In recent years Amtrak's Keystone Service has exploded in
popularity as the carrier has upgraded the route with full electrified
capability which not only as increased train speed but also required
less transit times as trains do not have to switch motive power. In a
typical year, Amtrak now sees its ridership over this nearly 200-mile
stretch of track top out well over one million easily putting it within
the company's top-ten corridors around the country. The history of the
route dates back to the carrier's earliest years with the Keystone, a train that operated across Pennsylvania, as well as the Silverliner Service. Today, a version of the former is known as the Pennsylvanian and operates alongside the current Keystone Service.
It is quite likely that the success of the New York to Harrisburg route
will continue well into the future consider the electrified service and
large metropolitan region the trains serve. The history of the current
New York-Harrisburg corridor can actually be traced long before there
ever was an Amtrak. With the Pennsylvania Railroad's main line to both
Chicago and St. Louis slicing directly through the heart of the Keystone
State (which split at Pittsburgh) the company ran numerous named trains
between the Steel City, Philadelphia, and New York such as the flagship
Broadway Limited and others like the St. Louisan (New York/Washington - St. Louis), Duquesne (New York - Pittsburgh), and Pittsburgher
just to name a few. The latter two trains, of course, served the Steel
City and by the time Penn Central was created in 1968 only regional
Keystone Corridor trains remaining included the Duquesne (originally named after Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh) and Silverliner Service (Philadelphia - Harrisburg).
Both of these survived until Amtrak began on May 1, 1971. The Duquesne
was retained by the carrier until Amtrak's first official timetable was
released on November 14, 1971 when it was renamed as the Keystone, trains #42 and #43. This lasted until 1979 when the Keystone was dropped in favor of today's Pennsylvanian in 1980. Interestingly, due to its regional nature the Silverliner Service
was always a relatively popular train even under Penn Central. It
first entered service on the PRR around 1963 when the railroad took
delivery of new Silverliner cars (thus the name) from the Budd Company.
They carried the classic Budd stainless steel appearance and also
sported a look similar to the company's popular Rail Diesel Car (RDC) save for the fact that they could operate electrically. The PRR came to own 38 Silverliner cars for service on the Keystone Corridor with funding provided through the new Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (at the time the railroad was in far too much financial
trouble to pay for the equipment itself). When Amtrak began it also
kept this operation and it remained relatively unchanged over the next
However, in 1981 it was renamed as today's Keystone Service
and extended to New York City. In an effort to avoid confusion between
the New York - Harrisburg and Philadelphia - Harrisburg along the
Keystone Corridor individual named trains were used including Big Apple, Harrisburg Express, Susquehanna, and Valley Forge.
For more streamlined operations and better efficiency, however, Amtrak
ended this practice in 1995 when all trains were listed as simply the Keystone Service (that year also spelled the end for the iconic Broadway Limited). Today, the train remains a rather simple, regional train with few on
board amenities and consist that usually includes just five Amfleet
standard coaches with both no business class
or cafe service. The train's 195-mile corridor typically requires a
3.5-hour trip one way. Overall, there are forty-six train numbers that
accompany the service including 600, 601, 605, 607, 609-612, 615,
618-620, 622, 637, 639-656, 658, and 660-672. This, along with the
large metropolitan cities the train serves is the significant reason why
it sees so many travelers/commuters on an annual basis, which now tops
out at nearly 1.5 million.
Throughout the mid-1990s, when Amtrak began
receiving General Electric's new Genesis diesel locomotives for use in standard service to replace aging EMD F40PHs, they could almost always be found powering the Keystone Service west of Philadelphia. For many years the Harrisburg to Philly main line was electrified by the
PRR although it was shutdown some years ago. Finally, in the mid-2000s
Amtrak received funding, $145 million between the state of Pennsylvania
and federal government, to restore the electricity, reopening it to
through electrified traffic in October of 2006. This allowed track
speeds across the entire corridor to be increased to 110-mph, which
further grew demand. Today, trains are usually powered by Amtrak's
trusty AEM-7 motors, a Swedish locomotive that has been in service since
the late 1970s and early 1980s.
|A pair of Amtrak's ubiquitous F40PHs, main line power for the carrier for more than 20 years, hit the grade crossing at Randolph Road in Rockville, Maryland on August 23, 1994 along CSX trackage.
