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Amtrak: News Release - August 10, 2000: Texas Eagle Performance Contributes to Record Breaking Summer for Amtrak News & Views
National Railroad Passenger Corporation
60 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Fourth Floor
Washington, D.C. 20002-4285

Contact:Kevin Johnson
August 10, 2000


CHICAGO -The Texas Eagle, Amtrak's daily Chicago to San Antonio rail passenger service, posted a 44.1 percent ridership gain in the month of July, part of a record breaking summer for Amtrak nationally.

The Texas Eagle carried 18, 676 passengers last month, an increase of 5,716 passengers compared to July of last year. The train also generated an additional 36.3 percent in revenue over July of last year.

The expansion of the Texas Eagle from a four-day-a-week to a daily train began on May 21 as part of Amtrak's Network Growth Strategy, which expands or improves Amtrak passenger service in 21 states. This strategy was based on a thorough economic analysis of the national rail system that focused on commercially driven ways to expand the existing network and better serve customers.

The success of this strategy is reflected in a 49.4 ridership increase for the Texas Eagle during the third quarter (April-June) of Amtrak's current fiscal year compared to the same period last year. For the fiscal year to date (October 99-July 00), the Texas Eagle is running 27.2 percent ahead of the same 10 months of the previous fiscal year.

"Amtrak is having its best summer ever, in part due to the ongoing success of the Texas Eagle, our best performing long-distance train," said Amtrak President and CEO George D. Warrington. "With the strong support of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, we have expanded service on the Texas Eagle twice now. And each time, we've seen ridership grow."

"I have always been confident that if Texas had more trains, more Texans would ride them," said Senator Hutchison. "Amtrak's recent ridership numbers confirm that. It's been quite a trip from near-extinction to number one. The local communities on the route and the people of Texas have been on-board with me every step of the way."

Nationally, Amtrak today announced an all-time record ticket revenue of $107.2 million in July and a ten-year ridership high of more than two million passengers during the month.

Ticket revenues topped the previous record of $102.3 million in June 2000, and it was the second month in a row that ridership broke 2 million. With two months left in the fiscal year, Amtrak is on course to set a record for annual ticket revenue and to break its all-time annual ridership record of 22.2 million passengers.

The $107.2 million in revenue is an increase of 11.6 percent over July of last year, and only the second time ever that it has topped $100 million. The 2,053,996-passenger figure is 4.5 percent higher than July 1999, and the highest monthly ridership for Amtrak since August 1990.

Leading Amtrak into its record growth is the corporation's unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee, announced July 6, that promises guests a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable travel experience. In the guarantee's first month, fewer that one percent of passengers expressed dissatisfaction with Amtrak's service.

Other factors contributing to Amtrak's recent growth besides improved service are high automobile gas prices, increasing airline delays and fares, strong summer travel demand, and effective marketing by Amtrak all contributed to the new records.

Amtrak is successfully continuing along the Congressionally-mandated glidepath to end federal operating assistance in FY 2003. This glidepath reduced Amtrak's assistance from $484 million in FY 1999 to $362 million in FY 2000. The company has successfully met these targets and fully expects to continue doing so through FY 2003.

Amtrak operates a 22,000-mile intercity passenger rail system, serving more than 500 communities in 45 states. For more information about the Texas Eagle or any other Amtrak service, including schedules, fares and reservations, visit Amtrak's Web site at