Amtrak, the American national passenger rail service, reached record highs in ridership, revenue & earnings for its fiscal year ending in September 2017. The corporation announced a total of 31.7 million passenger trips (1.5% increase), revenue of $3.2 billion (1.1% increase), and a 15.7% improvement in operating earnings over fiscal year 2016.
Within the Mile High state, the new Winter Park Express service added 18,000 new passengers to Amtrak in 2017. From January until the end of March 2018, that new route will again carry some 500 riders on weekends between downtown Denver Union Station and the slopes of Winter Park Resort, located 67 miles west of the city. For information on the service, see the railswestern.com link WINTER PARK EXPRESS.
The two long-distance Amtrak routes that traverse Colorado remained consistent. The California Zephyr, running between Chicago and San Francisco, and the Chicago-to-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, each saw only 2000 fewer riders in the past fiscal year.
There is also now the potential for Amtrak to build on its success in Colorado with the efforts to create a Front Range passenger rail service running north-south from Fort Collins to Trinidad. Here is one map for the proposed route:
This writer is a member of the Colorado advocacy group supporting passenger rail in that state, Colorail.org, and for more info on the proposed plan, see the link COLORAIL RAIL REPORT.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)