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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Amtrak re-launches 'Regional' service as 'Northeast Regional'

Between Oct. 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, ridership on Amtrak's "Regional" service increased 11 percent compared with the same FY2007 period to 5.6 million passengers. But the national intercity passenger railroad is hoping to attract even more passengers to the popular Northeast Corridor trains.

Earlier this week, Amtrak announced plans to re-launch the service under the new name "Northeast Regional" to tout recent improvements, such as refurbished café and business class cars, and a new café menu. The railroad will promote the service through an advertising campaign that highlights the service's city-to-city trip times, and presents the service as an alternative to highway congestion and high gas prices.

Running between Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Richmond and Newport News, Va., the Regional is Amtrak's busiest service, transporting more than 6.8 million passengers last fiscal year, according to the railroad. Under the Northeast Regional service, Amtrak hopes to add another 136,000 passengers annually, which would generate $8.9 million in additional ticket revenue.

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More News from 7/16/2008