The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak (reporting mark AMTK), is operated and managed as a for-profit corporation and began operations on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

The Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970, which established Amtrak, specifically states that "The Corporation will not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government," Common stock was issued in 1971 to railroads that contributed capital and equipment; these shares convey almost no benefits but their current holders declined a 2002 buy-out offer by Amtrak. Amtrak also receives annual appropriations from the federal government to supplement operating and capital programs. In Fiscal Year 2011, the U.S. Congress granted Amtrak $563 million for operating and $922 million for capital programs. Amtrak points out that in 2010, its farebox recovery (percentage of operating costs covered by revenues generated by passenger fares) was 79%, the highest reported for any U.S. passenger railroad. The members of its board of directors are appointed by the President of the United States and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate.

Amtrak employs more than 20,000 people. It operates passenger service on 21,200 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day – at speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h) connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2012, Amtrak served a record 31.2 million passengers and had $2.02 billion in revenue.

Read more about Amtrak:  History, Carbon Emissions, Public Funding, Labor Issues, Transportation of Firearms, Amtrak Operations and Services, Classes of Service, Trains and Tracks