Passenger Train Travel, A State Guide

This section looks to cover passenger train travel that is available state to state. Amtrak is our nation's intercity passenger train carrier (and has been since 1971) and as such virtually all such services that are provided across state lines is operated by the company. As passenger trains have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation in recent years due to spiking oil prices and increased highway congestion Amtrak has had to new trains and/or purchase new equipment (when the funds are available). Lately, this has come in the form of state agencies helping to fund such services in conjunction with Amtrak, such as in North Carolina and California. To learn more about passenger travel travel offered by Amtrak please click here where each individual service/train is covered. Also, check out their official website to discover even more about their services (there, you can find out about the carrier's state to state connections that are highlighted below).

During the early Amtrak era two GG1s, one still in former Penn Central paint, speed along the Northeast Corridor at Seabrook, Maryland with a commuter train on June 29, 1978.

Please Note!: In the interest of time and space, the stations listed here do not include every one which Amtrak's intercity and regional passenger trains serve. Also, not listed below are commuter rail services. To learn more about these please click here.

Alabama Passenger Train Travel

Alabama has two passenger trains which serve the state operated by Amtrak. The Crescent serves stations at Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston while the Sunset Limited serves Mobile to the south.

Alaska Passenger Train Travel

Alaska's passenger train services are provided entirely by the state-owned Alaska Railroad, which also operates freight service.

Arizona Passenger Train Travel

Arizona is served by two passenger trains, both operated by Amtrak. To the north the Southwest Chief serves Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, and Needles while to the south the Sunset Limited serves both Tuscon and Yuma.

Arkansas Passenger Train Travel

Arkansas is served by one of Amtrak's trains, the Texas Eagle, which makes stops in Little Rock, Malvern, Arkadelphia, and Texarkana.

California Passenger Train Travel

California has multiple passenger and commuter rail services. Its regional services operated by Amtrak include the Capitol Corridor (which serves Oakland to Sacramento), Pacific Surfliner (which operates along the coast between San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and San Diego), and the San Joaquin (between Oakland and Bakersfield). The state's intercity services include the California Zephyr with stops at San Francisco (Emeryville) and Sacramento; the Coast Starlight with stops at Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento; the Southwest Chief with stops at Los Angeles and Anaheim; and the Sunset Limited with stops at Los Angeles and Anaheim. The state also has several stations that provide connecting services to these trains.

Colorado Passenger Train Travel

Colorado has two passenger trains which serve the state, both operated by Amtrak. The California Zephyr serves Fort Morgan, Denver, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction to the north while the Southwest Chief serves the southeastern corner of the state at Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad.

Connecticut Passenger Train Travel

Connecticut's passenger train services are mostly provided by Amtrak regional services. These include the the "Northeast Regional" service with stops at New Haven, Stamford, and Hartford; and "Shuttle" service between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts. The state's one intercity train is the Vermonter with stops at Stamford, New Haven, and Hartford.

Delaware Passenger Train Travel

Delaware has multiple passenger services which pass through the northern section of the state along the Northeast Corridor. However, none actually stop in the state. These include regional services Acela Express and "Northeast Regional" while intercity trains include the Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and the Vermonter. Despite this the state has connecting services at Dover, Newark, and Wilmington.

Florida Passenger Train Travel

Florida has four different Amtrak-operated passengers including the Auto Train serving Stamford, Palatka, and Jacksonville; the Silver Meteor serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Jacksonville; the Silver Star serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville; and the Sunset Limited serving Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee. Amtrak also operates connecting services between Fort Myers and Tampa; Daytona Beach and Deland; and Lakeland and Jacksonville.

Georgia Passenger Train Travel

Georgia is served by two routes and five of Amtrak's trains. To the north traveling through Gainesville and Atlanta is Amtrak's Crescent. To the south traveling through Savannah and Jesup is the Auto Train, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, and Silver Star.

Hawaii Passenger Train Travel

Currently Hawaii has no passenger rail service although an effort is under way to build a light rail transit system around Honolulu.

Idaho Passenger Train Travel

Idaho features only one through, intercity passenger train, the Empire Builder, which serves the extreme northern panhandle of the state at Sandpoint. Amtrak does offer connecting services in the southern region of the state at Lewiston, Grangeville, Twin Falls, Boise, Nampa, and Ontario.

Illinois Passenger Train Travel

Given that Chicago is "Ground Zero" of railroad operations in this country it should come as no surprise that nearly two-dozen different intercity and regional trains serve Illinois. In the interest of time for more information about riding one of these trains please visit Amtrak's website.

