The recent trend of escalating gas prices has had major ripple effects on the auto industry, not the least of which is a well-defined (and well-covered) switch to fuel efficient small cars and hybrids. Another statistic which is raising some eyebrows is the apparent return to train travel. Traffic in and out of core Midwest states such as Michigan and Illinois has increased notably in the last year or so. Though Amtrak has raised its ticket prices some 3-percent in the last few months, fuel costs still only account for 11-percent of Amtrak's total expenditures.

The increase in passengers, though, has not been accompanied by an increase in capacity. Amtrak shares tracks with major shipping lines, so it is rather costly to add additional routes. What's more, the current railway infrastructure isn't equipped to handle any additional traffic.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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