Why is it this the case with American railroads?

In the lower 48 states, passenger train travel became unpopular or was been cut back big time, while up in Alaska, passenger trains have still hung on and managed to be a force to be reckoned with? Heck, the Alaska Railroad is the only major American railroad that operates both passengers and freight today.

Best Answer:

Regit Nairebis: Most freight railroads ran their own passenger service till the highway system and air travel caused ridership to drop to the point there was no profit in it anymore. If a railroad can make money on it they aren't going to do it. In Alaska there are many places you can't drive too. So you take the train or fly.

Other answer:

Regit Nairebis:
First is location.. Alaska is a large mass of land with little habitation so building mass amounts of freeways or road is impractical. Then consider the amount of maintenance needed for such roads and winter would not be kind to these roads most likely making them useless 5 months out of the year. As far as passenger train travel it just isnt Americas way of travel with both airplanes speed and cars sense of freedom train travel is limited in both of those factors.
StephenWeinstein:
In the lower 48 states, it's more convenient to drive, and there are roads to everywhere that has railroads. In Alaska, there are some places that either don't have roads going to them or have roads that are frequently unusable because of the weather or have roads that aren't paved so you have to drive very slowly.
Harry:
because a lot of the places the railroad goes are remote and can only be reached by plane or train.