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CANCELLED March 10: Informal Members Discussion at Philippes

Unfortunately due to a conflict, we must postpone this event.
We hope to reschedule at a later date.

There will be an informal members discussion March 10th at 10 AM within walking distance of LA Union Station and the Chinatown Gold line station at Philippes the Original, 1001 N Alameda, Los Angeles.


RailPAC members welcome!  Meetings usually occupy the first room (to your left at the top of the stairs) on the second floor of Philippes.


Events, Issues

HSR at Burbank City Council meeting – 10/27/15 6 PM

Tuesday, October 26 at 6.00 pm there will be a joint meeting of Burbank City Council and the City Transportation Commission.  High Speed Rail is the first topic and the meeting is sure to attract opponents from neighboring communities.
RailPAC members are encouraged to attend to show support for the project.  As Chair of the Transportation Commission I’ll be making a presentation.  I’ll also be staying for public comment to counter some opposition arguments.
City Hall is walking distance from the downtown Metrolink station and on many Metro bus routes.  Please try and attend.

Annual Members Meeting

Steel Wheels Conference
2016:  A Year of Possibilities

December 5, 2015
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Doors Open 9:00 am, with a break for lunch (not provided)
Metro Boardroom, Los Angeles


STEEL WHEELS 2015 Conference is your opportunity to show your support for the long distance trains. By attending this gathering you will show our Los Angeles based Amtrak Board member, Yvonne Burke, that we are behind her as she represents the western states at Amtrak Board meetings. In addition Ms. Burke is a member of the California Transportation Commission.

In addition to Ms Burke we’ll be joined by newly appointed Amtrak route managers Jay Fountain and Eric Smith, who will describe their initiatives to improve revenue and amenities. Jay is responsible for the Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle and Heartland Flyer, while Eric manages the Coast Starlight and the Southwest Chief. Register today and let’s show these folks, and Amtrak in DC, that we believe in the long distance trains and will support them.

Once again RailPAC and NARP are presenting the annual Joint RailPAC/NARP Conference, a must for rail advocates.

Conveniently located at the Los Angeles Metro Board Room at Union Station in Los Angeles, California this meeting will kick off with information and discussion about the issues facing passenger rail.

Keynote speaker will be Director of the Amtrak Board, Yvonne Burke.  2016 will be a challenging year for Amtrak, regional and High Speed Rail. Industry leaders will present their thoughts on growing a mobility network for California. In the afternoon we’ll address the role of advocacy groups and how we mobility advocacy groups are invited to participate.

  • Yvonne Burke
    Board Member, Amtrak
    Former Congresswoman and L.A. County Supervisor
  • Dave Golonski
    Chair, LOSSAN
    Served 20 years on Burbank City Council including four terms as Mayor
  • Darrell Clarke
    Chair, Transportation Committee, Sierra Club, Los Angeles
    Darrell leads Friends4Expo, the successful campaign for light rail in west Los Angeles
  • Bruce Becker
    NARP Board
  • Dave Cook
    Rail Propulsion System – Hybrid diesels and after market emission systems.

Santa Barbara Train Day

Although Amtrak will not be sponsoring National Train Day this year RailPAC, together with a number of local groups, is continuing the tradition at Santa Barbara.  Train Day will take place Saturday May 9th at the historic depot.  County Supervisor Salud Carbajal will emcee the event and State Senator Jackson and Mayor Helene Schneider are confirmed attendees.
The day will start for those wanting a train ride with train 774 to Carpinteria, returning on 1761.  Events and ceremonies will begin upon arrival of 1761 at about 10.30 am.

SLO Rail Supporters Social Evening

Save the date!
Wednesday – August 13, 2014
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Meet local elected representatives including
SLO Mayor and the Chair and Vice Chair of LOSSAN

Light refreshments
Donation minimum $10

RSVP essential to Paul Dyson

Steel Wheels in California

Annual Steel Wheels Conference

Steel Wheels in CaliforniaSaturday – November 15th
10:30 – 3:30 PM  |  Doors open at 10:00
California State Railroad Museum Auditorium,  Sacramento

Register Today
Members:  $35 / Non-members:  $45

Conference Agenda

There’s still time to register for Steel Wheels in Sacramento, your chance to meet and question railroad officials and advocates and to learn about the state of the passenger rail state here in California.  I have been told that Jeff Morales, CEO of CHSRA will be the presenter for High Speed Rail, and Chad Edison, Deputy Secretary for Rail of California DoT will update us on the state intercity rail program and passenger rail in general.  These are the top two state officials for passenger rail.
In addition this is your chance to meet the new NARP President, Jim Mathews, who is coming from Washington DC for this meeting.  This is a not-to-be-missed event.  Take advantage of the 15% Amtrak discount on travel to Sacramento and bring a friend.  See you there!
– Paul Dyson

Save 15% on Amtrak travel to Sacramento


National Train Day in Santa Barbara

May 10th, 2014 National Train Day Celebration!