Amtrak's Silver Service is actually a marketing name used to describe its two premier east coast trains, the Silver Star and Silver Meteor
that connect New York City with various tourist attractions in Florida
such as Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Both trains have quite
a history as part of the Seaboard Air Line
Railroad's popular fleet of southern streamliners during the classic
era of rail travel when no expense was spared to make sure passengers
thoroughly enjoyed their trip. Due to the fact that these trains served
the sub-tropical regions of the U.S. from South Carolina
to Florida they actually remained fairly popular with the public all of
the way through the 1960s, which is a significant reason why several of
then-Seaboard Coast Line's fleet was retained after Amtrak began. While
the carrier's versions of the trains today are not quite as opulent,
combined they still attract nearly one millions riders annually.
The most prominent train to make up Amtrak's Silver Service today would certainly be the SAL's Silver Meteor.
This train was the railroad's flagship, first inaugurated on February
2, 1939 just when the streamliner craze was really catching on around
the country. The Meteor evoked the South in every way possible
with "tropical" colors adorning both the exterior and interior. While
the original train was meant to be an all-coach run on the SAL it also
offered through Pullman, sleeper service between Richmond-New
York/Boston via the Pennsylvania and New Haven railroads. In the 1950s
the Meteor sported its most prominent feature, the “Sun Lounge”,
which featured glass ceilings since height restrictions forced the
railroad from using domes.
In any event, the inauguration of the Silver Meteor forced rival Atlantic Coast Line to scramble and showcase its own streamliner to Florida, the Champion.
Despite the fact that the ACL was a month or so late to the party its
flagship became just as popular and both trains enjoyed many years of
success. The SAL's counterpart to the Meteor was the Silver Star,
which was inaugurated on December 12, 1947. The creation of this train
was thanks to newer streamlined equipment purchased for the flagship,
essentially making it a reborn version of the original Meteor with coaches,
diners, lounges, and an observation. By the late 1960s both trains
were still in service on the Seaboard Coast Line and because of their
success survived through the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971.
While the Silver Meteor has been retained by Amtrak it has
undergone numerous routing changes, and even a name change since 1971.
The train began bypassing Jacksonville just a year later in 1972, one of
the major stops under SAL ownership. However, this was returned in
1973. Later that decade and into the 1980s it switched over to former
ACL lines in Florida although part of these changes were due to the
abandonment of SAL corridors as then CSX Transportation. Typically, the
Meteor today uses Amfleet coaches
for dining, lounge, snack, and diner services while Viewliners sleepers
as used for nightly accommodations. Power north of Washington, D.C. is
provided by AEM-7 electrics and General Electric "Genesis" diesels south of that point.
Overall, the entire corridor from Boston to Miami is 1,389
miles in length and requires more than 28 hours per trip. Ironically,
this is now more than two hours slower than during the Seaboard era when
the train required just under 26 hours along the same route. Annual
ridership on the Meteor now sits at nearly 400,000 annually, or just over 1,000 passengers per trip. As for the Silver Star the sister train to the Meteor
offers quite a similar routing. However, the one change with the train
is that it connects directly to Tampa before reaching Miami as its
sibling bypasses this city (but does offer bus service). As such, the
entire route is 1,522 miles in length, nearly 150 miles longer. The
accommodations, however, are roughly the same with Amfleet and Viewliner
cars used on every train. A typical consist for the Star includes a baggage, two Viewliners, a Heritage Fleet diner, a cafe car, and at least three coaches.
Ridership on the Star is also quite a bit higher than the Meteor
with more than 425,000 passengers taking the train in 2011. This can
likely be partially explained by the addition of Tampa on the timetable.
In any event, the train has also had a much greater increase in demand
in recent years with a close to 10% jump in ridership. While Amtrak
took a hard look at its Silver Service trains in just 2011 they
are likely both to be on the timetable for many years to come given that
they have retained a high level of ridership for being an intercity
corridor. If you would like to learn more about riding the Silver Service please visit Amtrak's official website,
which provides information on how to book a trip as well as all of the
accommodations each train offers (a downloadable timetable is also
provided which includes virtually everything there is to know about the
|A nearly-new Amtrak Turboliner trainset, #60, speeds through Kalamazoo, Michigan as it is about to hit a grade-crossing during July of 1977.|
As in Illinois, California, and a few other regions Amtrak uses the brand name Michigan Services to describe a series of regional trains which connect Chicago with several cities in Michigan. These trains include the Wolverine, Pere Marquette, and Blue Water
and have were put into service after Amtrak began between the mid-1970s
and 1980s. All three are historically significant and either were
actually operated by a fallen flag railroad or its regional route is
still in use (such as in the case of the Grand Trunk Western). Many
years ago Michigan was home to
several regional passenger trains thanks to its heavy industrial base
and the once vitally important city of Detroit. Today, Amtrak's three
trains are all that remains of this network. However, along with
continuing growth in ridership there is hope that these trains will be
upgraded to high speed, 110 mph service in the near future.
