Hilltopper (train)

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Amtrak Hilltopper.jpg
Service type Inter-city rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Eastern United States
Predecessor Mountaineer
Former operator(s) Amtrak
Start Boston, Massachusetts
Stops 34
End Catlettsburg, Kentucky
Distance travelled 1,674 miles (2,694 km)
Average journey time 26 hours 35 minutes
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 66, 67
On-board services
  • Sleeping car service (Boston-Washington)
  • Reserved and unreserved coach
Catering facilities On-board cafe
Rolling stock Amfleet coaches
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Amtrak, RF&P, N&W

The Hilltopper was a passenger train operated by Amtrak in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It ran daily from South Station in Boston, Massachusetts to Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The 1,674 mi (2,694 km) run made 34 stops in 11 states and the District of Columbia.[1] The Hilltopper replaced the discontinued Mountaineer on June 1, 1977.[2][3] Initially it terminated at Washington, D.C., but on January 8, 1978 was combined with the Night Owl and extended to Boston.[4]:73 The train was discontinued October 1, 1979 and service has not returned to many of its stops in Southwest Virginia and West Virginia.[2]

The Hilltopper had a warm supporter in West Virginian congressman Harley Staggers, but it was "cited by critics as an example of everything that was wrong with Amtrak" and was one of several routes cut in October 1979 as part of a reorganization by the Carter Administration.[5][6]:51


  1. ^ "Amtrak Hilltopper Timetable". Amtrak. 1979. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  2. ^ a b Sturgeon, Jeff (July 22, 2008). "Can passenger rail return to Roanoke?". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  3. ^ "Hilltopper Begins Service". Amtrak NEWS 4 (11). 15 June 1977. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34705-X. OCLC 61499942. 
  5. ^ Dilger (2003), 91.
  6. ^ Solomon, Brian (2004). Amtrak. Saint Paul, MN: MBI. ISBN 0-760-31765-8. OCLC 56490949. 


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