List of major cities in U.S. lacking inter-city rail service

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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):[1][2]

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.
AllentownBethlehem, 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.[3]
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.[4]
Fort Myers, Florida 701,982 Never had Amtrak service. [5]
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.[6]
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.
ScrantonWilkes-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.
ShreveportBossier 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.[7]
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.
GulfportBiloxiPascagoula, 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.
ManchesterNashua, 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.[8]
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?.[9]
Peoria, Illinois 380,447 Experimental service between 1980 and 1981, called Prairie Marksman. New service being studied by Illinois DOT.[10]
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.
Tallahassee, Florida 375,371 Service suspended August 2005, on Sunset Limited east of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It is proposed to return service to the line.
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?.[11]
Ocala, Florida 343,254 Lost service in 2004 when Amtrak truncated the Palmetto at Savannah, Georgia.
MidlandOdessa, 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.[12][13]
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.[14]
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 StationBryan, 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.
ElmiraCorning, 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.
WaterlooCedar 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.[15]
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?.[16]
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.
IthacaCortland, New York 150,900 Never had Amtrak service.
FlorenceMuscle 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.[17]
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.[18][19]
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:

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),[16][21] Billings, and Wichita.[22] 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "Advocates for proposed regional passenger rail system renew efforts". FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Sarasota History Alive, "Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Depot." http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/history/markers/atlantic-coast-line-railroad-depot/
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Iowa City favored for proposed new Amtrak route". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 1 Nov 2012. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  7. ^ Richardson, Terri (2 Mar 2012). "TxDOT, AMTRAK kick off Dallas-to-Shreveport corridor study". The Marshall News Messenger. Marshall, Texas. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Tuscola and Saginaw Bay" http://railfan.com/archive/rf_archive_0384_TSBY.php
  9. ^ Ketz, Jonathan (8 Nov 2012). "Amtrak line supposed to be built by 2015". Moline, Illinois: WQAD-TV. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  10. ^ "Amtrak Considers Rail Service To Peoria". Chicago: WBBM-TV. 20 Apr 2011. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  11. ^ "$223 Million Announced to Restore Chicago to Rockford Amtrak Service". Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  12. ^ Martin, Aaron. "Amtrak's success in Lynchburg paving the way for Roanoke". Roanoke, Virginia: WSLS-TV. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  13. ^ Jeff Sturgeon, "Roanoke Times," "State hunts for contractor to build Roanoke Amtrak platform" December 6, 2016
  14. ^ Kerr, Drew (18 Mar 2013). "High-speed train to Duluth clears hurdle". Finance & Commerce. Minneapolis. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  15. ^ 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/
  16. ^ a b 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. 
  17. ^ Stearns, John (7 May 2013). "Wichita's Amtrak supporters plan announcement Friday". Wichita Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  18. ^ Sandler, Larry (15 Jan 2012). "Wisconsin, Minnesota ponder expanding Amtrak service". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Walker wants Amtrak and road cuts". 30 Apr 2013. Retrieved 23 Aug 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Coast Daylight". 
  21. ^ Martyn, Chase (24 July 2009). "Amtrak could go to Quad Cities, Dubuque by 2011". The Iowa Independent. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  22. ^ 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. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]