Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Fun with numbers

Some recent Amtrak ridership numbers came in this evening and I glanced over them with more than the usual interest. The information is available as a new page (see right hand column)  and I do invite your comments.

This is a three-year comparison of ridership on the long distance trains. The Empire Builder is strong. Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis make up a great corridor – even at less than spectacular speeds. Predictably, the Sunset has lots of trouble spots. Houston and El Paso are very disappointing and, if my memory is correct, Los Angeles is on a downward trend. Tuscon does poorly and Phoenix depends on Maricopa.

My hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas handles something like 22,000 passengers annually, despite a midnight northbound departure to St. Louis and Chicago and the southbound goes at around 3:15. Little Rock also has a fine airport and several commercial airlines. Check out Longview, Texas and 34,000 passengers. I understand this is substantially more than the local commercial air carrier.

Lots to chew on here. Enjoy.

Filed under: Amtrak, Regional USA Passenger Rail

6 Responses

  1. wenest Fazio says:

    We have a great opportunity to create a new American rail system if only people could believe in the schedule. A dedicated American built Maglev system over every major Interstate artery would be less expensive to build than any of these European or Japanese designs for HSR. The best HSR designs max out at 220 MPH. The Maglev can easily run at 300MPH at a lower operating cost. WAKE UP AMERICA.
    see www,

  2. Paul Coine says:

    I get a .doc full of garbage characters and nothing else when I open this in Word 2003 (for Windows).

  3. patlynch says:

    Paul, thanks for reading TFA. I downloaded the file and it looked fine. Anybody else having a problem?

  4. Barry says:

    Hi Pat –

    Thanks for a great blog and for sticking with it even in discouraging times. We need your perspectives and data and handy links more than ever now! I, too, had trouble with the downloaded file. There appears to a space-holder box of some kind between meaningful character in the document.


  5. patlynch says:

    The customer is always right. I have created a new page containing the station-by-station ridership numbers and the train rankings. We aim to please.

  6. JESturgill says:

    Hi Pat,

    I also thank you for sticking with it and enjoy the blog. I too got space holder characters in the document. Tried to do a find and replace but it doesn’t recognize the characters and only “finds” spaces. Was this saved from a table? Anyway, thanks for the updates!

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November 2010


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