Indiana Passenger Train Travel

Being just due east of Chicago, Indiana has multiple trains traveling through the state (from Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky) heading towards the Windy City. These trains include the Blue Water, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State, Lake Shore Limited, Pere Marquette, and Wolverine.

Iowa Passenger Train Travel

Iowa has two trains which serve the state, the California Zephyr heading west through Burlington, Ottumwa, and Omaha while the Southwest Chief stops at Burlington on its way towards the Southwest.

Kansas Passenger Train Travel

Kansas primarily serves only Amtrak's Southwest Chief with stops at Kansas City, Topeka, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Garden City. Amtrak also provides connecting services between Oklahoma City and Kansas City.

Kentucky Passenger Train Travel

Kentucky is served primarily by the City of New Orleans at Fulton to the west. Amtrak also operates connecting services between Louisville and Indianapolis.

Louisiana Passenger Train Travel

Louisiana is served by the City of New Orleans at New Orleans and Hammond. The Sunset Limited also serves the state at New Orleans, Lafayette, and Lake Charles. Connecting service is also provided between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Maine Passenger Train Travel

Maine is served by the Downeaster at Portland although connecting service is provided as far north as Bangor.

Maryland Passenger Train Travel

Maryland is served by multiple regional and intercity trains including the "Acela Express," "Northeast Regional" service, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and Vermonter.

Massachusetts Passenger Train Travel

Maryland is served by multiple regional and intercity trains including the "Acela Express," "Northeast Regional" service, Shuttle service, Downeaster, Lake Shore Limited, and Vermonter.

In this scene several Amtrak P32BWHs lead different trains; to the left #506 and #11 have the southbound Coast Starlight while to the right #513 and #502 wait in the hole with a Talgo trainset at Oakland, California on October 2, 1994.

Michigan Passenger Train Travel

Michigan is served by three Amtrak trains including the Blue Water, Pere Marquette, and Wolverine. These trains mostly serve the southern region of the state although Amtrak provides connecting service as far north as Saint Ignace.

Minnesota Passenger Train Travel

Minnesota is primarily served by Amtrak's Empire Builder with connecting service between Duluth and the Twin Cities.

Mississippi Passenger Train Travel

Mississippi is served by Amtrak's City of New Orleans, Crescent, and Sunset Limited, which primarily stop at Greenwood, Yazoo City, Jackson, Brookhaven, McComb, Hattiesburg, Meridan, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula.

Missouri Passenger Train Travel

Missouri is served by Amtrak's Missouri River Runner, Southwest Chief, and Texas Eagle which primarily stop at Kansas City, Poplar Bluff, Jefferson City, St. Louis, and La Plata.

Montana Passenger Train Travel

Montana is served only by the Empire Builder to the north at Wolf Point, Glasgow, Havre, Cut Bank, East Glacier Park, West Glacier, and Libby.

Nebraska Passenger Train Travel

Nebraska is served only by the California Zephyr which serves Omaha, Hastings, Lincoln, and McCook.

Nevada Passenger Train Travel

Nevada is served only by the California Zephyr to the north with station stops at Elko, Reno, and Winnemucca. However, connecting service to the south also reaches Las Vegas.

New Hampshire Passenger Train Travel

New Hampshire is served only by the Downeaster to the west with stops at Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Claremont, and White River Junction. However, connecting service reaches as far north as Berlin and Littleton.

The northbound Crescent is seen here led by a pair of P42DCs as the train crosses Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans on December 22, 2007.

New Jersey Passenger Train Travel

Being home to the Northeast Corridor numerous passenger trains pass through New Jersey including regional services "Acela Express" and "Northeast Regional." Primary named trains include the Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Keystone, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and the Vermonter.

New Mexico Passenger Train Travel

New Mexico is served by the Southwest Chief to the north with stops at Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Gallup while the Sunset Limited stops at Deming to the south. Connecting service also reaches Santa Fe and serves Albuquerque to El Paso (Texas).

New York Passenger Train Travel

New York is served by nearly two dozen regional and intercity passenger trains that operate primarily on two routes; from New York City to Montreal, Quebec to the north; and from New York City to Buffalo (via Syracuse and Rochester) to the west. There is also service from Niagara Falls and Erie, Pennsylvania heading west, via Buffalo. Learn more about all of these trains at Amtrak's website.

