More than 24 million passengers traveled on Amtrak in 2003, 2.7% more than in 2002, the railroad said Wednesday.
Amtrak attributed the overall positive results to lower fares, increased number of trains and upgraded service amenities.
Despite the number of adverse conditions this year, including a lagging economy that has hurt the travel industry overall, the Iraq war, the Northeast blackout and Hurricane Isabel.
Amtrak's ridership topped the previous record of the 23.5 million passengers set in 2001 and was 2.7% better than last year's result of 23.4 million.
Long-distance trains showed substantial improvement over the last year, with those in the Eastern region of the country improving ridership by 3.8% and those in the Western region improving by 6.6%.