Commentary, Editorials



MAY 11, 2012 – The Rail Passenger Association of California (RailPAC), the Coast Starlight Communities Network and the Steel Wheels Coalition® are working together to step up the campaign for an additional passenger train along the California Coast.  To be known as the Coast Daylight, this train will provide daily service between the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Twenty years of effort by public agencies have been met by stonewalling by the Union Pacific Railroad.  While the railroad has its own interests and those of its customers, it should add depth to the slogan that it builds America.  It can demonstrate its commitment to a more constructive relationship with Californians by opening the Union Pacific coast line to another intercity passenger train.

The coast line is not a busy freight route and only one daily passenger train, the Coast Starlight, plies the route.  Technical questions about changes in the railroad track and signaling are raised, discussed … but rarely answered by the railroad unless that answer involves huge investment in capacity.  The Union Pacific Railroad demands for capacity expansion currently go beyond what is necessary to provide good freight and passenger service.

Passenger rail enhances freight service with better quality track and dispatching.  Extra costs imposed on the privately owned railroad, we believe, should be paid for by the beneficiaries. Passenger rail groups believe that common carriers of freight and passengers benefit from higher discipline in running the entire railroad.  Scheduled passenger service creates daily goals for operations to run more efficiently without causing significant increases in cost.

Time for action – the Union Pacific Railroad should celebrate its 150th anniversary by joining with the state of California, and the counties and communities of California at the negotiating table.

You can view and sign the petition by visiting


About RailPAC

The Rail Passenger Association of California, a 501 c3 non-profit corporation, is a membership based organization serving California, Nevada and the western United States.

About the Coast Starlight Communities Network

The Coast Starlight Communities Network, created in 2007, is a coalition of various interests with the goal of protecting and improving rail service between Washington, Oregon, and California.  They have assumed an educational and advocacy role dedicated to improving rail services along the Coast Starlight corridor.  With the assistance of partner organizations thousands of campaign fliers have been distributed to educate travelers, advocates, and community leaders of the importance of the Coast Starlight.

About the Steel Wheels Coalition®

The Steel Wheels Coalition provides a non-membership alliance among organizations and brings together groups that support better passenger service and preservation of long-distance trains in America.

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