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Article from BTNews 5 SEPTEMBER 2011

Amtrak on the comeback trail

Rather like its British counterparts, Amtrak, the State-owned US long distance railway system, continues on an upward trend as far as passenger numbers are concerned.  Year-on-year comparisons for 20 consecutive months from November 2009 to June this year show a growth each month in passenger numbers and all indications are that it will be another record breaking 12 months.

This trend has seen Amtrak set annual ridership records in seven of the last eight fiscal years, including 28.7m passengers in 2010.  The figures for June 2011 were the best ever June figures recording more than 2.6m passengers.

Overall Amtrak attributes its continuing success to the high price of gasoline, continued growth in business travel on the high-speed Acela Express trains with wi-fi service, the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel together with effective marketing campaigns.  Typically New York Penn to Boston Back Bay is around three hours which compares very favourably with the one hour flight, early check-in and getting to and from the airports.  The fares are competitive. www.amtrak.com

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