Good news this today from AMTRAK! Railroad officials say AMTRAK carried a record number of passengers in the year ending September 30th, despite Northeast service that was temporarily knocked out by Superstorm Sandy. The nation's passenger railroad network carried 31.6 million riders during the 2013 federal budget year. That's more people than live in Shelby-Cut Bank-Conrad COMBINED! AMTRAK's long-distance routes recorded their BEST ridership in 20 years with 4.8 million riders of the rail. All this was despite service interruptions when Superstorm Sandy slammed into New York, New Jersey & Connecticut last October, flooding tunnels & tracks. Ticket revenues also increased to a record 2.8 BILLION with a "B". AMTRAK relies on federal subsidies for a small share of its operating expenses. If our government would FINALLY give AMTRAK the money it needs to run the railroad the way it SHOULD be run, I believe that AMTRAK would even a bigger success than it is today. I know that I speak for all of us up here on the HI-Line when I say what a "Lifeline" it is for all in north central Montana. I urge you to  keep on supporting & riding AMTRAK. We are more than fortunate to have our Empire Builder under our Big Sky. ALL ABOARD!!!