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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak broke ridership record in July


Amtrak's ridership in July grew 4.8 percent year over year to more than 2.9 million passengers, breaking the railroad's monthly ridership record.

Northeast Corridor, state-supported, short-distance and long-distance services all posted gains in July, Amtrak officials announced yesterday.

"Amtrak is delivering record ridership across the country and serving as an economic engine to help local communities grow and prosper," President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman said in a prepared statement.

State-supported routes continue to propel ridership growth. Under federal law starting Oct. 1, 19 states will assume greater control of routes less than 750 miles, but first must reach new operating and capital cost-sharing agreements with Amtrak to ensure services continue beyond the deadline. Currently, Amtrak has reached agreements with three states.

Year-to-date ridership in fiscal-year 2013 (from October through July) increased 1.1 percent compared with the same period in FY2012, and Amtrak officials are forecasting strong ticket sales for the fiscal year's remaining two months.

Amtrak previously set monthly ridership records in October, December, January, March, May, June and July of FY2013. The railroad is on pace to meet or exceed last year's annual ridership record of 31.2 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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