Long-distance trains form the backbone of the Amtrak national system, connect small towns to major cities, support local economic development, deliver passengers to state-supported corridor trains and conduct interstate trade and commerce. Their principal mission is connectivity, and it is an increasingly important one to communities that have been losing their bus and air connections at a steady pace over the last decade.
Long-distance trains offer a complete travel package with transportation, bedrooms and food service, and allow you to relax the moment you board the train. They are rolling communities that provide a sense of openness, security and a place to practice the art of conversation with fellow travelers.
Amtrak long-distance trains are designed to give passengers a comfortable and pleasant travel experience both by day and overnight — and they are more conducive of family travel as it is much easier to take care of small children on a train than in a plane or a car.
Since 1998, Amtrak long-distance ridership has grown by roughly 20 percent, without the introduction of any new services, frequencies or equipment. In FY 2013, long-distance ridership reached its highest point in twenty years with 4.8 million passengers.