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Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, a world class museum of railroad history in Strasburg, PA.

Railroads Today... Passenger Service   

The days when "the railroad" carried both passengers and freight are mostly gone. The major railroads found it unprofitable to carry passengers, and passenger service is now handled by either the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak ┬«), or by regional commuter lines.  Passenger service requires government subsidy in most cases, although some services such as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor have produced respectable earnings. Let's visit Amtrak first.

Amtrak's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia Amtrak® carries over twenty one million passengers a year. Its trains range from state-subsidized regional services such as Pennsylvania's Keystone Service to the famed "name" trains such as the City of New Orleans. Its heaviest traffic is on the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, DC.
Amtrak Route Map Amtrak's routes serve the nation. In some cases, they provide a more leisurely travel alternative than the plane, while in other routes such as the Northeast Corridor, they actively rival the airline shuttles and hold a substantial share of the market.

(Map Routes Subject to Change)

Amtrak's future will depend on a combination of economic and political factors. Different regional and philosophical perspectives are involved.

Amtrak Web Site Mail and Express page Until October 2004, Amtrak carried mail and express on its scheduled passenger trains in an effort to derive revenue to support the passenger service. This picture is from the Amtrak web site, www.amtrak.com. Virtually all railroads today have informative web sites.  Many of them are listed on our Links page.

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