Oct. 26 to Dec. 17, 2020.

Take your child along for free and enjoy a memorable experience onboard Amtrak to take a much-needed vacation.

“Whether seeing family, taking a trip cross-country or going on a weekend excursion, we truly believe the journey is the most important part of the adventure,” said Roger Harris, Amtrak...
VIA RAIL ANNOUNCES A GRADUAL SERVICE RESUMPTION IN WESTERN CANADA
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VIA RAIL ANNOUNCES A GRADUAL SERVICE RESUMPTION IN WESTERN CANADA

MONTRÉAL, October 20, 2020 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announces the gradual return to service in Western Canada by providing intercity transportation exclusively between Winnipeg and Vancouver as of Friday, December 11, 2020.

After a very thorough evaluation of its health and safety protocols, including physical distancing measures, enhanced air ventilation systems, and improved measures for passenger access and the protection of its employees, one weekly round-trip will thus be offered on this portion of the Canadian route.

"The health and safety of passengers and our employees remains our top priority. We are offering our customers in Western Canada an additional choice in regions where intercity transportation is more limited as a result of this pandemic," said Cynthia Garneau, President and CEO.

VIA Rail deploys a strict...

SP #4449 Drone Chasing Columbia Gorge April 2018

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SP #4449 Drone Chasing Columbia Gorge April 2018


Railfan Dan
Published on Apr 20, 2018

I present to you the magnificent SP #4449 steam locomotive on a secret BNSF excursion run!

From April 9th through April 12th the #4449 made four round trips on the Fallbridge subdivision from Vancouver to Wishram and back once each day. This was done for the filming of an upcoming IMAX movie called "Train Time" by The Stephen Low Company.

All the rolling stock on this train is BNSF passenger cars with no passengers except #4449 crew and BNSF crew, it was simply a train to be filmed. Film crews chased the train for all four days with a giant IMAX camera and on the fourth and final day with a helicopter which can actually be seen near the end of this video. This footage was filmed on April 10th as well as April 12th with some locations the same between both days.

All footage is in...
Gearing Up for The First Distanced Holiday Season, Amtrak Recommends Booking Thanksgiving Tickets Early
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This Thanksgiving travel season, Amtrak is ready to help customers travel safely and comfortably to reconnect with friends and family. Amtrak is delivering a new standard of travel that includes enhanced cleaning protocols, contactless amenities, social distancing on board and in stations, required face coverings and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak customers can avoid traffic and enjoy free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat.

Amtrak limits bookings on reserved trains to allow for physical distancing

WASHINGTON – This Thanksgiving travel season, Amtrak is ready to help customers travel safely and comfortably to reconnect with friends and family. Amtrak is delivering a new standard of travel that includes enhanced cleaning protocols, contactless amenities, social distancing on board and in stations, required face coverings and sophisticated air filtration. Amtrak customers can avoid traffic and enjoy free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room...
Commuter Activity: Geneva, IL
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Got a shot of a commuter train on my lunch hour. It's pushing the train east into Chicago.

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Amtrak: Additional funding needed soon to avoid additional service and employment reductions
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WASHINGTON – Following regular discussion with Congress about our federal funding needs for Fiscal Year 2021, Amtrak submitted a letter to Congress formalizing our ongoing request for up to $4.857 billion this fiscal year for Amtrak and our partners.

From the letter, Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn notes “we have seen that our ridership is not returning as quickly or at the levels that we had hoped for, and we updated our forecast for FY 21. We now anticipate needing up to $4.857 billion in FY21 to support the company and our employees through this unprecedented situation.”

