Memphis, country see record year for Amtrak

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- In Memphis and across the nation, more people are taking the train.

The Commercial Appeal reports Amtrak ridership in Memphis has increased nearly 93 percent since 1997.

Last year, a record 73,116 riders bought tickets to or from Memphis, an 11 percent increase over fiscal year 2011.

Nationally, Amtrak saw a record 31.2 million riders last year.

A study by the Brookings Institution released last week found that Amtrak's passenger totals are increasing faster than other domestic transportation modes. Most of the growth is being driven by the increasing popularity of routes under 400 miles, such as the Memphis-New Orleans corridor.

Donna Derryberry, of Memphis, said she takes that route regularly to visit her sister in Covington, La. She told the newspaper, "It's convenient, it's cheap and it's easy."

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