Amtrak is the only cross-country passenger railroad in the United States. Outside a few regions, Amtrak is usually the only way to travel state-to-state by rail, and is the only regular option for cross-country travel by rail. Amtrak operates the trains, and mostly runs on tracks owned by freight railroads. Amtrak is a quasi-governmental corporation, created in 1971 when the passenger railroads at the time wanted to get out of the passenger business. For more information on the history of Amtrak, see the Wikipedia article on Amtrak.
According to the Amtrak national fact sheet, Amtrak has more than 500 destinations in 46 states, employs nearly 19,000 people, and carries 25.8 million passengers a year. By contrast, American Airlines, the nation's largest airline, serves only 161 destinations, and some of these are not in the United States.
Traveling by train on Amtrak is safe and energy-efficient.
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