Last revised: March 21, 2023
By: Adam Burns
This section looks to cover passenger train travel available state to state, including both commuter and long-distance services.
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.
Finally, all of the known commuter and light-rail agencies currently in service across the country can be found here.
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 been forced to add new trains and/or purchase more equipment to meet.
This task has been made increasingly difficult by an ever-tightening budget due to government oversight and politics in general.
Because of funding issues a number of state agencies have, for several years now, picked up the tab by subsidizing service.
In some cases these states have added their own trains most notably in the New England region (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) as well as North Carolina and California.
There have also been recent start-ups such as Nashville's Music City Star and New Mexico's Rail Runner service.
Alabama hosts a single Amtrak passenger train, the Crescent (New York - New Orleans), which serves stations at Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Anniston.
There are also multiple bus stops/stations Amtrak provides across the state. To learn more please visit the carrier's website.
Alaska's passenger train services are provided entirely by the state-owned Alaska Railroad, which also operates freight service. It is the only private company in the United States which also offers regularly scheduled passenger service.
It makes multiple stops along its system between Seward and Fairbanks, via Anchorage although there are different summer and winter schedules. Its notable trains include the Denali Star, Coastal Classic, Glacier Discovery, and Hurricane Turn. For complete information please visit the railroad's website.
Arizona is served by two passenger trains, both operated by Amtrak. To the north the Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles) stops at Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams Junction, and Kingman.
Additionally, to the south there is the Sunset Limited (New Orleans - Los Angeles) serving Benson, Tucson, Yuma, and Maricopa. Bus service to various cities is also offered. Please visit Amtrak's website to learn more.
In 2008, the state's first light-rail operation entered service; known as Metro Light Rail it runs 20 miles and serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Finally, the Sun Link streetcar line opened in Tucson in 2014, running 3.9 miles within city limits.
Arkansas is served by one Amtrak train, the Texas Eagle (Chicago - Los Angeles, via Dallas/San Antonio), which makes stops at Walnut Ridge, Little Rock, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Hope, and Texarkana.
There is no bus service offered to other cities across the state. Finally, in Little Rock operates a heritage streetcar system known as the River Rail Streetcar.
It was opened in November of 2004 and expanded in 2007; currently it operates 3.4 miles between Little Rock and North Little Rock utilizing historic Birney trolley cars.
California has multiple passenger and commuter rail services. They are so expansive they will only be briefly highlighted here.
To learn more about them please visit each website. Amtrak's intercity services include:
The state also operates station stops (both rail and bus) that provide connecting services to these trains.
California's subsidized commuter rail services, operated in conjunction with Amtrak via the heading "Amtrak California," include:
Additionally, there are numerous other state or city-funded transit services including:
These provide the bulk of California's commuter/light rail services, and each offers their own website for information including routes, schedules, and fares.
Colorado has two passenger trains which serve the state, both operated by Amtrak. The California Zephyr (Chicago - San Francisco) stops at Fort Morgan, Denver (Union Station), Fraser, Granby, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction.
The Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles) also makes stops in the state at Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad. Finally, a few cities are also provided bus services. To learn more please visit Amtrak's website.
Connecticut is one of several Northeastern states providing expansive passenger/commuter rail services. Amtrak's long-distance trains include:
Additionally, the Vermonter (St. Albans - Washington, D.C.) stops at Hartford, Kensington, Meriden, Wallingford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford.
There are also state-sponsored services including the Metro-North Railroad (a division of MTA) providing connections into New York City with trains reaching as far as New Haven, Waterbury, Danbury, and New Canaan.
Finally, Connecticut also operates the Shore Line East commuter service throughout the state. For information about these services please visit each agency's respective website.
Delaware may be small but because the Northeast Corridor travels through its northern fringe many trains pass through the state.
However, none actually stop in the state. It is served by:
Amtrak currently operates two services in the state including:
Also, Florida is home to three commuter rail systems:
Finally, the TECO Line Streetcar System is a small trolley service opened in 2002, running 2.7 miles within the streets of Tampa.
Georgia is served by two routes and two Amtrak services. To the west traveling through Gainesville and Atlanta is Amtrak's Crescent, which makes an additional stop in Toccoa.
To the east traveling through Savannah and Jesup is Amtrak's popular Silver Service.
Finally, Atlanta operates a light-rail transit service known as MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) offering four different services; the Gold Line, Blue Line, Green Line, and Red Line.
Finally, the city's streetcar system opened in 2014, offering a 2.7 mile "Downtown Loop."
Currently Hawaii has no passenger rail service although an effort is under way to build a light rail transit system around Honolulu. Known as the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project, or HART, it will run 20 miles between East Kapolei and Ala Moana Center. The system is expected to open in 2017.
