Here’s a link to a great read about the state of passenger rail transit development in America. Below is one small bit I wanted to highlight about rail in the Midwest:
Midwest states were initially slow to embrace passenger rail, but this is changing. Results have been particularly encouraging on routes radiating from Chicago, a major Amtrak hub, and in 2006 passenger volumes grew by more than 20% on the Wolverine Corridor from Chicago to Detroit.
With seven daily round trips, the Hiawatha Corridor from Chicago to Milwaukee now has the highest frequency of any inter-city route outside California or the northeast. A new station at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport has heightened interest in air–rail interchange nationwide. ‘Mitchell station shows that many of Amtrak’s best opportunities revolve around airports, where passengers have more services available to them than at the downtown terminals’, notes Walbrun.
Notwithstanding these improvements, it is considered something of a policy failure that there is no longer any inter-city rail service to many major cities in the US interior where the population is greater than 1 million, including Columbus, Nashville and Phoenix. Nor is the passenger train present in such busy corridors as Houston — Dallas, or from Atlanta to Florida.