June 17, 2017 – TRA Newswire / NARPrail.org –

 

On the weekend of June 23, National Association of Railroad Passengers members and rail advocates from across the country will host rallies in cities across the country to support long distance passenger rail and oppose the White House’s plans to kill Amtrak’s long-distance routes.

 

Visit www.townswithouttrains.com for a “rally locator” to help NARP members find a rally to attend near them. And if there’s no rally near you we’re making it easy for you to help to host a rally in your community, by signing up on the website. We’ll provide all the materials you need in a Rally In A Box kit. The site also makes it easy to contact Congress via email or phone. The main goal of the rallies will be to encourage Congress to appropriately fund Amtrak in the FY2018 budget.

The rallies are a direct response to a proposed federal budget that will kill Amtrak in more than 220 cities and towns in 23 states. More than 140 million Americans are currently at risk of losing all Amtrak service under the proposed White House budget.

NARP is also asking members to use the #Rally4Trains hashtag to help rail supporters stand up and voice their concerns on social media. Opposition to slashing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s budget is crucial to persuading Congress to block this disastrous proposal and set budget priorities appropriately. Federal representatives must understand that funding and maintaining a national rail network is vital to everyday life for millions of people, as well as the economic growth and prosperity of the country.

 

The #Rally4Trains is a series of national events taking place on the weekend of June 23rd, but continuing for as long as is necessary to ensure trains are a part of the national transportation system. Some rallies will take place on Saturday, June 24, Sunday, June 25th, and June 26. Each rally is designed to raise awareness with members of Congress and let them know that if budget cuts to Amtrak–and crucial U.S. DOT grant programs like TIGER are approved–millions of people will be left isolated in the rural and less wealthy communities in so-called “flyover country.” Jobs will disappear and economic growth will be lost in these affected communities.

 

Confirmed rallies are expected to take place in many cities including: Alpine, Texas; Alexandria, VA; Birmingham, AL; Charlottesville, VA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; Martinsburg, WV; Meridian, MS; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Portland, OR; Richmond, VA; San Luis Obispo, CA; Toledo, OH; Wilmington, DE and many other locations. Rallies are being added and changed each day, so keep checking back. And if your community is missing it’s not too late for you to stand up to host a rally — we’ll send you everything you need.

 

As it stands now, the proposed 2018 White House budget would slash funding for Amtrak, but also transit and commuter rail programs. It will cost thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs, especially in small town America. Budget cuts will place a disproportionate amount of pain on rural and working class communities who rely on rail and public transit services for everyday travel.

 

Several local communities have begun to take note, and highlight the detrimental impact that the proposed budget cuts will have.

  • In Sandusky, OH for example, 10,000 people every year take Amtrak’s Capitol Limited train, which runs from Washington, D.C., to Chicago.
  • Southern Rail Commission Chairperson Greg White has been encouraging people to take part in the #Rally4Trains in Birmingham, AL. The Commission, along with NARP have been working with Amtrak to restore service again to the Gulf Coast for millions of people.

For more information on #Rally4Trains events, to see if your town could lose service, to sign up to volunteer to host a rally in your town, or to contact members of Congress, visitwww.TownsWithoutTrains.com.

 

You can also download and print various posters & flyers that you can use during your local rally or to provide other rail advocates. If you need any additional information, please e-mail rally@narprail.org.

 

[The Towns Without Trains and #Rally4Trains project has been made possible through generous bequests from the estates of George McCallum, Edmund Fritz and Lewis Hoppe, as well as contributions from NARP members all across America who make our work possible.]