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, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to three Canadian cities.
Founded 47 years ago in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to operate many U. passenger rail Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces, operating more than 300 trains daily over 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track.
Some track sections allow trains to run as fast as 150 mph (240 km/h).
In fiscal year 2016, Amtrak served 31.3 million passengers and had .192 billion in revenue, while employing more than 20,000 people.
The federal government passed the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 to fund pilot programs in the Northeast Corridor, but this did nothing to address passenger deficits.
In late 1969 multiple proposals emerged in Congress, including equipment subsidies, route subsidies, and, lastly, a "quasi-public corporation" to take over the operation of intercity passenger trains.
Matters were brought to a head on March 5, 1970, when the Penn Central, the largest railroad in the Northeast United States and teetering on bankruptcy, filed to discontinue 34 of its passenger trains.
Proponents of the bill, led by the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP), sought government funding to ensure the continuation of passenger trains.
They conceived the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC), a private entity that would receive taxpayer funding and assume operation of intercity passenger trains.