Rail Travel in the United States

Passanger-Miles on Rail

Today is another day of travel for millions of Americans as they head home after the Thanksgiving Holiday. So, here’s another market size related to travel, this time, travel by rail. Rail passenger-miles are presented here for intercity rail commuting. These data do not include commuter rail within a metropolitan area. This mode of transportation saw a sharp decline in the 1960s, a decline which had been in progress through the entirety of the 20th century. The chart shows passenger-miles traveled by rail each decade since 1960. This chart shows quite a different pattern than is seen when charting all other passanger travel modes tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statisitcs. A few days ago, we charted air travel passanger-miles, by way of comparison.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008
Market size: 6,179 Million Passenger-Miles
Source: “Table 1-37: U.S. Passenger Miles (Millions),” Bureau of Transporation Statistics, National Transportation Statistics, available online here.


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