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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Amtrak Cascades breaks first-quarter ridership record


In the first quarter, Amtrak Cascades set a ridership record at 183,773, a 22.4 percent increase compared with first-quarter 2009’s total. The Pacific Northwest service marked its highest first-quarter ridership since 1994.

Ridership growth was driven by service to and from Vancouver, British Columbia, according to Amtrak Cascades. In August 2009, Amtrak and the Washing State Department of Transportation added a second train to and from Vancouver, including direct service from Portland, Ore., for the first time. Since then, the second train’s ridership has totaled 32,091.

In March, Amtrak Cascades posted its highest ridership in the first quarter at 67,039, up 11 percent year over year. Ridership totaled 60,745 in February (up 34 percent) and 55,989 in January (up 26 percent).

Amtrak Cascades operates four daily round-trip trains between Portland and Seattle; one daily round-trip train between Seattle and Vancouver, and Portland and Vancouver; and daily service between Eugene and Seattle via Portland. Amtrak provides the services in partnership with the Washington and Oregon DOTs.