Amtrak set a record for ridership in fiscal 2019 and is on track to break even, or better, for the first time in the company’s 48-year history, officials announced Friday.
‘‘Our expectation is that in 2020 we will actually make money, we will have positive earnings for the first time in the company’s history,’’ Amtrak board chairman Tony Coscia said at a morning news conference. ‘‘This is an unbelievable accomplishment that a short period ago no one would have thought was possible.”
In fiscal 2019, which ended Sept. 30, total operating revenue rose more than 3 percent to $3.3 billion with an operating loss of just under $30 million.
Amtrak carried a record 32.5 million passengers in fiscal 2019, company officials said, up 800,000 over the previous year.
Company officials also touted a record $1.6 billion capital investment in new trains, station upgrades, and other improvements, including an updated mobile app to make it easier to book travel.
“Our customers are what matters to us the most,” Coscia said.
New state-of-the-art Acela trains are still scheduled to go into service in 2021, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said.
Officials said in a statement that $143 million went to improving the customer experience at several stations, including enhanced metropolitan lounges in Washington Union Station, Boston South Station, Gray 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, and the Great Hall at Chicago Union Station.
Officials also noted the return of service to Springfield Union Station and the launch of the Valley Flyer, a new state-supported passenger train service in Western Massachusetts that stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield.
“We listened, we invested, we improved, and our customers are noticing a difference,” Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson said in the statement. “And we are not stopping. We have an aggressive plan to continue to advance our safety program, refresh train interiors, improve amenities, and renew stations and infrastructure.”