This week Amtrak announced a new ridership record – 31.6 million people chose to take a train ride this year. Rail ridership is continuing to show year-over-year growth, and it’s a trend that doesn’t seems to be changing anytime soon. With the second best year of ridership in the Northeast Corridor (despite Hurricane Sandy’s disruption) and several other smaller and medium sized cities showing upticks in ridership, Amtrak appears to be building momentum across the U.S.
Rail ridership isn’t the only positive trend we’re seeing with rail. In the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rail earned one of the best grades, a C+ due to an increase of maintenance and strong planning for future needs. In 2010 alone, freight railroads renewed the rails on more than 3,100 miles of railroad track, equivalent to going coast to coast across the U.S.