America's passenger railway has sent ‘Happy Holidays’ greetings to travellers by inviting them to join in a Christmas sing-song to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Passengers are asked to join in the ‘Amtrak all the Way’ song and then buy some rail tickets at low prices in a ‘holiday cheer sale’.

Passenger trains do not serve large areas of the country and some towns only have one train a day in each direction but the potential market is huge.

On a more serious, note, many American passengers want Amtrak to be given control over the tracks they use, because many severe delays are caused by freight trains being given priority.

The US Supreme Court is currently considering a petition from the National Association of Railroad Passengers to overrule a lower court’s ruling that has allowed freight train companies to ignore a 2008 law to cooperate with Amtrak and other passenger train companies.

Since the lower court ruling, Amtrak’s punctuality record has declined by 42%.

“This is a case that will determine the future of passenger rail in the United States," said lawyer Karen Torrent, for NARP. "We are asking the court to get Amtrak back on track to reliable, on-time performance.”

NARP president Jim Mathews said: “Passenger rail offers an indispensable transportation option for tens of millions of Americans, but the system only works if people can count on the train to get them where they need to go, when they need to be there.

“Skyrocketing delays are eating into Amtrak’s ridership and revenue, and turning off hundreds of potential new rail riders each day. America’s passengers need the court to help get our trains moving again.”

In Britain, Abellio Greater Anglia is offering a £5 seat sale if passengers book between tomorrow and 4 January. The £5 tickets are only valid for travel between 5 January and 27 February.

Information from Martin Thorne

You can watch the Amtrak video at:



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