Overall ridership increased by 0.2%, driven mainly by a 3.3% increase in passenger numbers on the Washington DC – New York – Boston Northeast Corridor, which reached 11.6 million. Acela Express ridership exceeded 14,000 on 28 days during the 2014 financial year, compared with just five days in 2013. Eight other services also saw record passenger numbers.

The picture was less positive on long-distance and state-sponsored services, which saw passenger numbers fall 4.5% and 0.6% respectively.

Amtrak says delays to passenger trains on freight railways are rising and the magnitude of these delays is also on the increase. On many routes, passenger trains have experienced a significant decline in performance, which has negatively impacted revenue and ridership and increased operating costs.

"The freight railways simply have to do a better job in moving Amtrak trains over their tracks," says Amtrak president and CEO Mr Joe Boardman. "Amtrak is willing to take all necessary steps to enforce our statutory, regulatory, and contractual rights to meet the expectations of our passengers for improved on-time performance."