RALEIGH -- North Carolina's state-supported Piedmont and Carolinian trains continue to be among the most rapidly growing in the Amtrak system, setting new ridership and revenue records in Federal Fiscal Year 2013, according to a recent annual report released by Amtrak.
The 2013 federal fiscal year report shows that ridership on the Piedmont service increased by 4.7 percent to 170,266 and revenue increased 8.1 percent to more than $3.3 million.
Ridership on the Carolinian increased by 3.6 percent to 317,550, and revenue increased by 6.4 percent to more than $19.8 million during that same period.
This is the fourth consecutive year of positive growth for both routes.
"North Carolina's passenger train services play a vital role in spurring job growth and connecting citizens and visitors to opportunities and important services," said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. "The continued growth reflects the demand for rail services and the hard work of our rail employees to improve that service every day."
The Piedmont operates two daily round trips between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Carolinian operates one daily round trip between New York City and Charlotte, with the state supporting the service between Charlotte and Washington, D.C.Both services are operated by Amtrak and supported by NCDOT.
"While we are excited about the continued growth in ridership and revenue for the Piedmont and Carolinian, we continue to strive to find ways to improve the service," said Paul Worley, Rail Division Director. "We are looking at both service efficiencies and enhancements for our customers."
The NCDOT Rail Division is currently investing more than $520 million from Federal Railroad Administration grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand and improve the state-owned rail corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte and to add two additional daily round trips of the Piedmont service. The Piedmont Improvement Program will make travel safer and more reliable, enhance opportunities for greater job growth and commercial development, and better connect the economic regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between. These safety and capacity projects along the corridor will improve the corridor for both freight and passenger trains.