More than 56,000 Amtrak passengers began or ended their trips in West Virginia in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, which the railroad operator says is a 2 percent increase over the previous federal budget year.
Huntington was the state’s busiest Amtrak station, with 11,186 passengers, but that figure was down from the 11,743 passengers who traveled the previous year.
Media outlets report that Charleston’s station was second in overall travel with 10,038 passengers, and Martinsburg was third with 9,331 passengers.
Both Charleston and Huntington are on Amtrak’s Cardinal route, which runs between New York City and Chicago via Washington, D.C., Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
Rounding out the top five stations in West Virginia were Hinton with 8,897 and Harpers Ferry with 6,287.
Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry, both in the Eastern Panhandle, are on the Capitol Limited line and are also served by MARC commuter rail.
Amtrak also reports that the number of passengers using the station at Thurmond more than doubled during the period, from 264 to 563, and ridership at Prince jumped 9 percent, from 3,125 to 3,406.
The Prince and Thurmond stations are the closest to the new Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve near Glen Jean, a Boy Scout park that hosted the national jamboree in July. The event drew some 30,000 Scouts and leaders from around the world.
Nationwide, Amtrak said it carried a record 31.6 million passengers. The railroad has been in operation since 1971.
Cardinal ridership overall was down 2.8 percent from the previous year, the rail line said, but revenues were up 2.6 percent.
The Capitol Limited saw an over 1.2 percent increase in passengers and a 4.4 percent increase in revenues.