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Amtrak Hiawatha Service Ridership Sets Record

10/25/2008 AT 08:00

Amtrak Hiawatha Service trains offer seven daily departures in each direction Mondays through Saturdays, with six trains each way on Sundays. They are operated by Amtrak under contracts with the Wisconsin and Illinois state transportation departments.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the ridership increases on the Hiawatha Service," said Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. "It shows that there is strong support for passenger rail service in this corridor."

"We are very excited to see the increase in ridership for the Hiawatha Service " said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Milton R. Sees. "This boost in ridership shows how important rail service is to thousands of people and Illinois DOT is proud to share in this partership with Amtrak."

All Amtrak trains across the system saw increases in ridership. The 28.7 million total for the period October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008, topped the 25,847,531 for the previous 12 months by 11.1 percent. Total ticket revenue for the fiscal year reached $1.7 billion, a 14.2 percent increase over the $1.5 billion in FY07.

"After another record-breaking year, in which the railroad achieved double-digit growth, Amtrak has solidified its role as a leader in the nation's transportation network and proven intercity passenger rail's relevance in today's world," said Alex Kummant, President and CEO of Amtrak. "Highway and airway congestion, volatile fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness all contributed to Amtrak's successful year, as did our continually improving service and on-time performance."

Kummant added, "With the recent passage of a reauthorization bill, which includes a significant state and federal capital matching grant program, we also look forward to expanding state partnerships to provide more rail service in growing corridors nationwide."

Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration announced the award of a $5 million grant to further improve reliability on the Hiawatha Service route. It will fund the installation of nearly 18 miles of new track in Wisconsin and reprogram grade crossing warning devices. The project will eliminate delays associated with ongoing maintenance of jointed rail and reduce travel time.

"We take great pride in operating a safe and reliable service that is giving travelers the best way to travel between busy downtowns and vital suburbs; an option that avoids highway congestion on Interstate 94 and links two great cities," said Amtrak General Superintendent Daryl Pesce, who is based in Chicago.

25th Anniversary of the Auto Train

Amtrak is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of one of its most popular trains the Auto Train with a special 25% discount for passengers. This special offer is good for coach travel on the Auto Train in February and is available for sale on just one day October 25th.

Ridership increases nearly 14 percent over July 07

Amtrak ridership in July Fiscal Year 2008 increased to 2,750,278, nearly a 14 percent increase, marking the most passengers carried in any single month in Amtrak's 37 year history.

Amtrak Re-launches Regional as Northeast Regional

Amtrak today announced the re-launch of its Northeast Corridor Regional service, renaming it Northeast Regional. Traveling between Boston, New York, Washington, Richmond and Newport News, Va., the service, Amtrak's busiest, transported more than 6.8 million passengers last fiscal year.

Rediscover the Coast Starlight

Amtrak unveils a new look on the Coast Starlight just in time for the busy summer travel season. This legendary train (operating daily between Los Angeles and Seattle) features refurbished Parlour Cars, new Arcade rooms and enhanced amenities.

Missouri Provides $5 Million For Improved Service

Reliability of Kansas City to St. Louis trains operated by Amtrak for the Missouri Department of Transportation can improve, thanks to $5 million provided by the Missouri state legislature and approved by Gov. Matt Blunt to increase track capacity on the route.

Thames River Bridge Rail Service Set for June 24

Amtrak has scheduled limited alternate train and bus service during the rescheduled replacement of the moveable span of Amtrak's Thames River Bridge in New London, Conn., Tuesday, June 24 through Friday, June 27.

Extended contract with Amtrak

Amtrak, the United StatesThis extension is awarded after only 11 months of operation of the original 5 year contract, which shows the confidence of the customer within Alstom.

Sale of Central Station Complex in Montreal

CN announced today they have reached an agreement under which Homburg Invest will purchase the Central Station Complex (CSC) in Montreal and CN will leaseback its corporate headquarters building and Central Station railway passenger facilities.

Educate Farm Workers about Dangers near Railroad

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced a targeted outreach initiative in California designed to raise awareness among seasonal and migrant farm workers about potential hazards on and around railroad lines that cross through farms and agricultural communitie.

More Amtrak Cascades Service Additions

Additional Amtrak railcars coming from as far away as the East Coast are scheduled to arrive in the Pacific Northwest this week as a substitute for Talgo railcars that are sidelined because of a maintenance issue.

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