A new way to think about night trains

A Strong Foundation

Long-distance night trains represent America, connecting cities and distant rural areas, serving higher-ticket tourists and budget-minded commuters, and uniting elected leaders of every political persuasion.

They are highly productive, cost-effectively bundling together many routes and travel markets.

We believe long-distance night trains can be the foundation for improving and expanding our entire national rail network.

Night trains are a cost-effective way to connect rural America.
Amtrak is planning to cut night train service from daily to just three days a week.
Tell Congress that this is unacceptable.

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A dynamic, high-value service.

The current conversation around night trains focuses on saving what’s left, rather than on expanding and improving a dynamic, high-value service.

A faulty assumption underlying much of the debate around long-distance rail travel is the “three-hour rule,” which assumes travelers will choose to fly for trips over three hours. The three-hour rule has prevented policy makers from identifying improvements that would create significant ridership growth.

In fact, trains are fast, convenient and affordable – at any distance.


You can gain hundreds of miles per day over driving by working, eating and sleeping on the train.
Night trains connect the nation

The Empire Builder’s Chicago-Seattle route offers one example of how trains bridge time zones and economic classes, serving residents of dense cities and sparse rural areas alike.

Passengers get on and off the train all along its route, some riding for just a stop or two, some going the entire distance from the Midwest to the coast.

Riders who pay a premium for bedrooms help subsidize the train, making rural transportation affordable for the one- or two-stop riders.

Sleeping car passenger provide the base-revenue needed to offer low-cost coach tickets.
People use the Empire Builder for many different trip lengths and for many purposes. Passengers going the whole way are critical to making the service work.
A new approach

The High Speed Rail Alliance believes in a visionary federal policy to expand networks and service throughout the country.

Night trains are one of the cost-effective tools we have to build an integrated national network.

We need to change the language from cost burdens to acquisition of new state-of-the-art trains and track, improvements in on-time performance and expansion of service.

State-of-the-art trainsets, like this new Saudi night train, will improve ridership and revenue, while reducing operating costs.
Want to learn more?

Resources on the benefits of night trains to riders, communities and policymakers.

Two night trains prepare to depart Shanghai for Beijing
Ready to get involved?

Despite their great value, Amtrak is planning on slashing night train service in October.

Please tell your representatives in DC: Don't let Amtrak cut service.

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