U.S., Amtrak and Others: In this time of opportunity, go big, or go home

Five major, well-run international companies dominate regional/commuter passenger train operations in the United States,

By J. Bruce Richardson, Corridor Rail Development Corporation; February 28, 2023

For the few Americans who know there are passenger trains in America, even fewer know there are five other passenger train operators in the country who, collectively, carry far more passengers than Amtrak and operate thousands of more trains. On top of those, there are more, such as New Jersey Transit, which operate their own systems in-house with their own equipment and employees.

The companies represent the best in international passenger train operations. AIPRO, the Association for Innovative Passenger Rail Operations, based in Washington, D.C. looks out for and promotes the interests of passenger train operators, a couple of railroad unions and some support companies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. The purpose and aim of AIPRO is the expansion of passenger rail of all types in America, and this organization has the juice to make it happen.

AIPRO kindly contributed information for a presentation made by Corridor Rail Development Corporation Executive Chairman James Coston to the Toledo Rail Forum annual luncheon on Monday, February 27, 2023, sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association.

For comparison to the figures provided in the graphic image above, here are the Amtrak figures from Fiscal Year 2019, the last pre-pandemic year of full operations.

Amtrak, FY 2019

300+ Daily Trains, approximately 113,000 trains annually

32.5 million passengers in FY 2019, last full pre-pandemic year

21,000 route miles

500+ destinations

Here are the visual highlights of Mr. Coston’s live presentation:

Photos used in the presentation are from a variety of sources including Wikimedia Commons, internet images, Brightline and others.

For more information on the Association for Innovative Passenger Rail Operations, visit their website at www.aiprorail.org.

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