Additionally, as Congress considers programs for stimulating the economy, Amtrak has identified $5.193 billion in additional investments as part of an economic recovery proposal to help the nation recover from the impacts of the pandemic, for a total federal investment of $10.050 billion. This includes critical...
Amtrak Partnership With RB, The Makers Of Lysol®, Further Strengthens Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Hygiene Protocols
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A leader in germ-kill products helps rail customers travel with confidence

ORANGE, Calif. – Since the onset of COVID-19, Amtrak has led the way in ushering a new standard of safe travel. Today, The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which manages the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service, is building on its commitment to the safety and wellbeing of travelers by announcing a partnership with RB, the makers of Lysol. As part of this new partnership, germ-kill experts and microbiologists from RB will help Amtrak strengthen its comprehensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for Amtrak trains, stations and Metropolitan Lounges. The partnership will launch in stations served by Pacific Surfliner trains, before expanding across the Amtrak network.

“We’re excited to be selected as one of Lysol’s first rail partners as we roll out the use of their disinfection solutions in stations served by the...
Buy A Roomette And Bring A Companion For Free For Travel On The Amtrak Auto Train
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OCTOBER 1, 2020

Skip the traffic and Get Carried Away

WASHINGTON – For those looking for a unique adventure or visiting family and friends, customers can travel in the comfort of a private room with the latest flash sale for the Amtrak Auto Train. When one person purchases a Roomette, one companion can join them for free. The sale is available for purchase from Thursday, Oct. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 11. The offer is valid for travel from Oct. 4 – Dec. 17, 2020.

The Auto Train offers daily, non-stop service from Lorton, Va. (near Washington, D.C.), and Sanford, Fla. (near Orlando). Customers can skip I-95 and travel with their vehicles, including cars, vans, SUVs, motorcycles and even small boats or jet-skis. This is the only such service in the U.S. and eliminates nearly 900 miles of driving between the Northeast and all points in Florida.

For customers seeking both privacy and savings...
Amtrak: Delivering A New Standard Of Travel
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – Amtrak is leading the way by setting a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and cleaning measures. In an effort to simplify and safeguard the travel experience, several cleaning, contact-free and convenience measures have been implemented into every part of the customer journey — from time of booking to the moment of arrival.

With a full-time medical director and public health and safety team who have been on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have studied, analyzed and made improvements to the Amtrak travel experience – from beginning to end – for the safety and health of our people and travelers.

Amtrak continues to evaluate current practices and launch new initiatives to support personal safety. For more information, follow Amtrak on social media, sign up for Amtrak Guest Rewards and visit...
Amtrak Police And California Operation Lifesaver Recognize Lodi Cop Who Rescued A Man Stuck On Railroad Tracks
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2020

66-year-old wheelchair user was in direct path of oncoming train

LODI, Calif. – The Amtrak Police Department (APD) presented a Lodi, California Police Officer with the prestigious “Life Saving Medal” for her swift and heroic actions that saved a man’s life within seconds of being hit by an oncoming freight train. Officer Erika Urrea, a 14-year veteran of the force, was honored at the Lodi Police Station during an award ceremony on Monday hosted by APD and California Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit railroad safety education organization.

On Aug.12, Officer Urrea spotted a man in a wheelchair stuck on the railroad tracks near Lodi Avenue. As the crossing gates activated and were coming down, Urrea got out of her patrol car and ran to assist. After unsuccessfully attempting to free the wheelchair, with only seconds to spare, she physically pulled the man out of the chair and the two fell backwards just a few feet away from the oncoming 250-ton freight...
Homewood Improvements Will Make It An Even Better Home For Amtrak And Metra Customers In Illinois
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SEPTEMBER 28, 2020

Full access from both sides of the tracks, tunnel, station and platform work under way following ceremony
HOMEWOOD, Ill. – Improvements to Amtrak and Metra customer facilities at the shared station in Chicago south-suburban Homewood were celebrated this morning by federal, state and local officials formally beginning a combined $29 million construction project that will continue through spring 2022.

Now underway on the west side of the tracks owned by Metra and CN Railway, Amtrak is using $15 million of federal funds it receives for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to replace the stairway and augment the stairs with an enclosed ramp, allowing all customers to access the tunnel under the tracks to both the Amtrak and the Metra train platforms.

