Amtrak says ridership dropped by about a million passengers over the past year, but it was still the second-highest year in the railroad's history.

Figures released Monday by the nation's intercity rail operator show Amtrak carried 27.2 million passengers during the 12 months ending Sept. 30. Amtrak's record was 28.7 million passengers during the previous year.

Still, ridership was up over two years ago by 5.1 percent.

Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman blamed the decline in ridership to the weakened economy. Business ridership was off in the popular Northeast corridor, although travel on some short distance routes and the railroad's 15 long distance trains was up.