Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


Amtrak Track Facts!

Recommended Posts

I read the Amtrak article and I was fascinated and decided to post it. Maybe this will get a discussion going.








Most tracks are owned by freight railroads. Amtrak operates over all seven Class I railroads, as well as several short lines — the Guilford Rail System, New England Central Railroad and Vermont Railway. Other sections are owned by terminal railroads jointly controlled by freight companies or by commuter rail agencies.


Tracks owned by the company

Along the Northeast Corridor and in several other areas, Amtrak owns 730 route-miles of track (1175 km), including 17 tunnels consisting of 29.7 miles of track (47.8 km), and 1,186 bridges (including the famous Hell Gate Bridge) consisting of 42.5 miles (68.4 km) of track. Amtrak owns and operates the following lines:


Northeast Corridor

The Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C. and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark and New York is largely owned by Amtrak, working cooperatively with several state and regional commuter agencies. Amtrak's portion was acquired in 1976 as a result of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.

  • Boston to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line (operated and maintained by Amtrak but owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
  • 118.3 miles (190.4 km), Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line to New Haven, Connecticut
  • 240 miles (386 km), New Rochelle, New York to Washington, D.C.

The part of the line from New Haven to the New York/Connecticut border (Port Chester/Greenwich) is owned by the state of Connecticut, while the portion from Port Chester to New Rochelle is owned by the state of New York. The Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates this line through Metro-North Railroad.


Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line


Main article: Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line

This line runs from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of a successful investment partnership with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, signal and track improvements were completed in October 2006, and now allow all-electric service with a top speed of 110 mph (about 175 km/h) to run along the corridor.

  • 104 miles (167 km), Philadelphia to Harrisburg (Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service)

Empire Corridor


Main article: Empire Corridor

  • 11 miles (18 km), New York Penn Station to Spuyten Duyvil, New York
  • 35.9 miles (57.8 km), Stuyvesant to Schenectady, New York (operated and maintained by Amtrak, but owned by CSX)
  • 8.5 miles (13.8 km), Schenectady to Hoffmans, New York

New Haven-Springfield Line


Main article: New Haven-Springfield Line

  • 60.5 mi (97.4 km), New Haven to Springfield (Regional and Vermonter)

Other tracks

  • Chicago-Detroit Line - 98 miles (158 km), Porter, Indiana to Kalamazoo, Michigan (Wolverine)
  • Chicago-Detroit Line - 4 miles (6 km) in Detroit, Michigan, CP Townline to CP West Detroit (Wolverine)
  • Post Road Branch - 12.42 miles (20 km), Post Road Junction to Rensselaer, New York (Lake Shore Limited)

Amtrak also owns station and yard tracks in Chicago; Hialeah (near Miami, Florida) (leased from the State of Florida); Los Angeles; New Orleans; New York City; Oakland (Kirkham Street Yard); Orlando; Portland, Oregon; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Seattle; and Washington, DC.

Amtrak owns the Chicago Union Station Company (Chicago Union Station) and Penn Station Leasing (New York Penn Station). It has a 99.7% interest in the Washington Terminal Company (Washington Union Station) and 99% of 30th Street Limited (Philadelphia 30th Street Station). Also owned by Amtrak is Passenger Railroad Insurance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So they own a little less track than I thought. The Northeast corridor section is the most confusing part of the whole thing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many trains that share the tracks = screwed when something bad happens. There has been perfect examples of that in last few years on the NEC.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Blame it on NJ Transit!


I have a co-worker who rides NJ Transit everyday and he says its usually on time. He actually enjoys riding it. He comes all the way from Jackson New Jersey to work in New York. I always tell him he's crazy for doing that. I guess the pay is that good.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.