Jim Matthews, President of the National Association of Rail Passengers, will be in Rutland, Vermont on November 8 to address participants in the gala Annual Dinner of the Vermont Rail Action Network. Prospects for better passenger rail service in Vermont, and the fate of the US national passenger rail system will be discussed.
The National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) is the largest national membership advocacy organization for train and rail transit passengers, with over 28,000 members. Since 1967, NARP has worked to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the United States. It envisions an expanded national network of passenger trains (short, medium, and long-distance), putting 80% of Americans within 25 miles of a train station served by frequent, fast, and reliable trains providing top-notch customer service.
The Trump administration and leaders in Congress recently proposed eliminating federal funding for Amtrak’s national network, and reducing or eliminating urgently needed investments in rail infrastructure. NARP mobilized its members across the nation to beat back these efforts to hobble Amtrak. Mr. Matthews will discuss these and other challenges and opportunities in passenger rail, including upcoming rail service improvements planned for Vermont (such as extending service north from Rutland to Burlington, and from St. Albans to Montreal, Quebec), and the introduction of regional commuter rail options in Vermont.
VRAN’s Annual Dinner will take place at the Southside Steakhouse in Rutland, Vermont on Wed., Nov. 8th from 5:30 – 7:45 p.m. A sumptuous dinner with dessert will be served. An excursion train will carry guests from Burlington to Rutland for the event. VT Gov. Phil Scott and VT Sec. of Transportation Joe Flynn will also address the group. Rail industry executives, community leaders and advocates will also be there. VRAN will honor prominent rail advocates with special awards. Tickets to the Annual Dinner are $69 and must be purchased in advance by Nov. 6. Online ticketing is available at:www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3098692.
Since 1972, the Vermont Rail Action Network (VRAN) has worked to promote the modernization and revitalization of Vermont’s rail network for passengers and freight. Our goal is to strengthen Vermont’s economic climate by improving rail infrastructure, and expand the availability of cost-effective rail transportation. VRAN works with diverse stakeholders including rail freight haulers and shippers, Amtrak, transit providers, state & federal agencies, elected officials, community leaders, rail entrepreneurs and the public to educate and advocate for better railroads, and to promote the expansion of rail-based services.