List of major cities in U.S. lacking inter-city rail service
Several major cities and regional business centers in the continental United States lack Amtrak or some form of inter-city passenger rail service. Four of these metropolitan areas boast more than one million residents. However, some of these cities may be served by Thruway Motorcoach. Other than the service provided by the Alaska Railroad, there is no U.S. based passenger rail service outside of 46 of the contiguous states and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. There is no inter-city passenger rail service to the states of South Dakota or Wyoming. For purposes of this list, a city is considered served if it is within 30 miles of an Amtrak or other inter-city passenger rail station. A partial list of the cities with a population of over 100,000 that are not served by some form of inter-city rail service is as follows (in order by decreasing population of metropolitan area):
|City||Metropolitan area population (2015 est.)||Notes|
|Las Vegas, Nevada||2,000,759||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Desert Wind in 1997.|
|Columbus, Ohio||1,944,002||Lost service with the discontinuance of the National Limited in 1979.|
|Nashville, Tennessee||1,726,793||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Floridian in 1979.|
|Louisville, Kentucky||1,251,351||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Floridian in 1979; service restored from Chicago in 1999, lost again with the discontinuance of the Kentucky Cardinal in 2003.|
|Tulsa, Oklahoma||951,880||Largest metro that never had Amtrak service. Last passenger service was The Oklahoman in 1967, carried the Frisco Railway.|
|Knoxville, Tennessee||848,350||Never had Amtrak service. Last service was The Pelican in 1970, carried by the Southern Railway.|
|Allentown – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||827,171||Never had Amtrak service. Last service was regional service in 1981, carried by SEPTA.|
|Baton Rouge, Louisiana||815,298||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Southern Belle in 1969. New service from New Orleans has been studied and has support.|
|McAllen, Texas||806,552||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Dayton, Ohio||800,792||Lost service with the discontinuance of the National Limited in 1979.|
|North Port – Sarasota – Bradenton, Florida||768,918||Never had Amtrak service. The Seaboard Coast Line ran its last train to Sarasota in 1971, as passenger train operations shifted to Amtrak.|
|Fort Myers, Florida||701,982||Never had Amtrak service. |
|Colorado Springs, Colorado||668,353||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Boise, Idaho||637,896||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Pioneer in 1997.|
|Des Moines, Iowa||588,999||Never had Amtrak service. There are plans for a new service from Chicago to Des Moines and Omaha in the near future but there are no funds yet to go ahead with works.|
|Augusta, Georgia||590,146||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Cocoa Beach – Melbourne – Palm Bay – Titusville, Florida||568,088||Last had passenger service in 1968, when the Florida East Coast Railroad ended its operations. However, a private high speed regional rail line, Brightline, is planned for Orlando-Miami, via Cocoa Beach. It will use the old FEC right-of-way.|
|Scranton – Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania||558,166||Never had Amtrak service. Long distance service ended with 1966 termination of The Phoebe Snow (train).|
|Youngstown, Ohio||549,885||Lost service in 2005 with the discontinuance of the Three Rivers|
|Chattanooga, Tennessee||547,776||Lost service with the discontinuance of the The Georgian in 1971.|
|Fayetteville, Arkansas||513,559||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Tri-Cities area (Kingsport/Johnson City/Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia)||509,690||Only briefly had Amtrak service which ended in 1971. Virginia officials are working on bringing Amtrak service to Bristol.|
|Santa Rosa, California||502,146||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Lexington, Kentucky||485,023||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Pensacola, Florida||478,043||Service suspended August 2005, on Sunset Limited east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It is proposed to return service to the line.|
|Shreveport – Bossier City, Louisiana||447,193||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Southern Belle in 1969. Planned Amtrak service from Birmingham to Dallas/Fort Worth via Shreveport never materialized, service from the city to Dallas being studied by DOT.|
|Springfield, Missouri||444,617||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Corpus Christi, Texas||437,109||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Asheville, North Carolina||432,406||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Huntsville, Alabama||430,734||Last service was the Southern Railway's Tennessean in 1968.|
|Gulfport – Biloxi – Pascagoula, Mississippi||427,322||Service suspended August 2005, on Sunset Limited east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It is proposed to return service to the line.|
|Brownsville, Texas||422,156||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Mobile, Alabama||413,936||Service suspended August 2005, on Sunset Limited east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It is proposed to return service to the line.|
|Manchester – Nashua, New Hampshire||406,678||Never had Amtrak service. Long distance service ended with 1965 termination of The Alouette.|
|Salisbury – Ocean City, Maryland||395,300||Never had Amtrak service. the Pennsylvania Railroad ended the Del-Mar-Va train in 1958.|
|Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||394,542||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Saginaw, Michigan||389,110||Last service was The Beeliner by the New York Central railway in 1964.|
|Quad Cities area (Davenport/Bettendorf, Iowa, Rock Island/Moline, Illinois)||382,630||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Quad Cities Rocket in 1979. New service probable around 2016?.|
