Passenger

Rail Transit In Slow Recovery

It has now been more than six months since the COVID-19 virus hit the United States and Canada, and also hit transit hard in both nations. The riders disappeared. On some systems, ridership dropped as low as 5% of prior levels. Service plummeted in many places, too. Here at Railway Age and its sibling publications, we kept track of the downward progress of everything on rails: freight and passenger/transit. This writer was on the team that documented rail transit’s decline. Ridership is beginning its slow upward climb; how far up it will eventually go is anybody’s guess. So is service; in some places more than others. This article will present a comprehensive look at how rail transit is returning.

Senate Commerce Gets An Earful of Rail

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Oct. 21 convened a hearing on the state of the U.S. passenger and freight rail network. Railroad, shipping and union representatives provided testimony, which included the impacts of COVID-19, legislative considerations for surface transportation reauthorization, and Amtrak’s ongoing struggles. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is Chair of the Committee. Following are highlights from the presenters, with downloadable PDFs of their full written testimony.

IRJ Launches All-In-One Digital Subscription

International Railway Journal (IRJ, part of the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Rail Group with Railway Age and Railway Track & Structures) has launched a new all-in-one digital subscription that gives users unlimited access to the IRJ website, a new Premium News weekly newsletter exclusive to digital subscribers, the digital edition of IRJ magazine, plus access to podcasts and webinars.

Pennsylvania has made “enormous” investments in the Keystone East Line without managerial control, said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), whose new legislation would allow the Commonwealth “to provide greater local control, accountability, and expand ridership opportunities.”

Will Ownership of Amtrak’s Keystone East Line Transfer to Pennsylvania?

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) has introduced legislation requiring a transfer of ownership of Amtrak’s Keystone East Line and some of its 12 stations to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under the Keystone Line for the Commonwealth Act, the line between Harrisburg, Pa., and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station would be managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).