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Federally supported corporation that operates nearly all intercity passenger trains in the U.S. It was established by Congress in 1970 in the face of private railroads' heavy financial losses. Routes were cut back severely, with service maintained only in highly populated areas and between the largest cities. Amtrak pays the railroads to run passenger trains and compensates them for the use of tracks and terminals. Amtrak bears all administrative costs and manages scheduling, route planning, and ticket sales. Despite income from tickets and mail-carrying services, Amtrak requires federal support to cover its operating costs. See alsoConrail; Railway Express Agency.
Variants of AMTRAK
Amtrak formally National Railroad Passenger Corp.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Amtrak, visit Britannica.com.
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