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Amtrak posted a net loss in 2024 so far almost double of 2019 losses

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Amtrak stated that it has posted a net loss of $1.02 billion as of March 2024, more than double what it lost in March 2019.

But much has changed for Amtrak during the COVID-19 pandemic. It received a huge infusion of federal money and has announced plans to expand across the country.

In March 2024, Amtrak reported year-to-date losses of $1.02 billion, far above the $440.5 million in losses reported in March 2019 before the pandemic. When adjusted for inflation, Amtrak losses increased by 85% over that four-year period. Meanwhile, salaries, wages and benefits for Amtrak employees increased 16% from March 2019 to March 2024 when adjusted for inflation.

In 2021, Amtrak announced plans for a big expansion. Amtrak proposed that the federal government spend $75 billion over fifteen years to boost the rail company’s expansion plans around the nation. Losses on project related expenses increased from $65.2 million in March 2019 to $230.5 million in March 2024.

Before the pandemic in March 2019, Amtrak reported a net loss of $440.5 million, which when adjusted for inflation increases to $541.2 million. Amtrak’s net loss includes depreciation, which it had at $480.8 million as of March 2024.

Amtrak’s total expenses in March 2019 were $1.63 billion, which increases to $2 billion when adjusted for inflation. Amtrak’s total expenses in March 2024 were $2.19 billion.

Amtrak’s total revenue has not caught up to its pre-COVID numbers once inflation is considered. Amtrak had $1.7 billion of total revenue in March 2024 compared to $1.6 billion in March 2019 or $1.96 billion after adjusting for inflation.

Salaries, wages and benefits increased from $1.034 billion in March 2019, or $1.27 billion after being adjusted for inflation, to $1.41 billion in March 2024, about a 16% increase.

In April 2021, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg stated the Federal Railroad Administration was giving Amtrak $1.69 billion to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. That funding was provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Amtrak didn’t respond with a comment to an email asking about the losses.