Amtrak National Facts
Basic Amtrak Facts
- Amtrak's mission is to deliver intercity transportation with superior safety, customer service and financial excellence. To accomplish this mission, Amtrak has identified three overarching strategic themes: Safety and Security, Customer Focus and Financial Excellence.
- During FY 2014 (October 2013 - September 2014), Amtrak welcomed aboard nearly 31 million passengers, the largest annual total in its history. On an average day, more than 84,700 passengers ride more than 300 Amtrak trains.
- Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network, serving more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces on more than 21,300 miles of routes, with more than 20,000 employees. It is the nation's only high-speed intercity passenger rail provider, operating at a top speed of 150 mph (241 kph). More than half of Amtrak trains operate at top speeds of 100 mph (160 kph) or greater.
- In FY 2014, Amtrak earned approximately $3.2 billion in revenue and incurred approximately $4.3 billion in expense*. No country in the world operates a passenger rail system without some form of public support for capital costs and/or operating expenses.
*Unaudited FY 2014 figures; to be finalized in summer 2015.
- Amtrak's unaudited federally funded FY 2014 operating loss of approximately $227 million was the lowest (adjusted for inflation) in the company's history, and represents a 37 percent decrease from the prior year.
- In FY 2014, Amtrak covered 93 percent of operating costs with ticket sales and other revenue.
- When included among U.S. airlines, Amtrak ranks No. 6 in domestic passengers carried. In the Northeast Corridor (NEC), Amtrak now has a very strong position in many markets that were previously dominated by air carriers.
- Amtrak carried more than three times as many riders between Washington, DC, and New York City as the airline industry.
- Amtrak carried more riders between New York City and Boston than all of the airlines combined.
The 25 busiest stations in 2014 were:
|New York, NY
|Los Angeles, CA
|Boston South Station, MA
|New Haven, CT
|San Diego, CA
|BWI Airport, MD
|Boston Back Bay, MA
|Route 128 Station, MA
|Boston North Station, MA
- Amtrak-owned property outside the Northeast Corridor includes:
- Springfield Line: A 60.5-mile track segment from New Haven, CT, to Springfield, MA.
- Keystone Corridor: The 104 miles of up to 110 mph (177 kph) track in Pennsylvania between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
- Michigan: A 96-mile segment of 110 mph (177 kph) track in Michigan and Indiana uses the first high-speed positive train control system in revenue service outside the NEC.
- Amtrak is the only railroad in North America to maintain right-of-way for service at speeds in excess of 125 mph (201 kph), and its engineering forces maintain more than 350 route-miles of track for 100+ mph (160+ kph) service.
- In December 2012, Amtrak and CSX Transportation reached an agreement for Amtrak to operate, maintain and dispatch approximately 94 miles of the New York City to Niagara Falls Empire Corridor in New York between Poughkeepsie and Hoffmans (near Schenectady).
- Amtrak owns 18 tunnels (consisting of 24 miles of track) and 1,414 bridges.
- Amtrak owns three heavy maintenance facilities in Wilmington and Bear, DE, and Beech Grove, IN, as well as other maintenance facilities in Washington, DC; New York City and Rensselaer, NY; Boston; Hialeah, FL; Chicago; New Orleans; Los Angeles and Oakland; and Seattle.
- Seventy-two percent of the miles traveled by Amtrak trains are on tracks owned by other railroads. Known as "host railroads," they range from large publicly traded companies based in the U.S. or Canada, tostate and local government agencies and small businesses. Amtrak pays these host railroads for use of their track and other resources needed to operate Amtrak trains, with incentives for on-time performance.
- The six largest host railroads for Amtrak trains are:
- BNSF Railway, 6.8 million train miles
- Union Pacific Railroad, 6.1 million train miles
- CSX Transportation, 5.1 million train miles
- Norfolk Southern Railway, 2.3 million train miles
- Canadian National Railway, 1.4 million train miles
- Metro North Railroad, 1.3 million train miles
- The company's growth over the past ten years, especially on intercity corridors between 100-500 miles, hints at the tremendous opportunity of developing a robust, nationwide passenger rail system focused on city pairs.
- Amtrak recently received ISO 9001 certification and earned several industry awards for its business transformation that has reduced costs, restructured performance management and differentiated pay, strengthened career growth and development opportunities, implemented best-in-class recruitment and retention strategies, and created a Total Rewards compensation and benefits structure.
Northeast Corridor Services
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC) is the busiest railroad in North America, with more than 2,200 trains operating over some portion of the Washington-Boston route each day.
- In FY 2014, Amtrak carried 11.6 million passengers on the NEC between Washington-New York-Boston, the best year ever.
