updated 4/8/2010 5:44:36 PM ET 2010-04-08T21:44:36

Amtrak says ridership is on a record pace this year.

The rail carrier says ridership was up 4.3 percent during the first half of fiscal 2010 with a record 13.6 million passengers. Amtrak says that's about 100,000 more than the 13.5 million the first half of fiscal 2008, when a record 28.7 million passengers rode its trains between October and March.

President and CEO Joseph Boardman cited an improving economy and high fuel prices as factors in ridership growth.

Amtrak says it saw growth in its Northeast Corridor, particularly its high-speed Acela Express service, as well as long-distance routes including service between Chicago and New Orleans, and New Orleans and Los Angeles.

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