Before there was today's Michigan Services operated by Amtrak the
state boasted several regional and long-distance trains. Railroads
like New York Central (in particular, it alone operated numerous named
trains through Michigan), Baltimore & Ohio, Grand Trunk Western,
Pennsylvania, Wabash, Pere Marquette, and others connected many of the
Wolverine State's cities with names such as the Red Arrow, Ambassador, Cincinnatian, Michigan, Wolverine, Twilight Limited, Pere Marquette, Wabash Cannon Ball, Detroit Limited, Maple Leaf,
and several others. During the "Golden Age" of the railroad industry
Detroit was extremely important due to its heavy industrial base alone
and automobile manufacturing in particular (a lucrative traffic source).
Additionally, there were other important cities such as Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Durant, and the car
ferry docks at Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Ludington. When Amtrak began
on May 1, 1971 there were only five railroads still serving the state;
the B&O, C&O, Grand Trunk, Penn Central, and Norfolk &
Western which still operated some twelve various trains. However, all
of these were abolished by Amtrak save for two former PC runs, which did
not carry a name until the carrier issued its first timetable on
November 14, 1971 naming them the Wolverine and the St. Clair (the latter train lost its name in the early 1980s but survived as part of the Lake Cities
until 2004). The former has been the one train that has stood the test
of time and has not been extended but is also now partially funded by
the state of Michigan (as are all Amtrak services in the state).
Interestingly, Amtrak at first had high hopes in the state. In 1975 it
began operating French-built Turboliner trainsets via the Wolverine. Unfortunately, with Penn Central in bankruptcy
and deferring maintenance they could never operate at the intended
speeds of 100+ mph and were relocated to other corridors in the early
1980s. Today, as with most regional Amtrak trains the current Wolverine, which has been expanded from Detroit northward to Pontiac, provides fairly light accommodations
on its 304-mile trip between Detroit and Chicago; typically you will
find two General Electric P42s for power (one on each end to avoid
turning), three Horizon Fleet coaches, and an Amfleet cafe-club car.
Despite these rather mundane services the train's ridership has
steadily grown and now see more than a half-million passengers annually.
The Pere Marquette has a history that dates back to its
predecessor railroad, the Pere Marquette Railway. Under the PM the
train operated between Detroit and Grand Rapids as a regional run with
service Monday through Saturday. In 1947 the railroad was purchased by
the Chesapeake & Ohio, which retained the train but would expand it
to serve three different corridors; Detroit-Grand Rapids, Chicago-Grand
Rapids/Muskegon, and Detroit-Saginaw. Interestingly, the Pere Marquettes
as they were known survived serving these routes through end although
when Amtrak began on May 1 it initially did not retain the name.
However, thanks to state support the name was revived on August 5, 1984
as a Chicago-Grand Rapids service, which continues through today. As a
regional run the train offers a bit more than you might expect as three
Superliner coaches typically make up a consist.
Finally, there is the Blue Water which serves Chicago and Port Huron, for some years known by Amtrak as the Blue Water Limited
from 1975 to 1982. The route the carrier uses was originally part of
the Grand Trunk Western, a Canadian National subsidiary, who once field
such trains on the line as the Maple Leaf, International Limited, the Inter-City Limited and LaSalle
all of which connected to Toronto. From 1976 through 1981 Amtrak
equipped its new Turboliner high-speed trainsets over the line although
because they were never able to operate at true high speeds were pulled
in 1981. A year later the Blue Water name was dropped in favor of the old International Limited when the train was extended to Toronto.
However, lagging demand forced Amtrak to truncate this back to Port
Huron in 2004, returning the train to its original name as the Blue Water.
