Amtrak expansion plans pick up steam

The Federal Railroad Authority recently recommended doubling the number of long-distance train routes in the US.

A map of the US shows existing Amtrak routes in dark blue, with new routes — to cities like Nashville, Columbus, and Las Vegas — in light blue.

Amtrak proposed several new routes — marked in this map in light blue — that would bring train service to 160 new communities.

Map via Amtrak

All aboard — train travel is back in vogue in the US.

It’s not so surprising, as train travel requires no TSA lines, produces fewer emissions, and offers more comfortable seating + stunning cross-country views.

Companies — and search engines — are taking note.

Crews broke ground on the first high-speed rail line in the nation this month, which will connect Las Vegas with Los Angeles by 2028. And there’s even more in the pipeline: Amtrak has robust plans for major expansions over the next ~15 years.

The company’s broad vision connects existing routes and brings Amtrak service to 160 new communities, including the US’s 50 largest metro areas. That would bring train connections to cities like:

  • Nashville, TN
  • Madison, WI
  • Louisville, KY
  • Columbus, OH

The vision plan is big — $75 billion big — but there’s never been more investment in passenger rail.

The Federal Railroad Authority is in the process of studying proposed Amtrak routes, and recently released a recommendation for doubling the number of long-distance routes, with preferred connections including Seattle-Chicago and San Antonio-Minneapolis.

With all these changes in store, your next weekend trip could be just a train ride away.