Delmarva Rail Passenger Association is a grass-roots organization of
persons interested in increasing the options for rail travel
throughout the Delmarva peninsula, but most especially in Delaware.
It came together about 30 years ago when SEPTA discontinued commuter
rail service to Wilmington. By continual lobbying and building
grass-roots pressure on legislators and other governmental
persons/agencies (DelDot, federal congressmen and senators,
governors), it slowly built enough pressure that rail passenger
service from Phila. to Wilmington was reinstated around 1996. Since
then, we have pushed for increased service, including Newark, as
well as more frequent service, all of which has come about.
of D finally came on board to the idea of train service when it
took over the old Chrysler campus, wanting to increase contact with
the schools in Phila. As you may have seen in the papers, ground
was broken this month for a new train station in Newark to
accommodate commuter service. One of our longest-running goals has
been to get MARC to extend its commuter service north of Perryville
all the way to Newark, but the State of Maryland has been slow to
commit funds to this effort. Lack of commuter service between
Perryville and Newark is one of two gaps in commuter service between
Boston and Washington, and we would like to see that closed. We
have also pushed for many years for the reinstatement of rail
service to downstate Delaware, perhaps all the way to Salisbury.
There was great interest in this 10-15 years ago on the part of
legislators from down state, but the budget crunch has pushed this
project to the back burner.
We have also from time to time come to the
defense of Amtrak when it has been threatened with cutbacks, but
our principal interest is commuter rail, not long distance