NARP rebrands as RPA

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) has changed its name to the Rail Passengers Association (RPA) and adopted a new logo that “evokes the image of a train window through which passengers view the world.”

The rebranding comes on the 50th anniversary of the organization’s founding, and “heralds a new age of advocacy for rail passengers in North America,” RPA said. “The new brand image was developed over the past year after extensive research and review of the organization’s membership of more than 28,000 rail passengers. It coincides with the planned launch of a new web address at, and the previously announced relocation of the organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to a larger, modern and connected office space. The new brand is designed to appeal to a broad swath of riders—in every age group—who can benefit from rail as a major mode of transportation, including to work, school and for recreation.”

The RPA logo, a landscape-oriented rectangle, with two slanted lines in its lower left corner, “allows the organization to highlight scenes riders would see from their train seat by adding different pictures and photos inside the window,” RPA said. “By highlighting the passenger’s view, the brand makes the passenger experience its central focus. It is also designed to be flexible for an increasingly digital and ever-changing world.”

“There are infinite possibilities to show a mix of cityscapes and landscapes inside the rectangle of the logo to create a view out of the imagined window,” said RPA President and CEO Jim Mathews. “We can even use animation and movement to take advantage of the social media and web-based platforms where we advocate for rail riders. And, we can highlight regional differences and issues that we care about.”

“Our commitment to fighting for passenger rail is stronger now that it has ever been before,” said Mathews. “As we look to the future, we intend to fight for modern, interconnected transportation systems that meet the needs of train riders today and in the future. Our new brand symbolizes our commitment to ensuring that advanced, modern, and safe passenger rail reaches every corner of North America. The brand image is modern, simple and human, focusing on passengers, as opposed to trains. RPA represents people and serves to amplify their voices in the halls of power around this country.”

The National Association of Railroad Passengers will continue to be the legal name of the not-for-profit entity. NARP was established in 1967, when intercity passenger rail service in the U.S.—privately operated by the freight railroads that, as common carriers, were forced to operate passenger trains at tremendous financial loss—had badly deteriorated. Four years later, the U.S. government formed the National Railroad Passenger Corp.—Amtrak—to relieve the freight railroads of their obligation to operate passenger services, while preserving some semblance of a national network.





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