Metra electric trains and Amtrak diesel-powered trains operate on separate tracks with different platform...
Amtrak Provides Real-Time Look At Seat Availability
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SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

WASHINGTON – To provide customers with an extra level of confidence and security while traveling, Amtrak has made a few updates to its website and mobile app. Now, when booking, customers can easily see how full their reserved train will be (i.e. 20 % full). The percentage is displayed in real-time when customers search for their train.

When searching for travel, customers will see a volume percentage next to each route. This will give customers the opportunity to book a route that is less crowded. The percentage shown represents the proportion of seats sold based on the total number of seats on the train. These percentage numbers adjust dynamically in real time as more passengers make reservations.

“Prioritizing health and safety, we continue to provide customers with new, innovative measures that promote physical distancing and contactless travel,” said Amtrak President and CEO Bill Flynn. “We have studied, analyzed...
Amtrak-Led Coalition Wins Another Southwest Chief Grant
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SEPTEMBER 23, 2020



$11.5 million will stabilize and improve Colo.-N.M. segment
WASHINGTON – Amtrak, committed to the national network of long-distance, interregional trains, is thanking the Federal Railroad Administration for a $5.6 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant to stabilize and rehabilitate the route of the Amtrak Southwest Chief in Colorado and New Mexico. Combined with $4.9 million in Amtrak federal funds set aside for this service and $1 million from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), a total of $11.5 million will be invested from Trinidad, Colo., to south of Lamy, N.M.

This is the fifth federal grant for the route segment in these two states and Kansas. There is still a significant need for component renewal and restoration of...
“Operation Clear Track” Goes Virtual For Largest Rail Safety Program In The U.S. And Canada
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SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

Initiative is part of Rail Safety Week 2020

WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Police Department, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), first responders and railroads across the U.S. and Canada are delivering virtual simultaneous rail safety messages as part of “Operation Clear Track,” the single largest rail safety education initiative across the U.S. and Canada during Rail Safety Week, September 21-27.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s fourth annual rail safety event will be conducted virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 22, by 368 law enforcement agencies, first responders and emergency departments nationwide, each sending out a single rail safety message designed to reduce deaths and injuries along the railroad rights-of way.

“The first responders who signed up this year to electronically share our rail safety message are the same men and women who report to the scene when a railroad incident occurs,” said Amtrak Police Chief...

Amtrak Launches New Reduced Multi-Ride Fares on Northeast Regional for Customer Savings on Northeast Corridor

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Amtrak Launches New Reduced Multi-Ride Fares on Northeast Regional for Customer Savings on Northeast Corridor
SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

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Customers can save up to 50 percent on their tickets and confirm their train before travel
WASHINGTON – Amtrak multi-ride travelers can now save up to 40 percent on the cost of their monthly tickets and 50 percent for 10-ride tickets on all Northeast Regional trains, between Boston and Virginia. The discount program incorporates part of the latest customer amenity, Amtrak RideReserveSM, which allows customers who purchase monthly, ten-ride and six-ride multi-ride tickets to confirm their trip prior to boarding on the Amtrak apps and on...
Americans Continue to Strongly Support More Rail and Public Transit
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Americans Continue to Strongly Support More Rail and Public Transit
SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

Favorability Rises Post-Pandemic; Support Shifting Trips to Passenger Rail and Public Transit to Address Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Whether it’s to commute short distances, travel long distances, improve the environment, or expand service, Americans continue to show strong support for rail, according to a new poll conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS on behalf of the OneRail Coalition. Another recent poll, conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), showed similar strong support for moving goods by rail and the importance of freight rail in reducing the transportation sector’s impact on climate change.

Findings of the OneRail poll include:

  • 75% of Americans agree that we should be shifting more trips to passenger rail and public transit to address the impacts of transportation on climate change...




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