Amtrak Sets New Ridership Record

The numbers are in: Amtrak reported it had a record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday travel week, carrying 704,446 passengers, up 2.7 percent from last year. In addition, 134,230 passengers rode Amtrak on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving – itself a new record for the single busiest day in the history of the railroad.

“The record ridership demonstrates Amtrak’s ability to satisfy the traveling needs of the public and highlights the need for America to invest more in passenger rail to meet the increasing demand,” said Joseph Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak.

Comparing Thanksgiving 2010 to Thanksgiving 2009, ridership was up 5.1 percent on state-supported trains and other short distance corridors with strong growth in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The long-distance trains saw a 3.7 percent increase and on the Northeast Corridor and high-speed Acela Express trains had a 12.9 percent increase. Ridership on the entire corridor dropped slightly.

In preparation for the anticipated heavy passenger volume, Amtrak operated every available passenger car in its fleet and scheduled extra trains and/or added capacity to existing trains in the Northeast Corridor, the Chicago hub, in the Pacific Northwest and in California, Amtrak said.

The previous Thanksgiving ridership record was set in 2009 with 685,876 passengers, Amtrak said. Visit

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