Today, the corridor is approximately 319 miles in length and requires
nearly six hours to complete a trip. The train's standard power today
is a GE P42DC with up to eight cars consisting of a Horizon Fleet/Amfleet coaches and the same used as a cafe-business car.
|Amtrak AEM-7 #952 has a commuter train at Middle River, Maryland on February 10, 2004.|
Of all of the areas Amtrak serves its Northeast Corridor (or NEC) that
stretches roughly from Richmond, Virginia northward to Boston,
Massachusetts and connecting all of the major cities in the region along
the way has always been the carrier's most popular. Because of this
then, it probably comes as little surprise that its Northeast Regional
service that connects the NEC is Amtrak's busiest seeing millions of
riders annually, which either take the train all of the way through or
stop at one of the major cities along the way. The history of passenger
trains here can be traced well back into the classic Pennsylvania
Railroad era when the once-largest such company to be found in the
country dispatched dozens of various named trains along the NEC, which
were also quite popular with the traveling public. The future of this
route under Amtrak hopes to be expanded further with high speed rail
service to Richmond and perhaps even into North Carolina.
The history of this route was predominantly owned by two different
companies; the aforementioned PRR as well as the New York, New Haven
& Hartford (New Haven). The former could boast a through line
between New York and Washington, D.C. by around 1907 (mostly by
purchasing smaller systems along the way) while the latter, the New
Haven, operated a main line between New York and Boston by as early as
1888 (also by buying up smaller railroads). In general these two
companies worked together (since they were not true competitors) in
providing passengers and commuters with through connections from Boston
to Washington. Due to the volume of traffic they carried then, just
like now, both also listed dozens of trains, particularly the New Haven.
Far too many to mention here the NYNH&H's more well known runs
then included names like the Bostonian, Colonial, Merchants Limited, New Yorker, and Yankee Clipper.
For the PRR, it did not offer quite as many named trains but made up for
this in the fabulous level of services, which were second to known for
simply being a commuter/regional corridor! The Senator was one
of the most popular, operating all of the way from Boston to Washington
in conjunction with the New Haven. Aside from its lavish accommodations
the train could complete the trip in just eight hours, more than two
hours faster than today's trains offered by Amtrak! There was also the Congressional
service, a very fast commuter train running from Washington, D.C. and
New York. It also offered a vast array of amenities to passengers and
was powered by the iconic GG-1 electric,
which could complete a trip in less than four hours; again, much faster
than Amtrak. Another sometimes forgotten regional commuter train
serving this region was the Crusader operated by the Reading Railroad.
This commuter-like streamliner connected Philadelphia with Jersey City
on a 90-mile corridor that was also popular with commuters and
businessmen for its services that were right up there with the PRR.
Sadly, as they say, all good things must come to an end and as the
public abandoned trains for cars and planes the Northeast Corridor lost
many of these trains while those that remained were mere shells of their
former selves. Upon the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 some of these
runs were retained (although the once-popular Congressionals were retired later that decade) and surprisingly survived for many years. Names like the Yankee Clipper and Federal
survived under the Amtrak banner for decades before finally being
retired in the mid-1990s. With the release of the carrier's October 28,
1995 timetable all of these services became known as NortheastDirect.
These new trains, which all operated under that banner served
the entirety of the Northeast Corridor connecting Boston, Springfield
(Massachusetts), New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington,
Richmond, Newport News, and Lynchburg. With Amtrak's April 7, 2008 timetable the name was again changed to today's Northeast Regional.
Overall, the service now serves a total of 50 stations with
electrified operations ending south of Washington. Train numbers used
include 66, 67, 82-88, 93-95, 99, 110-111, 121, 123, 125-127, 129-141,
143, 145-148, 150-190, 192-199, 401, 405, 432, 450, 460, 463-465, 467,
470, 475-476, 479, 488, 490, 493-495, and 497. The entire corridor is
630 miles in length and if one were to ride it the entire length would
require 12.5 hours. Because the Northeast Regional is just that, a regional service, services aboard train are fairly light consist of Amfleet cars offering standard coach and business classes as well as a cafe/snack car.
