Southeast Rail Tour Launched to Support Amtrak Service Tour to Include Charlotte, Atlanta, Columbia, Raleigh, and Richmond
What: In response to the lack of adequate funding for Amtrak, Friends of the Earth, an international environmental and public health organization, is launching a Whistle-Stop tour of the Southeastern states. Transportation Coordinator Colin Peppard will be visiting 5 cities to tour Amtrak facilities and talk with state officials, the media, businesses, activists, and most importantly, train passengers. The tour is aimed at supporting greater funding and development of Amtrak, America’s national rail system.
“There are a lot of people in the Southeast that rely on Amtrak,” said Peppard. “People use the trains for all sorts of things – visiting relatives, travelling for business, going on vacation, returning home from college.”
Where: Peppard will be traveling across the Southeastern U.S., looping from Washington D.C. to Georgia and back. He will visit the following cities, and will be available to speak with media as his schedule permits.
- Monday, 2/13 – Charlotte, NC
- Tuesday, 2/14 – Atlanta, Georgia
- Wednesday, 2/15 – Columbia, SC
- Thursday, 2/16 – Raleigh, NC
- Friday, 2/17 – Richmond, VA
Why: Friends of the Earth supports passenger rail and Amtrak because of the great environmental benefits compared to auto or airplane travel. Trains are more fuel efficient, emit less global warming pollution, and get cars off the road. Rail development also contributes to the economy, national security, and transportation choice.
- Amtrak serves more than 500 stations in 46 states.
- In fiscal year 2005, Amtrak served more than 25 million passengers, an all-time record.
- Each day, approximately 68,000 passengers travel on Amtrak.
- On weekdays, Amtrak provides contracted services for commuter rails that handle an average of 850,000 passengers per day on 300 trains.
- Amtrak operates over more than 22,000 route miles.
Blogging from the Road – Colin will be posting updates and experience from the road on The Whistle Stop, Friends of the Earth’s Amtrak blog. In addition to following his progress, you can also get recent Amtrak news updates, ask questions, and post comments. Visit our blog at http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/foe/blog/?blog_KEY=202.
Video from the Trip – Colin will be recording his trip digitally and producing a short video about his experience and the potential of Amtrak upon his return.
Factsheet – President’s FY07 Amtrak Funding Request: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing