By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With many folks starting to make travel plans for the holidays, Amtrak is boasting that its ridership continues to climb.

Amtrak tallied a record 31.6 million passengers during its fiscal year that just ended on September 30th.

“That is our tenth ridership record in the past 11 years,” Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz said.

Schulz credits northeast corridor riders with contributing a big part of the increasing ridership.  And it is that Washington to Boston corridor that continues to help Amtrak’s beleaguered finances:

“Here in the northeast corridor, Amtrak is profitable,” Schulz said. “What we like to say is we’re profitable above the rail.  In terms of operation expense here in the Northeast corridor, in this region, we do make a profit.”

That’s not the case nationwide, where Amtrak’s lines are more costly to run.

Schulz says the ridership increase will make it easier for Amtrak to keep reducing the federal subsidy that keeps it afloat.