- The Acela Express is the fastest train in the Western Hemisphere, with a normal maximum speed of 150 mph (241 kph) on two sections of its route between Boston and New Haven, CT, (35 total miles). Its top speed is 135 mph (217 kph) between New York, NY, and Washington, DC.
- Acela trains carried more than 3.5 million passengers and generated more than $585 million in ticket revenue in FY 2014.
- The name Acela comes from a combination of the words "acceleration" and "excellence." Acela Express is the company's premium service. More than 38.7 million passengers have traveled on the fleet of 20 Acela Express trains since revenue service began on December 11, 2000.
- Amtrak owns 363 miles of the 456-mile Northeast Corridor connecting Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Trains regularly reach speeds of 125-150 mph (201-241 kph). Two sections of the NEC are owned by others:
- The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (10 miles) and Connecticut Department of Transportation (46 miles) own 56 miles on Metro North Railroad between New Rochelle, NY, and New Haven, CT;
- The state of Massachusetts owns 38 miles between the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border and Boston that is operated and maintained by Amtrak.
Amtrak receives funding from 18 states under 19 operating agreements for financial support of 29 short distance routes (less than 750 miles). Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) required Amtrak and its state partners to jointly develop a cost-sharing methodology to equitably charge states for state-supported intercity passenger rail service. The PRIIA 209 methodology became effective in October 2013.
Continued operation of these state-supported routes is subject to annual operating agreements and state legislative appropriations according to Section 209. Fueled by Amtrak's valued partnership with its state partners, state-supported routes carried 14.7 million passengers in FY 2014.
- States that provide funding and the routes on which some or all service was state-supported during FY 2014:
California: Capitol Corridor service (San Jose - Auburn), Pacific Surfliner service (San Luis Obispo - San Diego); and San Joaquin service (Bakersfield - Sacramento/Oakland, plus an extensive system of connecting Amtrak Thruway motorcoach routes)
Connecticut: Springfield Shuttles and through trains (with Massachusetts) (Springfield - New Haven) and Vermonter (with Massachusetts and Vermont) (St. Albans - New Haven)
Illinois: Hiawatha Service (with Wisconsin)(Chicago - Milwaukee), Lincoln Service (Chicago - St. Louis), Illini & Saluki (Chicago - Carbondale) and Illinois Zephyr & Carl Sandburg (Chicago - Quincy)
Indiana: Hoosier State (Chicago - Indianapolis)
Maine: Downeaster service (Brunswick - Portland - Boston)
Massachusetts: Springfield Shuttles and Through Trains (with Connecticut) (Springfield - New Haven) and Vermonter (with Connecticut and Vermont) (St. Albans - New Haven)
Michigan: Wolverine Service (Pontiac/Detroit - Chicago), Blue Water (Port Huron - East Lansing - Chicago) and Pere Marquette (Grand Rapids - Chicago)
Missouri: Missouri River Runner (Kansas City - St. Louis)
New York: Empire Service (New York - Albany - Buffalo/Niagara Falls), Maple Leaf (New York - Niagara Falls - Toronto), Adirondack (New York - Montreal), Ethan Allen Express (with Vermont) (New York - Rutland)
North Carolina: Carolinian (Charlotte - Washington) and Piedmont service (Raleigh - Charlotte)
Oklahoma: Heartland Flyer (with Texas) (Oklahoma City - Fort Worth)
Oregon: Amtrak Cascades service (with Washington) (Eugene - Portland - Seattle - Vancouver, B.C.)
Pennsylvania: Keystone Service (Harrisburg - Philadelphia) and Pennsylvanian (Philadelphia - Pittsburgh)
Texas: Heartland Flyer (with Oklahoma) (Fort Worth - Oklahoma City)
Vermont: Ethan Allen Express (with New York) (Rutland - Albany) and Vermonter (with Connecticut and Massachusetts) (St. Albans - New Haven)
Virginia: Northeast Regional service from Washington to Lynchburg, Richmond, Newport News and Norfolk
Washington: Amtrak Cascades service (with Oregon) (Vancouver, B.C. - Seattle - Portland - Eugene)
Wisconsin: Hiawatha Service (with Illinois) (Milwaukee - Chicago)
- Five state-supported corridors had ridership that topped one million or more in FY 2014:
- Pacific Surfliner service (San Diego - Los Angeles - San Luis Obispo): 2,681,173
- Capitol Corridor service (San Jose - Oakland - Sacramento - Auburn): 1,419,134
- Keystone Corridor service (Harrisburg - Philadelphia - New York City): 1,326,450
- San Joaquin service (Oakland/Sacramento - Bakersfield): 1,188,228
- Empire Service (New York - Albany - Niagara Falls): 1,119,959
- Four other state-supported corridors had ridership in excess of a half-million passengers in FY 2014:
- Hiawatha Service (Chicago - Milwaukee): 799,638
- Amtrak Cascades service (Eugene - Portland - Seattle - Vancouver, B.C.): 782,519
- Lincoln Service (Chicago - St. Louis): 633,531
- Downeaster service (Boston - Portland - Brunswick): 514,708
- Amtrak-operated state-owned equipment includes 108 railroad passenger cars, 23 locomotives and five Cascades Service trainsets.