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. Several of Amtrak's services converge either in Chicago or cross the state.
Chicago is also home to one of the busiest commuter rail systems in the country, Metra, while the "South Shore Line" (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District/NICTD) provides service as far east as South Bend, Indiana (part of the historic Chicago, South Shore & South Bend system).
Finally, Chicago's CTA also operates the rapid transit system nicknamed the "L" serving the city and nearby suburbs.
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 Amtrak trains include:
Finally, the "South Shore Line" (Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District/NICTD) commuter system serving Chicago offers service as far east as South Bend.
Iowa has two Amtrak trains which serve the state, the California Zephyr (Chicago - San Francisco) heading west makes stops at Burlington, Mt. Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola, and Creston while the transcontinental Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles) stops at Fort Madison. Finally, Amtrak provides bus service to Davenport.
Kansas is served by one long-distance Amtrak train, the Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles), with stops at Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Garden City.
Kentucky is served by Amtrak's north-to-south City of New Orleans (Chicago - New Orleans) at Fulton. Additionally, the carrier's east-to-west Cardinal/Hoosier State (New York - Chicago) stops in Ashland, South Portsmouth, and Maysville.
Louisiana is served by Amtrak's long-distance City of New Orleans (Chicago - New Orleans) at New Orleans and Hammond.
The Sunset Limited (New Orleans - Los Angeles) also serves the state at New Orleans, Schriever, New Iberia, Lafayette, and Lake Charles.
Lastly, the Crescent (New York - New Orleans) reaches New Orleans while also stopping at Slidell. Amtrak also provides bus service to Baton Rouge and Shreveport.
Finally, New Orleans' historic streetcar system, which dates back to 1835, leisurely takes visitors and commuters over more than 22 miles in the downtown area.
It is operated by the the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) via four different segments; the St. Charles Avenue Line, the Riverfront Line, the Canal Street Line, and the Loyola Avenue Line.
Maine is served by one Amtrak service, the Downeaster running between Brunswick and Boston. The train's other stops within the state are at Portland, Freeport, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Wells. Finally, Amtrak provides bus service to several cities throughout Maine.
Thanks to the busy Northeast Corridor located within its borders Maryland is served by multiple regional and intercity Amtrak trains including:
Amtrak also provides bus service to a number of cities in Maryland.
Finally, the Baltimore Light Rail has provided rapid transit service to the city since 1992 utilizing a 30-mile system and Washington, D.C. has operated the Metro subway system since 1976 covering 117 miles over six different lines.
Additionally, MARC Train provides commuter/heavy rail service via a 187-mile system linking Washington and Baltimore as well as the outlying communities at Perryville/Frederick, Maryland and Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Also, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter system serves the state's northern region with two routes (the Manassas Line and Fredericksburg Line) running into Washington.
Amtrak provides extensive service in Massachusetts. Its long-distance, intercity trains include:
Additionally, Amtrak's high-speed Acela Express runs throughout the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington as does the "Northeast Regional" service (extending as far south as Norfolk/Newport News).
Finally, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates extensive commuter rail and rapid transit service throughout the greater Boston area.
Michigan is served by three Amtrak trains including the Blue Water, Pere Marquette, and Wolverine which are collectively part of its "Michigan Services."
These trains make station stops at New Buffalo, Niles, Dowagiac, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, East Lansing, Durand, Flint, Lapeer, Port Huron, St. Joseph, Bangor, Holland, Grand Rapids, Albion, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Detroit, Royal Oak, and Pontiac. Amtrak also provides expansive bus service across the state.
Minnesota is primarily served by Amtrak's Empire Builder (Chicago - Seattle) with stops in Winona, Red Wing, St. Paul (at restored Union Depot), St. Cloud, Staples, and Detroit Lakes.
The state also began opening commuter/light rail services: in 2004 the METRO rapid transit system opened in the Twin Cities via three lines serving 41 stations; in 2009 the commuter/heavy rail system known as the Northstar Line also entered service covering 40 miles from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis at Target Field.
Mississippi is served by two of Amtrak's premier trains; the north-to-south City of New Orleans (Chicago - New Orleans) makes stops at Greenwood, Yazoo City, Jackson, Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, and McComb; and the Crescent (New York - New Orleans) stops at Meridian (Union Station), Laurel, Hattiesburg, and Picayune.
Amtrak also offers bus service to Gulfport and Hattiesburg while Greyhound service is available to Biloxi.
Missouri is served by three of Amtrak's intercity trains;
Finally, St. Louis operates its MetroLink system, a light-rail/rapid transit service spanning 46 miles and connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport; Shrewsbury, Missouri; Scott Air Force Base; Shiloh, Illinois; and downtown St. Louis.