|Peoria, Illinois||380,447||Experimental service between 1980 and 1981, called Prairie Marksman. New service being studied by Illinois DOT.|
|Montgomery, Alabama||377,149||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Floridian in 1979; service restored between 1989 and 1995, when Gulf Breeze was discontinued.|
|Appleton – Oshkosh – Neenah, Wisconsin||367,516||Last service was an unnamed remnant of the Chicago and North Western Railroad's Peninsula 400 in 1971.|
|Rockford, Illinois||344,623||Lost service in 1981 when the Black Hawk was discontinued. New service planned by 2016?.|
|Ocala, Florida||343,254||Lost service in 2004 when Amtrak truncated the Palmetto at Savannah, Georgia.|
|Midland – Odessa, Texas||320,513||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Evansville, Indiana||313,433||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Green Bay, Wisconsin||311,098||Last service was an unnamed remnant of the Chicago and North Western Railroad's Peninsula 400 in 1971.|
|Columbus, Georgia||310,531||Last service was the Illinois Central Railroad's City of Miami in 1971.|
|Roanoke, Virginia||310,118||Lost service in 1979 when the Hilltopper was discontinued. Resumed service connecting to the Northeast Corridor is scheduled to begin in 2017.|
|Lubbock, Texas||297,669||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Clarksville, Tennessee||281,021||Last service was a Memphis section of the L&N's Pan-American in 1965.|
|Fort Smith, Arkansas||280,241||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Duluth, Minnesota||279,601||Lost service in 1985 when North Star was discontinued. There are plans to restore passenger service from St. Paul before 2020.|
|Gainesville, Florida||277,163||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Wilmington, North Carolina||263,429||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Cedar Rapids, Iowa||261,761||Last service was the Chicago and North Western Railroad's Kate Shelley 400 in 1957, when that route was truncated to Clinton, Iowa.|
|Laredo, Texas||259,172||Lost service in 1981 with the cancellation of the Inter-American.|
|Amarillo, Texas||257,578||Last service was the Santa Fe Railway's San Francisco Chief in 1971.|
|Binghamton, New York||251,725||Never had Amtrak service. Last long distance service was with the Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Yakima, Washington||243,231||Lost Amtrak service in 1981 with the reroute of the Empire Builder through Everett, Washington.|
|Sioux Falls, South Dakota||237,251||South Dakota has never had Amtrak service.|
|College Station – Bryan, Texas||234,501||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Dallas-Houston section of the Texas Eagle in 1995.|
|Macon, Georgia||232,723||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Rochester, Minnesota||209,607||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Las Cruces, New Mexico||209,233||Last service was the Santa Fe Railway's El Pasoan in 1968.|
|Athens, Georgia||196,425||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Elmira – Corning, New York||187,820||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Joplin, Missouri||174,327||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Southern Belle in 1969.|
|Terre Haute, Indiana||170,943||Lost service with the discontinuance of the National Limited in 1979.|
|Monroe, Louisiana||170,053||Never had Amtrak service.|
|East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania||169,842||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Waterloo – Cedar Falls, Iowa||168,747||Lost service in 1971 when the Hawkeye was discontinued.|
|Abilene, Texas||166,963||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Billings, Montana||162,848||Lost service in 1979 when the North Coast Hiawatha was discontinued.|
|Fort Collins, Colorado||161,000||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Pueblo, Colorado||160,852||Never had Amtrak service. Preliminary studies to add Pueblo as stop on the Southwest Chief have been undertaken.|
|Janesville, Wisconsin||160,418||Lost service in 2001 when the Lake Country Limited was discontinued.|
|Iowa City, Iowa||158,231||New service probable around 2016?.|
|Albany, Georgia||157,308||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Williamsport, Pennsylvania||155,349||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Alexandria, Louisiana||153,922||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Southern Belle in 1969.|
|Bangor, Maine||153,746||Never had Amtrak service. Extension of Downeaster service studied.|
|Ithaca – Cortland, New York||150,900||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Florence – Muscle Shoals, Alabama||146,988||Last service was the Southern Railway's Tennessean in 1968.|
|Wheeling, West Virginia||146,420||Never had Amtrak service.|
|St. George, Utah||144,809||Although no line (nor any railroad tracks) runs through, the city is connected to Amtrak by Thruway Motorcoach.|
|Traverse City, Michigan||144,411||Never had Amtrak service. New service under study.|
|Sioux City, Iowa||144,062||Lost service in 1971 when the Hawkeye was discontinued.|
|Rapid City, South Dakota||138,738||South Dakota has never been served by Amtrak.|
|Bloomington, Indiana||137,974||Lost service with the discontinuance of the Floridian in 1979.|
|Napa, California||136,484||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Jamestown – Dunkirk – Fredonia, New York||134,905||In the New York Central offered service to Dunkirk and Fredonia, and the Erie Railroad offered service to Jamestown; but Amtrak has never served the area.|
|Manhattan, Kansas||134,804||Last had service in 1971, prior to Amtrak's assumpton of passenger rail.|
|Bismarck, North Dakota||120,060||Lost service in 1979 when the North Coast Hiawatha was discontinued.|
|Owensboro, Kentucky||116,020||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Brunswick, Georgia||112,370||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Waterbury, Connecticut||110,366||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Lowell, Massachusetts||108,335||Never had Amtrak service.|
|Bay City, Michigan||107,771||Never had Amtrak service.|
In addition, the following cities are not directly served by inter-city rail service, but have a rail station within 30 miles of the city.
