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.