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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak logged record ridership, revenue for FY2019

In FY2019, Amtrak set new records for ridership, revenue and financial performance as the railroad continues on its path to break even financially in FY2020.
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Amtrak in fiscal-year 2019 delivered its "best operating performance" in its history, logging 32.5 million passenger trips and $3.3 billion in total operating revenue, railroad officials announced late last week.

In FY2019, which ended Sept. 30, Amtrak set new records for ridership, revenue and financial performance as the railroad continues on its path to break even financially in FY2020, Amtrak officials said in a press release.

Year over year, ridership increased by 800,000 riders; operating revenue rose 3.6 percent; operating earnings improved by $140.9 million, or 82.6 percent, for a loss of $29.8 million; and capital investment climbed 9.4 percent to $1.6 billion.

Also last year, Amtrak became the first major U.S.-based railroad to implement a safety management system (SMS), which railroad officials said resulted in "significant improvements," including a 26 percent reduction in customer incidents, 72 percent fewer serious employee injuries, a 10 percent reduction in Federal Railroad Administration reportable injuries and a 3 percent reduction in trespasser and grade crossing incidents.

Moreover, Amtrak completed PTC installation on nearly all Amtrak-owned and controlled track, railroad officials said.

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson noted that capital investments into Amtrak assets last year included refreshed equipment, such as the entire Acela fleet and Amfleet II cars for coach class along the East Coast; technology upgrades such as the Amtrak mobile app; state-of-good-repair work on the Northeast Corridor; improved overall reliability and performance; and station upgrades.

Amtrak also continued its largest fleet renewal in history, including manufacturing on the new Acela fleet; a contract awarded for 75 new locomotives to replace some of the aging national network locomotive fleet; and a request for proposals issued for a new fleet of single-level passenger-rail vehicles.

"We are growing and modernizing Amtrak," said Chairman Tony Coscia. "These changes have put us on track to break even in 2020, which would be a first in Amtrak's history."

Added Anderson: "We listened, we invested, we improved and our customers are noticing a difference. And we are not stopping. We have an aggressive plan to continue to advance our safety program, refresh train interiors, improve amenities and renew stations and infrastructure."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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