The record-breaking ridership is a result of travelers’ frustrations with the flying experience, which will become an important leverage point for the rail company when meeting with Congress this week.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was the busiest day in the history of Amtrak with a total of 140,691 passengers riding in the 46-state network. Over the full Thanksgiving holiday weekend Amtrak carried 737,537 passengers, up 1.9 percent over last year, the previous record for passenger rail travel volume.
It was also the most lucrative weekend ever for Amtrak, generating $56.1 million in revenue, up 17.9 percent over last year, meaning that revenue-per-Thanksgiving traveler was up significantly.
Regulators on Capitol Hill may be more interested in that latter data point on Thursday when a Congressional committee will call Amtrak brass to answer questions about the future of rail in America.