The increasing popularity of riding the rails comes along with the release of figures from the Department of Energy showing Amtrak trains to be 17.9 percent more energy efficient than the airlines.
With many of its routes now operating at or above capacity, and bolstered by its increasing ridership and energy efficiency, look for Amtrak to request an increase in federal funding.
Congress created Amtrak in 1971 as an intercity passenger rail service. Never posting a profit, Amtrak has received over $40 billion in federal funding. Betting on profits from its Acela high-speed train service, Amtrak promised Congress in 1997 that it could pay its own way by 2003. No such luck. Amtrak has asked for and been given government subsidies every year since then.