|City||Metropolitan area population (2012 est.)||Notes|
|Phoenix, Arizona||4,329,534||Direct service ended in June 1996 after reroute of Amtrak's Sunset Limited. Service 30 miles to the south in Maricopa, Arizona, a nearby suburb.|
|Akron, Ohio||702,262||Direct service gained in 1998 with the rerouting of the Broadway Limited, then lost in 2005 with the discontinuance of the Three Rivers. Service 30 miles to the north at Cleveland, Ohio.|
|Winston–Salem, North Carolina||659,330||Service 16 miles to the Southeast in High Point, North Carolina.|
|Wichita, Kansas||636,105||Lost direct service with the discontinuance of Amtrak's Lone Star in 1979. Service 25 miles to the north at Newton, Kansas. New direct service being studied with extension of Heartland Flyer to Kansas City or Newton.|
|Madison, Wisconsin||620,778||Lost direct service in 1971 when the Milwaukee Road's Varsity and Sioux were discontinued. Service 28 miles to the northeast in Columbus, Wisconsin. New direct service between Madison and Chicago via Milwaukee was planned but Wisconsin governor Scott Walker rejected federal funding for the project.|
|Ogden, Utah||612,441||Lost direct service in 1997 with the discontinuance of the Pioneer. Service 30 miles to the south in Salt Lake City, Utah.|
|Daytona Beach, Florida||600,756||Last had passenger service in 1968, when the Florida East Coast Railroad ended its operations. Amtrak trains stop at DeLand Station, 28 miles to the west.|
|Visalia, California||459,863||Never had Amtrak service. Passenger service to the city ended in the 1950s or 1960s. However Amtrak's San Joaquin trains stop by at Hanford 21 miles to the west.|
|York, Pennsylvania||442,867||Service 24 miles to the east at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.|
|Fort Wayne, Indiana||429,820||Lost direct service in 1990, when Broadway Limited rerouted. Service 25 miles to the north at Waterloo, Indiana.|
|Reading, Pennsylvania||413,491||Service 27 miles to the southwest at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.|
|Canton, Ohio||402,976||Service 23 miles to the northeast in Alliance, Ohio.|
|Boulder, Colorado||294,567||Service 25 miles to the southeast at Denver, Colorado.|
|Columbia, Missouri||168,535||Service 25 miles to the southeast in Jefferson City, Missouri.|
|State College, Pennsylvania||153,990||Service 20 miles to the southeast in Lewistown, Pennsylvania.|
Other cities are not served directly due to inconvenient water barriers:
- San Francisco - trains stop across the bay in Oakland and Emeryville, California. Whereas trains once went from Oakland to San Francisco, they had been replaced by auto traffic by the 1950s. The BART commuter heavy rail system operates a trans-bay tube underneath the bay with California Zephyr and Capitol Corridor connections in Richmond, California and Oakland respectively, and Amtrak-operated Caltrain connects to the Capitol Corridor and Coast Starlight in San Jose. Amtrak has worked on plans to resume the Coast Daylight service (which once existed as an Amtrak service but was rerouted to continue north to Portland and renamed the Coast Starlight) from San Francisco to Los Angeles since the late 1990s, which would give San Francisco true Amtrak rail service.
