Joint railway

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A diagram showing railways near Ilkley, West Yorkshire, including a joint railway

A joint railway is a railway operating under the control of more than one railway company: those companies very often supplying the traction over the railway.

United Kingdom[edit]

There are many examples of joint railway working in the United Kingdom. The more important ones included:

United States[edit]

Main article: Terminal railroad

"Joint railways" are called terminal railroads in the United States. Most true example of joint railways are in terminal areas, including union stations. Terminal railways are often co-owned by the railroads that connect with them. Among the more prominent joint operations were:

The concept of trackage rights is more common than joint railways in the United States. The railroad that owns the track permits trains from another railroad to use the line. The owner railroad normally charges a fee, but sometimes there is no charge because the arrangement results from a merger or sale of a line. For instance, when the Louisville and Nashville Railroad acquired the Monon Railroad a condition of the sale imposed by government regulators was a trackage rights arrangement over the southern part of the Monon for the Milwaukee Road, an agreement that was handed down to successive owners of the Milwaukee Road and finally the Indiana Rail Road.

Variations on trackage rights include "direction running" agreements between two railroads with parallel lines through an area, usually done to facilitate greater traffic volume. For instance, CSX and NS have a directional-running agreement between downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and nearby Hamilton, where northbound trains generally use NS trackage and southbound trains (with the exception of Amtrak's Cardinal) use CSX tracks. North of Hamilton, NS trains use CSX tracks on a traditional trackage-rights agreement for a two-mile (3 km) section.

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