Here is an excellent item that aptly demonstrates (with several maps) failings and opportunities within the nationwide Amtrak “system.” You need to follow the link below to see they maps. They are worth your time.
Like the classic electoral college map filled in each Election Night, train maps don’t tell you much about the stuff that counts: people.
For Amtrak, the route map can be particularly unhelpful. Not only are the longest lines the least popular, their train frequency can be one-sixtieth that of the system’s busiest lines.
With that in mind, Mike Hicks, a transit blogger in Minneapolis, plotted boardings and alightings on a simple state map. Using numbers from Amtrak’s State Fact Sheets and a list of GPS coordinates for Amtrak stations published by Bill Ensinger, Hicks funneled ridership data into circular, geographic containers.
As you might expect, the result drives home the preeminence of the Northeast Corridor route — individual cities are lost in a foam of overlapping bubbles.
But a visual representation calls attention to other rail travel hotspots as well. California and the Pacific Northwest both have substantial (if largely separate) traffic on the rails, as does the Chicago area, with heavily traveled prongs extending east into Michigan, south to St. Louis, and north to Milwaukee.’
Read it all at the link below. It is very informative.