Amtrak cites flooding for Iowa ridership drop


October 24th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Amtrak ridership dropped nearly 16 percent over the past 12 months in Iowa, and officials blame most of the decline on Missouri River flooding. Officials say nearly 58,000 passengers got on and off Amtrak trains at six Iowa stations for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That’s 10,000 fewer passengers than the previous fiscal year. Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says that more than 90 Iowa-bound Amtrak trains were canceled this year, primarily because of flooding in western Iowa.

Amtrak’s California Zephyr stops in Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola and Creston. The Southwest Chief stops in Fort Madison. The trains run between Chicago and the West Coast. Amtrak reported a record 30.2 million passengers nationally for the past 12 months.