Montana has attempted to increase its passenger rail services offered by Amtrak over the years.
However, currently only the transcontinental Empire Builder (Chicago - Seattle) serves the state stopping in Wolf Point, Glasgow, Malta, Havre, Shelby, Cut Bank, Browning, East Glacier Park, Essex, West Glacier, Whitefish, and Libby.
There is also bus stations or stops offered at/to Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Livingston, Miles City, and Sidney. Finally, Greyhound service is available at Missoula.
Nebraska is served only by Amtrak's long-distance California Zephyr (Chicago - Denver - San Francisco) which serves Omaha, Hastings, Lincoln, Holdrege, and McCook. There are no bus services offered within the state.
Nevada's only Amtrak service is via the long-distance California Zephyr(Chicago - Denver - San Francisco) with station stops at Elko, Reno, and Winnemucca.
There is also bus service to Las Vegas, Laughlin, Sparks, and Stateline. Finally, the "X Train" or Las Vegas Railway Express is a relatively new company which plans to provide upscale, luxury passenger rail service between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
There have been multiple delays since the company was launched in 2010 and a scheduled start-date is unknown.
New Hampshire is served only by Amtrak's Downeaster (Brunswick - Boston) with stops at Dover, Durham, and Exeter. Amtrak also offers bus stops at Berlin, Conway, Lincoln, Littleton, Manchester, New Hampton, Plymouth, and Tilton.
Being home to the Northeast Corridor there are numerous passenger trains which pass through New Jersey including:
Finally, NJ Transit provides extensive commuter rail and rapid transit services throughout the northern region of the state to provide transportation into and out of New York City.
Additionally, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), serving the greater Philadelphia area, operates as far as Atlantic City.
Also, PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) is a joint New York/New Jersey rapid transit operation serving Newark, Harrison, Hoboken, and Jersey City as well as Manhattan in New York City. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
New Mexico is served by Amtrak's Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles) to the north with stops at Raton, Las Vegas, Lamy, Albuquerque, and Gallup. The Sunset Limited (New Orleans - Los Angeles) also makes stops at Deming and Lordsburg.
Amtrak also provides bus service to Las Cruces. Finally, the state-funded New Mexico Rail Runner Express, opened in 2006, provides commuter rail connections over a 97-mile system between Santa Fe and Belen via Albuquerque.
Amtrak provides multiple long-distance and regional rail services within the state of New York. It also offers bus stops at Dunkirk, Jamestown, and Lake Placid.
The state also funds several of its own heavy commuter rail and rapid transit/light rail services including the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North Railroad, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Additionally, PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) is a joint New York/New Jersey rapid transit operation serving Newark, Harrison, Hoboken, and Jersey City as well as Manhattan in New York City.
It is operated by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Finally, Buffalo Metro Rail provides light rail service over 6.4 miles of trackage within the city limits. For more information regarding all of these services please visit their individual websites.
North Carolina is served by several Amtrak trains including a few that are partially subsidized by the state; t
Amtrak also offers bus service to various locations. In 2004 the city of Charlotte launched its new rapid transit/light service known as Lynx Rapid Transit, operating 9.6 miles.
The state's long-term plan is to have passenger service established from the coast (Wilmington) to the western mountains (Asheville). You can learn more about their website, NCByTrain.org.
North Dakota is served only by Amtrak's long-distance Empire Builder (Chicago - Seattle) which stops at primarily at Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Rugby, Minot, Stanley, and Williston.
Ohio is served by three intercity Amtrak trains. These include the Capitol Limited (Washington - Chicago) with stops in Alliance, Cleveland, Elyria, Sandusky, and Toledo; Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston - Chicago) serving Bryan, Toledo, Sandusky, Elyria, and Cleveland; and the Cardinal/Hoosier State stopping in Cincinnati.
Finally, Cleveland offers light rail/rapid transit service via two lines that span more than 15 miles stopping at 34 stations.
The system entered service in 1913 and has went by different names over the years. For more information about this service please visit the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's website.
Oklahoma is only served by Amtrak's regional Heartland Flyer, which connects Oklahoma City with Fort Worth. Intermediate stops include Norman, Purcell, Pauls Valley, Ardmore, Gainesville (Texas).
Starting in 2015 a trial passenger train will link Oklahoma City with Tulsa; schedules and fares are not yet known.
Oregon has seen its passenger rail services steadily increase over the years.
Today, two intercity Amtrak trains make stops within the state; the Coast Starlight (Seattle - Los Angeles) serves Portland, Salem, Albany, Eugene, Chemult, and Klamath Falls; the Amtrak Cascades (Vancouver, British Columbia - Seattle - Eugene) is a regional service with stops at Eugene, Albany, Salem, Oregon City, and Portland.
