Editor's note: Later today we will be streaming a press conference held by an attorney for Eric Casebolt, who resigned from the McKinney, Texas, police department last night after being caught on camera waving a gun at unarmed teens at a pool party. We are also watching for word from the NTSB on the cause of last month's deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia; the engineer's cell phone use has been a focus of the investigation. And in Indonesia, Mount Sinabung has begun spewing volcanic ash. Watch here for photos and updates on any potential impact on air travel. - Tricia
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a publicly funded railroad service operated and managed as a for-profit corporation which began operations on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States.
Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day on 21,300 miles (34,000 km) of track with select segments having civil operating speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states in addition to three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2012, Amtrak served a record 31.2 million passengers and had $2.88 billion in revenue while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the ten largest metropolitan areas and 83% of passengers travel on routes of 400 miles or less. Its headquarters is at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
The name "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "trak", the latter itself a sensational spelling of "track".