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National Association of Railroad Passengers Honors State of North Carolina, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Release #07-17—November 5, 2007

Washington D.C., November 5, 2007 – At its national board meeting in Charlotte on October 26, the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) unanimously approved a resolution honoring the State of North Carolina, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for their efforts on behalf of rail passenger service.

“The State, City and County have demonstrated that NARP’s vision for transportation policy is not only attractive, but viable,” said George Chilson, president of NARP. “By combining thoughtful land-use policies with investments in intercity, urban and regional passenger rail, these public agencies are providing the fast-growing Charlotte area with a streamlined transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses, and visitors.”

The resolution approved on Friday, October 26, noted the two decades of support by the State of North Carolina for Amtrak’s Carolinian and Piedmont services, as well as the state’s upgrades to track and infrastructure and improvements to stations throughout the state. These improvements last month won the state’s Department of Transportation the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s coveted 2007 John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy.

The resolution also commended the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for incorporating light and commuter rail into an integrated transportation network complementing intercity passenger rail. In addition, the State and City are developing a major, new multi-modal station that will serve the Charlotte region.

NARP is the only national, citizen-based organization advocating increased use of trains to address the problems we face with energy, congestion and global warming. NARP’s goal is to have a nationwide “grid and gateway” system in place in the next 40 years—or sooner—by improving existing rail lines, by expanding the number of high-speed rail corridors in higher-density areas, and by growing capacity where bottlenecks create delays, reduce speed and limit frequencies. A map of the proposed “grid and gateway” network and information on its benefits are at www.narprail.org/vision .

“North Carolina is showing that not only is our vision eminently achievable, it is actually being achieved in some parts of the country,” said Ross Capon, executive director of NARP.

Noting that, before passing the resolution, NARP Board members had heard from officials of both North Carolina and South Carolina Departments of Transportation, Capon said, “States are eager to move forward and replicate North Carolina’s success, but--as both state DOT officials made clear to us--they are frustratingly hampered by the lack of a federal partner. It is time for our lawmakers in Washington D.C. to step up to the plate. We are encouraged by positive action in the Senate October 30.”

The full text of the board’s resolution follows.


NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION TO THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, CITY OF CHARLOTTE, AND MECKLENBURG COUNTY

WHEREAS the State of North Carolina has for two decades supported intercity passenger train service via investment in Amtrak’s Carolinian and Piedmont services, upgrades to track and infrastructure and improvements to stations throughout the state, and

WHEREAS the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County are developing a rail transit system that incorporates light rail and commuter rail into an integrated transportation network complementing long-distance passenger rail, and

WHEREAS efforts by the State, City and County all predate and surpass NARP’s own “grid and gateway” vision for the region, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the National Association of Railroad Passengers Board of Directors commends the State of North Carolina, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for their sustained and foresighted public leadership and vision in supporting rail passenger service.

--Approved unanimously October 26, 2007, by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Railroad Passengers, meeting in Charlotte, NC.