Passenger Service Transfers to Amtrak
By the late 1950s, cars and planes had edged out passenger rail service as the preferred modes of travel. Only 547 intercity passenger trains remained in the country. To save the ailing industry, President Nixon signed the Railroad Passenger Service Act, which created the carrier commonly known as Amtrak. The federally subsidized railroad company serves nearly 30 million passengers each year. Today, Union Pacific operates commuter rail service in the Chicago area for Metra. Commuter trains also operate on UP in southern and northern California. Amtrak operates several routes on UP.