- In December 2012, 135 miles of right-of-way between Kalamazoo and Dearborn was purchased by the state of Michigan. It is operated, maintained and dispatched by Amtrak, and is being improved for the state of Michigan as an integral part of our Michigan District. Much of the line will be upgraded for service at speeds of up to 110 mph (177 kph).
- Amtrak and the states of Michigan and Illinois are partners to reduce travel times by increasing trains speeds up to 110 mph. Amtrak trains now cruise at 110 mph for 80.3 miles in Michigan and Indiana and for 15.2 miles in Illinois, with expansions of the faster running times in 2015-2016 that will reduce travel times by about 60 minutes between Detroit and Chicago and between Chicago and St. Louis.
Amtrak operates 15 long-distance trains on a national network of routes ranging in length from 764 to 2,438 miles.
- These trains provide service at nearly half of the stations in the Amtrak system and are the only Amtrak trains in 23 of the 46 states in the network.
- In FY 2014, all long-distance routes combined carried 4.5 million passengers.
- Amtrak is the only intercity passenger transportation service in an increasing number of communities as intercity bus and airline operators abandon small and mid-sized cities.
Contract Commuter Service
Amtrak is one of the largest operators of contract commuter services in North America; currently, Amtrak provides either services and/or access for 13 commuter agencies.
- Amtrak currently operates commuter service for the following state and regional authorities:
- MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter)
- Shore Line East (Connecticut)
- Metrolink (California)
- Amtrak provides services of various types for three other agencies:
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (Maintenance-of-way and dispatching for MBTA)
- Sound Transit (Seattle - Maintenance-of-equipment)
- South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail - dispatching)
- Amtrak provides access (and in some cases, other services) for seven other agencies:
- Long Island Railroad
- New Jersey Transit
- SEPTA (Philadelphia area)
- DELDOT (operated by SEPTA)
- RIDOT (operated by MBTA)
- Virginia Railway Express
- Metra (Chicago area)
Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia make payments to Amtrak through transit agencies or state transportation departments for use of the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor facilities by commuter trains. These agencies or states also provide other funding on the Northeast Corridor, including capital funds for infrastructure and/or stations. Amtrak has agreements for access and/or maintenance where Amtrak trains operate over locally-owned portions of the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.
Amtrak Trains and Equipment
- Amtrak-owned, active equipment includes 20 Acela Express high speed trainsets, two Cascades Service trainsets, 1,286 passenger cars including Amfleet, Superliner, Viewliner and other types, 376 locomotives, 80 Auto Train vehicle carriers and 63 baggage cars. Amtrak has begun to receive the first of 130 new long-distance, single level cars and 70 new Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotives. A request for proposals has been issued for Next Generation high speed trainsets.
- The Auto Train, which travels between Lorton, VA (south of Washington, DC), and Sanford, FL (near Orlando), is the longest passenger train in the world, with two engines and 40-plus passenger rail cars and vehicle carriers.
- Since the beginning, even-numbered trains have traveled north and east. Odd-numbered trains travel south and west. Among the exceptions are Amtrak's Pacific Surfliners, which use the opposite numbering system inherited from the Santa Fe Railway, some Empire Service trains and the Downeaster trains between Brunswick, Maine and Boston.
- Trains that carry nearly 85 percent of all Amtrak passengers across the country now have Wi-Fi connections. Wi-Fi service is available on high-speed Acela Express trains and 12 other East Coast routes as well as on the Amtrak Cascades service in the Pacific Northwest, California-supported Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin services, and on Midwest state-supported corridor trains in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.
- Amtrak is also available on the web, and for more information, the public can visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, official Amtrak blog, Amtrak History and Great American Stations sites.
Historical Background on Amtrak
- Amtrak was created by Congress in 1970 to take over the passenger rail services previously required to be operated by private railroad companies in the United States. Those companies showed they had operated these services at a net loss of millions of dollars for many years. Operations began on May 1, 1971.
- April 1, 1976, Amtrak acquired its Northeast Corridor property through the Conrail consolidation process.
- Amtrak is a federally-chartered corporation, with the Federal government as majority stockholder. The Board is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and Amtrak is operated as a for-profit company, rather than a public authority.