Amtrak Touts FY2018 Performance

Amtrak proclaimed in a news release last week that it posted the best performance in its 47-year history.

The carrier said that it ended the fiscal year on Sept. 30 with an operating loss of $168 million, which it said was a 13 percent improvement over FY2017

The loss is based on adjusted earnings and excluded depreciation and other expenses.

Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson told Bloomberg News that the railroad’s losses would likely have been less than $100 million if not for a December 2017 derailment of a Cascades train in Washington state and a February 2018 derailment in which the southbound Silver Star was inadvertently routed into the path of a parked CSX auto rack train.

Amtrak said its ridership in FY2018 narrowly missed setting a record with 31.7 million trips. Revenue increased 2.2 percent to $3.4 billion.

Other points that Amtrak made in its news release included spending in $1.46 billion in capital investment, which it called  “the highest level . . . in recent history.

In the past year Amtrak has installed positive train control on more than 13,000 miles of the Amtrak network and spent more than $51 million spent on ADA-related projects at more than 100 locations nationwide.

Ridership aboard regional and state-supported trains posted gains, but long-distance train ridership fell 3.9 percent.

Amtrak attributed that loss “to the hundreds of trains truncated or canceled due to weather events, infrastructure outages, planned repairs, and poor on-time performance across much of the host railroad network used by Amtrak trains.”

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