A Northeast Regional train, Amtrak’s busiest route by far. Photo by Dan Malouff.
A Southwest Chief train between La Junta and Trinidad. Photo by Loco Steve on flickr.
Rail use in America continues to climb ever higher. In July, Amtrak posted its busiest ridership month ever. But what are the busiest individual routes?
Let’s take a look. Here are the 10 highest ridership Amtrak routes, as of July, 2013:
Number 1: Northeast Regional (Boston, New York, Washington – regular)
July, 2013 ridership: 687,331
Number 2: Acela Express (Boston, New York, Washington – high speed)
July, 2013 ridership: 276,477
Number 3: Pacific Surfliner (Southern California)
July, 2013 ridership: 271,517
Number 4: Capitol Corridor (Northern California)
July, 2013 ridership: 140,533
Number 5: Keystone Service (NY to Harrisburg, PA)
July, 2013 ridership: 123,874
Number 6: San Joaquin (Central California)
July, 2013 ridership: 117,348
Number 7: Empire Service (Upstate New York)
July,2013 ridership: 99,801
Number 8: Cascades (Pacific Northwest)
July, 2013 ridership: 85,565
Number 9: Hiawatha (Chicago to Milwaukee)
July, 2013 ridership: 79,423
Number 10: Lincoln Service (Chicago to Saint Louis)
July, 2013 ridership: 66,461
Two routes run through Colorado. The California Zephyr, which stops in Denver, Fort Morgan, Fraser, Granby, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction on its route from Chicago to the San Francisco area, and the Southwest Chief, which cuts through southeastern Colorado on its route from Chicago to Los Angeles, stopping in Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad. The Zephyr carried 39,591 passengers in FY 2013, making it Amtrak’s 18th busiest route overall, and 4th busiest long-distance route. The Chief carried 35,488, good for 22nd overall and 8th among the long-distance lines.