Amtrak’s Long-Distance Trains: Six Factoids You May Not Know.
1- Amtrak operates 15 long-distance trains over routes totaling 18,500 miles.
2- Long-distance trains travel through 39 states and the District of Columbia.
3- Five of the long-distance trains cover routes of 2,000 miles or more. (I included the Sunset Limited in the five although its route is “only” 1,995 miles. ) The Texas Eagle’s route is the longest: 2,728 miles.
4- The average passenger (coach or sleeping car) is on a long-distance train for 600 miles; the average for sleeping car passengers only is about 1,000 miles.
5- Coach passengers are on board long-distance trains for an average of 10 hours; sleeping car passengers for about 24 hours. Members of Congress who say Amtrak should cut back or eliminate food service on long-distance trains as a cost-cutting measure are — Well, there’s just no way to be nice about this — they are idiots.
6- Only 15 percent of the passengers on long-distance trains travel in a sleeping car, but they account for more than 36 percent of revenue. (Attention Congressman John Mica: Dammit! Stop telling the world I’m not paying my own way!)