Power above Washington for the trains consists of either the reliable
AEM-7 Swedish electrics (in service for nearly 30 years now) or the much
newer HHP-8 motors used for the Acela Regional. South of the nation's capital Amtrak employs its standard General Electric Genesis series diesels. The future of the Northeast Regional service looks interesting as the carrier is attempting to work
with the Virginia and Congress in obtaining funding to electrify the
line to Richmond and provide through service to Norfolk via Class I
Norfolk Southern's trackage. If this happens and the state is able to
complete its project with North Carolina to offer high speed rail
service to Charlotte, the Piedmont, and Wilmington one can ride a fast
train from Boston into the heart of the South.
|Pacific Surfliner F59PHI #462 during its first year of service boards passengers in San Diego on July 9, 2000.|
Amtrak California's Pacific Surfliner is the newest member in the
state's family of intercity passenger rail services. Begun only
relatively recently in 2000 the train has quickly become California's
most popular, seeing more than two million riders annually on its route
that runs the southern Pacific coast between San Diego and San Louis
Opisbo. The service is also the only one featuring its own, unique,
paint scheme different from even the standard Amtrak California livery
of dark blue and silver. Much of the line the Surfliner uses was once owned by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe (Santa Fe)
and the railroad's heritage can still be found in many places, such as a
number of the depots that remain in use and built in the classic
Spanish Mission style. If you are hoping to rider the Surfliner service expansions over the years have increased its station stops to more than two dozen with multiple trips ran daily!
As the busiest route that is subsidized by California it took the state many years to see the Pacific Surfliner a reality. After the Santa Fe
discontinued passenger trains along its "Surf Line" between Los Angeles
and San Diego on April 30, 1971, Amtrak continued to use the San Diegan
when it began operations the next day. In general, the carrier
received although worn out equipment from mots railroads (both
locomotives and passenger cars) which made reliable scheduling
very difficult. However, things were a bit different in the case of
the AT&SF which handed Amtrak a tired, but quite usable roster of
equipment as the railroad did a much better job
of maintaining its fleet right through the end. The state of
California, which was hoping to see improved and more reliable
intrastate passenger rail service began subsidizing Amtrak's operations
This led the Amtrak California brand name and Caltrans Division of Rail,
which both managed and funneled monies to the national carrier. At
that time, two trains still provided intercity rail services in the
state the aforementioned San Diegan and the San Joaquin,
an upstart of 1974 between Oakland and Bakersfield. Both of these
operations began to see significant improvement with increased funding as well as new equipment, such as the far more reliable EMD F40PHs of the late 1970s. In December, 1991 the Capitol Corridor
debuted between Oakland, San Jose and Auburn giving the state three
regional trains serving its largest cities. Then, on June 1, 2000
Amtrak and California re-inaugurated the San Diegan as a through train from San Diego to San Luis Opisbo via Santa Barbara.
This routing, north of Los Angeles used former Southern Pacific trackage and to better market the new corridor the name Pacific Surfliner
was chosen (quite appropriate, considering trains skirt the coast much
of the way, making for a breathtaking backdrop as swimmers can literally
watch trains pass from the beach). With its increased range the entire
route covers some 350 miles and takes about 5 hours and 45 minutes to
ride the entire line (not including a return trip). Current train
numbers dispatched now include 562, 564-67, 571-573, 577-580, 582-583,
587, 589-592, 595, 597, 763, 768, 769, 774-775, 784-785, 792, 796, and
798-799. In the early 1990s Amtrak California began purchasing new
equipment such as upgraded Superliners (now known as California Cars) and EMD F59PHIs.
For use on the Pacific Surfliner are what are known as Surfliner Cars.
These look quite similar to Amtrak's double-decked Superliners
although they were specially built by Alstom (with the primary
differences being on board amenities such as Wi Fi, power outlets, and general deign as well as sporting the special Surfliner
livery). Of course, as demands ebb and flow considering the train
one of Amtrak's busiest with more than 2.6 million riders annually,
traditional cars from the fleet will be used (sometimes to the chagrin
of passengers). However, typically a consist will include an F59PHI,
business car, coach-cafe, two or more standard coaches (as needed), and a
coach-baggage-cab car (for push-pull operations since there is never a
location to turn the entire train making things much more efficient).
Additionally, as with all Amtrak California services there are available connecting buses to other cities; in the case of the Surfliner
these include Solvang, Buellton, Atascadero and Paso Robles. Finally,
California's busiest passenger route offers treasures that many who ride
it probably pay little attention, the restored depots of the Santa Fe
and Southern Pacific that still serve in their original capacity.
Today, the Pacific Surfliner
features 30 station stops and of those San Luis Obispo (SP), Santa
Barbara (SP), Glendale (AT&SF), Los Angeles (Union Station), San
Juan Capistrano (AT&SF), and San Diego (AT&SF) all still use
their original depots to serve passengers.
|Amtrak's "Silver Star" arrives in West Palm Beach, Florida on the evening of May 11, 2007. The author notes that the train is nearly two hours behind schedule.|
Along with California, North Carolina is one of the only states which
sports its own Amtrak-inspired livery. The Tarheel State has been at
least partially subsidizing passenger rail service within its borders
since the 1980s when it partnered with Amtrak to inaugurate the Carolinian.
