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Agency

National Railroad Passenger Corporation

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation was established by Congress to meet the Nation's intercity passenger transportation needs.

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) was created by the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, as amended (49 U.S.C. 241), and was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia to provide a balanced national transportation system by developing, operating, and improving U.S. intercity rail passenger service.

Amtrak operates approximately 300 trains per day, serving over 500 stations in 46 States, over a system of 21,800 route miles. Of this route system, Amtrak owns about 530 route miles in the Northeast and several other small track segments elsewhere in the country.

Amtrak owns or leases its stations and owns its own repair and maintenance facilities. The Corporation employs a total workforce of approximately 19,000 and provides all reservation, station, and on-board service staffs, as well as train and engine operating crews. Outside the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak contracts with privately or publicly owned railroads for the right to operate over their track. Under contract, these railroads are responsible for the condition of the roadbed and for coordinating the flow of traffic.

In fiscal year 2008, Amtrak transported over 28 million people with 78,000 passengers traveling on Amtrak per day. Also, Amtrak runs commuter trains under contract with several commuter agencies.

Although Amtrak's basic route system was originally designated by the Secretary of Transportation in 1971, modifications have been made to the Amtrak system and to individual routes that have resulted in more efficient and cost-effective operations. Although capital funding has increased in recent years, operating budget constraints mean that new service will only be added if a State agrees to cover any operating losses.

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