Amtrak also offers extensive bus service within Oregon. Additionally, the state plays host to a commuter rail system known as the Westside Express Service; initiated in 2009 it spans nearly 15 miles between Beaverton and Wilsonville in the Portland metropolitan area.
Finally, Portland is also home to two light-rail system; the Portland Streetcar began service in 2001 via two lines that total 7.2 miles within the downtown area; also, MAX Light Rail serves the city's much broader metropolitan area via a system of more than 52 miles and 87 stations.
Pennsylvania is served by more than a dozen regional and intercity passenger trains operated by Amtrak.
These trains operate on either the Northeast Corridor serving north-south regions, or connect Philadelphia - Pittsburgh, and Cumberland - Pittsburgh as well as points further west.
Finally, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) provides extensive commuter and light-rail service within the greater Philadelphia region. Additionally, Pittsburgh Light Rail ("The T") provides rapid transit service via a 26-mile system.
While small, tiny Rhode Island being part of the Northeast Corridor is served by Amtrak's regional services the high-speed Acela Express (stops at Providence) and "Northeast Regional" (stops at Providence, West Kingston, and Westerly).
South Carolina is served by Amtrak's Silver Service trains as well as the Palmetto (New York - Florida points) with stops in Dillon, Florence, Kingstree, North Charleston, Yemassee, Camden, Columbia, and Denmark. Finally, the Crescent (New York - New Orleans) makes stops in Spartanburg, Greenville, and Clemson.
At this time South Dakota has no passenger train service.
Surprisingly, the state of Tennessee is served by only a single Amtrak long-distance train with the City of New Orleans (Chicago - New Orleans) stopping in Newbern and Memphis.
Also, there a bus station is offered in Nashville. In 2006 a new commuter rail service was launched to serve Nashville. Known as the Music City Star it currently runs 32 miles and serves 6 stations.
Finally, in Memphis the MATA Trolley utilizes historic streetcars as it operates a 10-mile system within city limits with 25 stops via three routes.
There are currently three long-distance Amtrak trains serving the Lone Star State:
There are also three notable commuter/heavy rail systems operating in the state:
Also, Houston's METRORail, which began in 2004 features a 12.8 mile system with 24 stations.
Amtrak's only intercity train serving Utah is the California Zephyr (San Francisco - Chicago) with stops in Green River, Helper, Provo, and Salt Lake City. There are also bus services Salt Lake City and St. George. Utah's FrontRunner heavy commuter rail system connects Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden.
It began service in 2008 with 16 stations and is 88 miles in length. Finally, two light-rail systems serve Salt Lake City including TRAX and the S Line.
Vermont is served by two Amtrak passenger trains; the Ethan Allen Express (Rutland - New York) stops at Rutland and Castleton while the Vermonter (St. Albans - Washington) serves St. Albans, St Albans, Essex Junction, Waterbury, Montpelier, Randolph, White River Junction, Windsor, Bellows Falls, and Brattleboro.
There are several long-distance or regional Amtrak trains that serve the state of Virginia including:
There is also bus service at Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach. In 2011 a new light-rail service was launched serving Norfolk and known as The Tide.
It operates 7.4 miles and serves 11 stations. In addition, Virginia Railway Express provides commuter service to the state's northern metropolitan area.
Amtrak's services to Washington State includes:
Finally, the state-sponsored Sounder Commuter Rail system provides commuter service between Seattle, Everett, and Lakewood via an 82-mile system serving 12 stations.
Also, Sound Transit provides extensive light rail services within the Puget Sound region while Seattle's streetcar system provides service within the downtown area.
West Virginia's only intercity service as the current time is Amtrak's Cardinal (New York - Chicago) which offers a handful of stops across the southern part of the state between White Sulphur and Huntington running near the beautiful New River much of the way.
Finally, Maryland's MARC Train commuter service extends as far west as Martinsburg where it takes passenger back into the Washington, D.C./Baltimore metropolitan region. Its entire system spans about 187 miles and extends through other parts of Maryland.
The one long-distance Amtrak train to serve Wisconsin is the Empire Builder (Chicago - Seattle) which stops at Milwaukee, Columbus, Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Tomah, and La Crosse.
The regional Hiawatha (Chicago - Milwaukee) makes an intermediate stop at Sturtevant. The state also features extensive bus services.
Finally, the Kenosha Streetcar service has a history that traces back to the early interurban/streetcar era at the turn of the 20th century. It currently operates on a 2-mile loop. For more information about Amtrak and the streetcar please visit their respective websites.
Wyoming offers no passenger train services at this time.
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