Rail masthead

Realizing Passenger Rail's Potential

Realizing Passenger Rail's Potential

This edition of RAIL Magazine is unlike any of the previous 36 issues we've published. Rather than a look at the nuances of individual passenger rail services and projects or the exact policy and legislative mechanisms that frame how rail systems are built and maintained, we're taking a broader look at some of the philosophic and cultural issues at play as a rail service is proposed, planned, designed, built and operated.


Download Rail in full or choose from the articles featured below.

To ease our readers in the transition to RAIL magazine's new digital format, we have developed a troubleshooting tips for downloading the magazine, as well as a guide to using the new publication once it is downloaded.

In this Issue

From the Editors

Rich and Scott

Click here to watch Editor-in-Chief Scott Bogren and Editor Rich Sampson offer an overview of the feature articles and department pieces in this edition of RAIL.

The Rail Yard

People crossing at a cross walk in front of a street car.

Our Rail Yard pieces explore the challenge of what numbers are counted when determining modal split and why transit riders bear the brunt of poor public policy.

All Aboard

Water color painting of a street car at stop.

Updates on key passenger rail projects and developments across North America, including the debuts of the Atlanta Streetcar and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.

Our Values: How to Realize Passenger Rail's Potential

Drawing of a Covention Center Project with urban rail service.

Transit and rail strengthens communities and allows people to live more productive, enjoyable lives. For a rail or transit project, this means its ability to produce the conditions a given community determines essential to its identity or its sense of place - those things that make it unique, inviting and lasting.

Changing the Discussion

charts and infographics

Overcoming the inertia of political stalemates and conflicting community priorities, passenger rail advocates, leaders and planners need to make better and more consistent arguments. The next 19 pages of this magazine help make the case through data, charts and infographics.

Justice, Ethics & Power: Ethical Ideas for Livable Communities

Photograph of a street corner in an urban center

Passenger rail can attract economic development like few other infrastructure investments but those gains can be offset by skyrocketing housing costs and loss of the very historic and cultural identities that made a community authentic in the first place. Bearing in mind that paradox, Dr. Laura Hartman discusses the intersection of transit and ethical challenges in sustainable communities.

DEDICATED - Why the Debate About Exclusive Lanes Misses the Point of Neighborhood-Based Transit

streetcar pulling into a stop

Should a streetcar or BRT line operate in mixed traffic with other vehicles or are exclusive travel lanes required? Why is achieving dedicated transit infrastructure such a battle? Here, we'll take a look at the issues and values that underpin these discussions and examine some strategies that might lead to a greater success rate in bringing these projects from plans to reality.

How Did Detroit and Light Rail Appear in the Same Sentence? A Case Study and Some Implications

Drawing of street car on city street at night

Rip Rapson of the Kresge Foundation describes why Detroit's M-1 Rail project is vital important to the city, how it got started, what obstacles it encountered and where it finds itself now along with a set of principles will have broader implications across America.

Unrivaled Grandeur - Cincinnati Union Terminal

The Cincinnati Union Terminal

The Cincinnati Union Terminal's semi-dome is the largest in the western hemisphere, smaller only than the Sydney Opera House in Australia. But just as the passage of time crumbles many a man-made edifice, it almost also leveled this historic train station; a true American architectural masterpiece. Almost.


Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729