Theme:Why should everyone be stuck in traffic? With 101 construction to last over a decade, the obvious solution is waiting at the station. Ventura to Goleta commuter rail is needed NOW!


  • Rail Passengers Association of California & Nevada (RailPAC)
  • Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST)
  • Alliance for Sustainable and Equitable Regional Transportation (ASERT)
  • Coastal Rail Now (CRN)
  • Elected Officials  invited include Das Williams, Salud Carbajal, and Helene Schneider
  • Train lovers from far and wide!

What: A train ride at 9:20am to Carpinteria, and back to SB at 10:15. Munch on food from OmniCatering, decorate train cookies from Fresco Café, and enjoy giveaways from Amtrak. The Press Conference begins at10:30 with elected officials.  You’ll hear them address the vital role that rail plays in creating a sustainable community, the importance of rail in relieving congestion on the 101, and the necessity of working across county lines. Videographer Larry Nimmer will capture all the action.

When: May 10th, 2014

You’re invited to ride along with local families and elected officials to Carpinteria and back starting at 9:20am, or greet the train’s arrival at 10:15 am at the Santa Barbara station, which coincides with the event’s official kick-off and 10:30 press conference.


  • 9:00 am: Arrival at Santa Barbara train station to prepare for 9:20am departure.
  • 9:20 am: Depart the Santa Barbara train station southbound for Carpinteria.
  • 9:20 am: Ventura County attendees depart Oxnard station northbound for SB.
  • 9:35 am: Southbound riders detrain at the Carpinteria station.
  • 9:57 am: Board the northbound train for return to Santa Barbara.
  • 10:15 am: Train arrives in Santa Barbara – National Train Day 2014 begins!
  • 10:30 am: Press conference with elected officials, with press availability to follow.

Where:  Santa Barbara Train Station (209 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101)

Contact: Dennis Story
(805) 455-2926


2014 Steel Wheels Conference, 1 February


The 2014 Annual Steel Wheels Conference

Saturday, February 1, 2014
Los Angeles Metro Board Room
at Union Station, Los Angeles

9:30 am – 3:30 pm • Doors Open 9:00 am
with a break for lunch (not provided)

Once again RailPAC and NARP are presenting the annual Steel Wheels Conference, a must for rail advocates. Conveniently located at the Metro Board Room at Union Station this meeting will kick off the 75th anniversary of the station with information and discussion about the issues facing passenger rail. This could be a year of opportunity, or a very tough year for passenger rail. The national network is struggling, to put it mildly. The Empire Builder service is falling apart, a combination of a surge in freight traffic and extreme weather. The Southwest Chief is in jeopardy, who will pay to maintain the track? The Coast Starlight is a shadow of its former self, with a reduced consist and threat of loss of the Pacific Parlor car. At the same time the regional and commuter trains are underfunded. Punctuality remains poor on the Surfliner service. What will the new Joint Powers Boards do that the old management could not accomplish? These questions and more will be raised at our February 1st meeting in Los Angeles. This is our chance to show the politicians and Amtrak management that we care about these issues, and that we, and the public, deserve better. Please make every effort to attend this important meeting.

Some of the officials coming to the February 1 Meeting (UPDATED January 27);
Not in order of appearance!

LA City Council Member Tom La Bonge,
California Senator Carol Liu,

Mark Murphy – General Manager, Long Distance Services
Joy Smith – Business Liaison Director of Service Excellence, Long Distance Services
Mike Dwyer – Route Director, Coast Starlight and Southwest Chief

California High Speed Rail Authority
Michelle Boehm

LOSSAN Corridor Joint Powers Authority
Fred Strong, Chair, LOSSAN
Dave Golonski, Vice Chair, LOSSAN
Jacki Bacharach, former Vice Chair, LOSSAN
Jennifer Bergener, LOSSAN staff.

LA Metro
Don Sepulveda,

Armin Kick, Siemens
Roy Van Wynsberghe, Alstom
Dave Cook, Energy Conversions
Penny White, La Vegas X Train

You can register using one of two methods:

  1. Send the attached registration form with a check to RailPAC, c/o Marcus Jung, PO Box 22344, San Francisco, CA 94122
  2. Online, use this link to the Steel Wheels Conference on EventBrite