However, it was during the 1990s that things truly began to take off
when an additional train was launched, today known as the Piedmont Service between Charlotte and Raleigh (it began as the Piedmont). As the state became more involved in supporting rail service demand grew and it now sponsors two daily Piedmont,
which spurred the name change. Its current hopes include pushing
passenger trains across the state to its largest cities such as
Asheville in the west and the port of Wilmington along the Atlantic
coast. Additionally, it hopes to operate them at high speeds (over 100
mph), which is a very real possibility as demand continues to grow for
The route now used by Piedmont Service was once part of the
Southern Railway's route across North Carolina, which stretched as far
as Morehead City to Raleigh, Greensboro, Salisbury, and westward to
Asheville (stretching as far as Murphy). While the Southern did provide
local services across the Tarheel State (including to Raleigh) and many
of its well known runs connected to Charlotte which lay along its main
line, it never hosted a named or expedited regional train between the
two cities; the closest the railroad came was with trains like the Asheville Special (Washington - Greensboro - Asheville), Aiken-Augusta Speciall (Washington - Salisbury - Augusta), and Carolina Special
(Cincinnati - Greensboro/Charleston). By the time Amtrak began on May
1, 1971 the Southern had long since ended all local and regional
Its sole remaining train, which was not initially included in Amtrak was the fabled Southern Crescent
that survived until early 1979 when the railroad finally relinquished
it to Amtrak. North Carolina's first venture into partially subsidized
rail service began in the early 1980s when it partnered with Amtrak to
provide a train, known as the Carolinian, that would connect
Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh with Richmond, Virginia. From that
point Amtrak would offer through service to passengers wishing to reach
Washington, D.C., New York City, and all major points in between. The
train debuted on October 28, 1984 but survived only a year due to poor
revenues (despite high ridership).
Six years later the two tried the train again, which kicked off on May
12, 1990, but this time chose to operate it as a through train all of
the way to the Northeast. As ridership and demand grew North Carolina
began exploring the possibility of adding an additional corridor. Five
years later on May 26, 1995 it debuted the Piedmont which served
the cities of (east to west) Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Burlington,
Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis, and Charlotte (which is
173 miles in length). The major difference between this train and its
counterpart is that the state fully owns all of the rolling stock
used for the service, just like California. Its fleet of locomotives
includes two EMD F59PHIs and four F59PHs, all of which are named for
cities served along the route.
The cars used are dated
Pullman-Standard and St. Louis Car Company equipment, which has been
heavily refurbished. Additionally, the state continues to overhaul more
cars. Everything sports a
livery that is Amtrak inspired but uniquely North Carolina; silver and
blue with red trim topped off by a large star on the nose of locomotives
and "North Carolina" adorning their flanks. As demand grew the state
elected to enter a second train into service over the corridor which
renamed the route as the Piedmont Service. Today, the trains
complete trips in about 3 hours and 10 minutes with train numbers listed
as 73-76. As services have grown so has ridership and 2011 saw a jump
in ridership by more than 40% over 2010 to more than 140,000 passengers!
The route between Charlotte and Raleigh is also now owned by the
state, known as the North Carolina Railroad (which in total owns 317
miles of track) with rights leased to Norfolk Southern to provide freight service.
|Amtrak's "Piedmont," led by P42DC #15 with help from a North Carolina Railroad locomotive, hits a grade-crossing in China Grove on April 30, 2011.|
The Tarheel State has big plans for its future rail service as it hopes
to establish high speed operations throughout its borders from Asheville
to Wilmington. While the North Carolina Railroad has its owns website to truly
learn about the state’s incredible plans of passenger and commuter rail
services you need to visit the North Carolina Department of
Transportation’s dedicated website to such called Bytrain.org.
This website not only give you the latest scoop concerning ongoing
initiatives and plans relating to North Carolina’s railroading
operations it also informs about the state’s steps to preserve
right-of-ways for future rail use and keeping industries planted in its
borders by providing rail access. All in all, the entire site is the
best resource on the Internet to learn about North Carolina’s rail industry, from passenger to freight usage.
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