North Carolina Passenger Train Travel

North Carolina is served by more than a half-dozen trains using north-south routes which include the Auto Train, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Piedmont (regional), Silver Meteor, and Silver Star. They serve such cities as Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Greensboro, High Point, Kannapolis, Charlotte, and Gastonia. Connecting service also reaches Winston-Salem.

North Dakota Passenger Train Travel

North Dakota is served only by the Empire Builder primarily at Grand Forks, Rugby, Minot, and Williston.

Ohio Passenger Train Travel

Ohio is served by three trains in the north and south with no service in the central region of the state. It includes the Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited to the north with stops at Cleveland, Sandusky, Toledo, and Alliance while to the south the Cardinal skirts the Ohio River at Ashland, Maysville, and Cincinnati.

Oklahoma Passenger Train Travel

Oklahoma is only served as far north as Oklahoma City via the Heartland Flyer, which also stops at Norman and Pauls Valley. Connecting service also serves Oklahoma City and Kansas City.

Oregon Passenger Train Travel

Oregon is primarily served by the Coast Starlight, which connects Portland, Salem, Eugene and Klamath Falls with points farther south into California. The Empire Builder serves Portland as does the regional "Cascades" services, which connect to Seattle and Tacoma (and as far south as Eugene).

Pennsylvania Passenger Train Travel

Pennsylvania is served by more than a dozen regional and intercity passenger trains. Regional services include "Acela," "Northeast Regional" service, Pennsylvanian, and Keystone while intercity trains include the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Carolinian, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, and the Vermonter. These trains operate on either the Northeast Corridor serving north-south regions, or connect Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and Cumberland and Pittsburgh, with points further west.

Rhode Island Passenger Train Travel

While small, tiny Rhode Island being part of the Northeast Corridor is served at Westerly, West Kingston, and Providence via the "Acela Express" and "Northeast Regional" services.

South Carolina Passenger Train Travel

South Carolina is served on two north-south routes by five passenger trains including the Auto Train, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor. The trains primarily stop at Columbia, Florence, Charleston, Camden, Denmark, Yemassee, Dillon, and Kingstree.

South Dakota Passenger Train Travel

At this time South Dakota has no passenger train service.

Tennessee Passenger Train Travel

Tennessee has only one passenger train serving the state, through the western edge the City of New Orleans serves Memphis and Newbern (Nashville is also served by commuter service the "Music City Star").

Texas Passenger Train Travel

Texas currently has three passenger trains which serve the state. An east-west train serves Texas to the south, the Sunset Limited, which connects El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston. To the north the Heartland Flyer and Texas Eagle connect Dallas/Fort Worth with Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Utah Passenger Train Travel

Utah is primarily served by the California Zephyr passenger train connecting Salt Lake City, Provo, and Green River.

Vermont Passenger Train Travel

Vermont is served by two passenger trains; the Ethan Allen Express connects Rutland with points south including Albany and New York City, New York while the Vermonter serves St. Albans, Essex Junction, and Montpelier.

Virginia Passenger Train Travel

Virginia is home to numerous regional and long-distance passenger trains due to its north-south, east-west location. Regional trains along the Northeast Corridor serving as far south as Richmond include the "Northeast Regional" service. Named, intercity trains include the north-south Auto Train, Carolinian, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Star, and Silver Meteor while east-west intercity trains include the Cardinal.

Washington Passenger Train Travel

Washington passenger trains include the east-west Empire Builder which splits at Spokane to skirt the Columbia River and reach Portland, Oregon and also heading due west Seattle, via Everett. The north-south Coast Starlight serves Seattle and Tacoma reaching as far south as Los Angeles. The state also hosts the "Cascades" regional services which connect Seattle and Tacoma with Eugene and Portland. Additionally, local streetcar systems in the Puget Sound region are also gaining steam.



One of Amtrak's southbound Cascades trainsets powered by F59PHI #466 rolls past a BNSF stack train as it skirts the Puget Sound at Edmonds, Washington on the evening of September 3, 2010.

West Virginia Passenger Train Travel

West Virginia is served by only the Cardinal passenger train operating along the New River to the south of the state connecting Hinton, Charleston, Prince, White Sulphur Springs, and Huntington.

Wisconsin Passenger Train Travel

Wisconsin is primarily served along one route connecting Milwaukee and La Crosse, which is served by the long-distance passenger train Empire Builder and regional "Hiawatha" service. Connecting services reach Madison, Appleton, Oshkosh, and Wausau. In the interest of time for more information about riding one of these trains please visit Amtrak's website.

Wyoming Passenger Train Travel

Wyoming offers no passenger train services at this time although connecting service reaches Cheyenne and Casper.

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