Amtrak: 50 Years of Leading the Way
For 50 years, Amtrak has made passenger rail service accessible to communities all across America—both large and small. Take a look at our five decades of investments in innovation, safety, service, sustainability and to the communities we serve. Then see what we are doing to fulfill our commitment to safe, reliable and state-of-the-art rail service in the 21st century.
1990s - Amtrak invests in new equipment and safety upgrades that power the railroad while bringing jobs and opportunities to communities across America.
Amtrak completes Automatic Train Control installation on all locomotives operating within the Northeast Corridor.
With financial support from the state of North Carolina, Amtrak initiates the Carolinian from New York to Charlotte.
Caltrans and Amtrak launch Capitol Corridor service between San Jose and Sacramento. The service would quickly grow and expand eastward to Auburn, California.
Amtrak rededicates Philadelphia’s classic art deco 30th Street Station after a three-year, $75 million renovation. In New York City, it consolidates all services at Penn Station for greater efficiency following completion of the Empire Connection in partnership with the State of New York.
Amtrak and Metra join forces to complete the $32 million renovation of Chicago Union Station, including the removal of the Great Hall skylight’s blackout paint, a remnant from World War II.
Amtrak takes delivery of 20 new diesel P32-8BWH locomotives which feature the first new generation of GE-built engines.
Amtrak receives 22 P40 locomotives that were designed using Amtrak’s own industrial engineers’ specs for greater fuel efficiency, safety and aesthetics.
Amtrak completes the first phase of modernization of the New York Penn Station Control Center, replacing 1910s technology for greater operational efficiency.
Amtrak enters the internet age with the launch of Amtrak.com. The site offers information about Amtrak services and would offer online booking capabilities two years later.
Leaf peepers and skiers alike celebrate the launch of the Vermonter. Financially supported by the state of Vermont, it offers passenger rail service between Washington, D.C. and St. Albans, Vermont.
During a historic January blizzard, Amtrak is the only intercity mode to maintain service in the Northeast.
Amtrak, with financial support from Vermont, debuts the Ethan Allen Express, providing the first direct rail service between New York and Rutland, VT, in more than 40 years.
Amtrak takes delivery of 111 new P42 diesel locomotives. These lighter and more aerodynamic engines provide improved fuel efficiency while also generating more horsepower than earlier models.
Amtrak’s popular Metroliner Service between Washington D.C. and New York City sets a ridership record of 2,081,326, an increase of 20,000 from the previous record.
Amtrak partners with nine states to propose the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative to develop a 3,000 mile high-speed rail system for the region that will significantly increase service while reducing travel times.
“Amtrak Cascades” branding is introduced on trains operating in the Eugene-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, B.C. corridor thanks to partnership funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
With financial support from the State of Oklahoma, Amtrak reintroduces daily passenger service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth on the Heartland Flyer.
Refurbished Amfleet cars emerge from the "Capstone" program with enhanced comfort, amenities and accommodations that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Capitol Corridor inauguration image courtesy of Dave Warner
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