More aboard! Amtrak weighs long route improvements

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Improvements are on the way for travelers who take Amtrak's long-distance trains for vacations or out-of-state business trips.

Amtrak is re-examining its timetables and finding other ways to improve its 15 national routes to bring in more riders and revenue.

The push for upgrades comes as Amtrak is on pace for record ridership this year, carrying a best-ever 13.6 million passengers in the first half of fiscal year 2010. That's a 4.3-percent increase over the same period last year.

Amtrak is putting all of its long-distance routes under review through 2012, including five this year. They include the Cardinal, which runs three days a week between Chicago and New York City, and the Capitol Limited, a daily train between Chicago and Washington, D.C.

(Also being reviewed are the Texas Eagle (Chicago-San Antonio), the California Zephyr (Chicago-Emeryville, Calif.) and the Sunset Limited (Los Angeles-New Orleans).)

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