ALL ABOARD….The Wall Street Journal reports that more people are taking the train:
The number of people riding Amtrak surged 13.9% in July from a year earlier, as high gas prices caused more commuters to rely on intercity rail.
….In July, Amtrak said, only one of its services saw fewer riders compared with the previous year. Elsewhere, there were major gains, such as a 33% jump on the Capitol Corridor between San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.
Even on Amtrak’s already heavily traveled Northeast Corridor line from Washington to Boston, passenger counts are up by nearly 8% over last year. Overall, Amtrak is on pace to serve a record 28 million passengers in its current fiscal year, up from the previous high of 25.8 million last year.
I continue not to be much of a fan of Amtrak’s long-haul service, which just doesn’t seem like it will ever be a significant substitute for road and air travel, but increased infrastructure funding for medium haul lines seems like a no-brainer. Sadly, though, Amtrak President Alex Kummant warns us all not to get too excited about our imminent supertrain future. “There’s two railroads out there,” he told the Journal. “There’s the one we run every day, and there’s the one everybody imagines is out there.” The real one, apparently, tops out at around 100 mph and just isn’t going to get much better than that.