Cost of Amtrak Railroad Operations

RCED-86-127FS: Published: Mar 27, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO obtained information regarding the National Railroad Passenger Corporation's (Amtrak) financial condition, including: (1) the revenue and cost of Amtrak train routes, including service between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; (2) states' subsidies to Amtrak for providing train service; (3) Amtrak income-producing projects other than rail passenger service; and (4) states' ending budget balances.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year 1985, none of the Amtrak passenger train operations were self-supporting, and it had a $836.8 million loss for its operations; (2) service between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh had revenues of $3.7 million and costs of $8 million, resulting in a $4.3-million loss, even though the state increased its payments by $343,000; (4) of the 12 states that subsidized Amtrak passenger service, half stopped providing subsidies or had service discontinued; (5) profits from the Amtrak income diversification program were about $29.2 million, of which $9.2 million was from non-real-estate activities; and (6) 37 of the 50 states had estimated budgets with positive ending balances, with an average ending balance of $108.8 million.

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