- St. Petersburg, Florida - trains stop across Tampa Bay in Tampa. Trains had previously crossed some of the bays in question. St. Petersburg lost service across the bay when CSX lacked adequate funds to maintain the bridge across the bay. The only other method of transportation is taxi. The TECO Line Streetcar System and HART buses both do not connect with the two areas, although express bus service exists between PSTA and HART.
Amtrak provides no service to Mexico. The closest Amtrak service to Mexico may be found at stations along the western portion of the Sunset Limited and southwestern portion of the Texas Eagle in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California; as well as the Pacific Surfliner service to Union Station in San Diego.
Phoenix, Arizona is served via Thruway Motorcoach from the Southwest Chief at Flagstaff, Arizona. The Sunset Limited stops three times a week at Maricopa, roughly 30 miles (48 km) south of the city; private taxis and the Maricopa MAX express bus are the only transportation from there to metro Phoenix, although MAX bus schedules do not coincide with Amtrak, which arrives during the night. Phoenix lost direct service in June 1996 after Southern Pacific (now part of the Union Pacific) threatened to abandon the line from Yuma.
Amtrak is currently studying rail lines formerly canceled that could renew service to some cities. Cities involved include Boise, Mobile, Tallahassee, the Quad Cities (four cities in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa), Billings, and Wichita. Proposals for high-speed rail could also restore service for several cities. Both plans should reveal cities selected by 2010. Other services Amtrak intends on restoring include the Pioneer (serving Chicago-Seattle via the California Zephyr), the Black Hawk (Chicago-Dubuque, eastern Iowa), the North Coast Hiawatha (serving Chicago-Seattle via the Empire Builder), and the New Orleans-Orlando segment of the Sunset Limited.
- Metzger, Bill; Van Hattem, Matt; Richards, Curstis W. (May 2010), "Map of the Month: Amtrak: Now, then, and before", Trains, Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing, 70 (5), pp. 32–33, ISSN 0041-0934
- "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012 (CBSA-EST2012-01)". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved 22 Aug 2013.
- "Advocates for proposed regional passenger rail system renew efforts". FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- Sarasota History Alive, "Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot." http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/history/markers/atlantic-coast-line-railroad-depot/
- American-Rails, "The Gulf Coast Special" The Seaboard Coast Line ran its last train to Fort Myers in 1971, as passenger train operations shifted to Amtrak.http://www.american-rails.com/glf-cst-spcl.html
- "Iowa City favored for proposed new Amtrak route". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 1 Nov 2012. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- Richardson, Terri (2 Mar 2012). "TxDOT, AMTRAK kick off Dallas-to-Shreveport corridor study". The Marshall News Messenger. Marshall, Texas. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- "The Tuscola and Saginaw Bay" http://railfan.com/archive/rf_archive_0384_TSBY.php
- Ketz, Jonathan (8 Nov 2012). "Amtrak line supposed to be built by 2015". Moline, Illinois: WQAD-TV. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- "Amtrak Considers Rail Service To Peoria". Chicago: WBBM-TV. 20 Apr 2011. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- "$223 Million Announced to Restore Chicago to Rockford Amtrak Service". Retrieved 2014-06-11.
- Martin, Aaron. "Amtrak's success in Lynchburg paving the way for Roanoke". Roanoke, Virginia: WSLS-TV. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- Jeff Sturgeon, "Roanoke Times," "State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform" December 6, 2016
- Kerr, Drew (18 Mar 2013). "High-speed train to Duluth clears hurdle". Finance & Commerce. Minneapolis. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- Jesse Paul, "Proposed Southwest Chief stop in Pueblo could mean $1.4 million in tickets, Amtrak says" "Denver Post," July 7, 2016 http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/07/amtrak-pueblo-stop-southwest-chief-train/
- Stephenson, Meg (18 April 2008). "Amtrak, DOT say 'yes' to rail service between Q-C, Iowa City". Quad-City Times. Davenport, Iowa. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- Stearns, John (7 May 2013). "Wichita's Amtrak supporters plan announcement Friday". Wichita Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- Sandler, Larry (15 Jan 2012). "Wisconsin, Minnesota ponder expanding Amtrak service". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Walker wants Amtrak and road cuts". 30 Apr 2013. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013.
- "The Coast Daylight".
- Martyn, Chase (24 July 2009). "Amtrak could go to Quad Cities, Dubuque by 2011". The Iowa Independent. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- Wistrom, Brent D. (7 Jan 2010). "Study finds strong economic incentives for new Amtrak route through Kansas". KTKA. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 5 Jul 2010.
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34705-X.