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 long-distance 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. Unless otherwise noted, the provider of the last passenger service noted in each of the following cities was Amtrak. 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||Last service was the Desert Wind in 1997.|
|Columbus, Ohio||1,944,002||Last service was the National Limited in 1979.|
|Nashville, Tennessee||1,726,793||Last inter-city service was the Floridian in 1979. Commuter rail service provided by the Music City Star.|
|Louisville, Kentucky||1,251,351||Last service was the Kentucky Cardinal in 2003.|
|Tulsa, Oklahoma||951,880||Last service was the Santa Fe's The Tulsan in 1971.|
|Knoxville, Tennessee||848,350||Last service was the Southern Railway's Pelican in 1970.|
|Allentown – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||827,171||Last service was regional service in 1981, carried by SEPTA.|
|Baton Rouge, Louisiana||815,298||Last service was the Kansas City Southern's Southern Belle in 1969. New service from New Orleans has been studied and has support.|
|McAllen, Texas||806,552||Last service was the Southern Pacific's McAllen-Brownsville shuttle in 1952.|
|Dayton, Ohio||800,792||Last service was the National Limited in 1979.|
|North Port – Sarasota – Bradenton, Florida||768,918||Last service was the Seaboard Coast Line's Gulf Coast Special in 1971.|
|Fort Myers, Florida||701,982||Last service was the Seaboard Coast Line's Gulf Coast Special in 1971.|
|Colorado Springs, Colorado||668,353||Last service was Burlington Route's Texas Zephyr in 1967.|
|Boise, Idaho||637,896||Last service was the Pioneer in 1997.|
|Des Moines, Iowa||588,999||Last service was the Rock Island's Des Moines Rocket and Corn Belt Rocket. There were plans for a new service from Chicago to Des Moines and Omaha but Iowa refused to provide funds for operations.|
|Augusta, Georgia||590,146||Last traditional passenger service was by the Georgia Railroad in 1969, although the Georgia provided a little-used mixed train service until 1983.|
|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 regional rail line, Brightline, is now open Miami-West Palm Beach with an extension planned to Orlando. It will use the FEC right-of-way, and a newly built segment Cocoa Beach-Orlando.|
|Scranton – Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania||558,166||Last service was the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Youngstown, Ohio||549,885||Last service was the Three Rivers in 2005.|
|Chattanooga, Tennessee||547,776||Last service was the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad and Louisville and Nashville's The Georgian in 1971.|
|Fayetteville, Arkansas||513,559||Last service was a section of the Frisco's Meteor in 1965.|
|Tri-Cities area (Kingsport/Johnson City/Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia)||509,690||Last service was the Norfolk and Western and Southern Railway's Birmingham Special in 1971. Virginia officials are working on bringing Amtrak service to Bristol.|
|Santa Rosa, California||502,146||Last intercity service was an unnamed Northwestern Pacific Railroad train in 1958. Currently served by the SMART commuter rail line.|
|Lexington, Kentucky||485,023||Last service was the Southern Railway's Royal Palm in 1970 and the Chesapeake and Ohio's George Washington in 1971.|
|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||Last service was the Kansas City Southern's 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||Last service was the Frisco's Meteor and Will Rogers in 1967.|
|Corpus Christi, Texas||437,109||Last service was the Texas Mexican Railway's Tex Mex Express in 1986.|
|Asheville, North Carolina||432,406||Last service was the Southern Railway's Asheville Special in 1975.|
|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||Last service was the Southern Pacific's Border Limited in 1952.|
|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||Last service was the Boston and Maine's Alouette in 1965. Extension of MBTA's Lowell Line proposed.|
|Salisbury – Ocean City, Maryland||395,300||Last service was the Pennsylvania Railroad's Del-Mar-Va in 1958.|
|Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||394,542||Last service was a mixed train operated by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1955.|
|Saginaw, Michigan||389,110||Last service was the New York Central's Beeliner in 1964.|
|Quad Cities area (Davenport/Bettendorf, Iowa, Rock Island/Moline, Illinois)||382,630||Last service was the Rock Island's Quad Cities Rocket in 1979. New service possible in 2018?.|
|Peoria, Illinois||380,447||Last service was the Prairie Marksman in 1981. New service was studied by Illinois DOT.|
|Montgomery, Alabama||377,149||Last service was the Gulf Breeze in 1995.|
|Appleton – Oshkosh – Neenah, Wisconsin||367,516||Last service was an unnamed remnant of the Chicago and North Western's Peninsula 400 in 1971.|
|Rockford, Illinois||344,623||Last service was the Black Hawk in 1981. New service that was planned by 2015 was suspended by Illinois Governor Rauner.|
|Ocala, Florida||343,254||Last service was the Palmetto in 2004, when Amtrak truncated the run to Savannah, Georgia.|
|Midland – Odessa, Texas||320,513||Last service was the Missouri Pacific's West Texas Eagle in 1969.|
|Evansville, Indiana||313,433||Last service was the Louisville and Nashville's The Georgian in 1971.|
|Green Bay, Wisconsin||311,098||Last service was an unnamed remnant of the Chicago and North Western's Peninsula 400 in 1971.|
|Columbus, Georgia||310,531||Last service was the Illinois Central's City of Miami in 1971.|
|Lubbock, Texas||297,669||Last service was the Santa Fe's West Texas Express in 1967.|
|Clarksville, Tennessee||281,021||Last service was a Memphis section of the L&N's Pan-American in 1965.|
|Fort Smith, Arkansas||280,241||Last service was a section of the Frisco's Meteor in 1965.|
|Duluth, Minnesota||279,601||Last service was the North Star in 1985. There are plans to restore passenger service from St. Paul before 2020.|
|Gainesville, Florida||277,163||Last service was the Seaboard Coast Line's South Wind in 1971, when the train was rerouted via Orlando.|
|Atlantic City, New Jersey||275,549||Last inter-city service was the Atlantic City Express in 1995. Currently served by NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line.|
|Wilmington, North Carolina||263,429||Last service was an unnamed Seaboard Coast Line train in 1968.|
|Cedar Rapids, Iowa||261,761||Last service was the Rock Island's Zephyr Rocket on April 8, 1967.|
|Laredo, Texas||259,172||Last service was the Inter-American in 1981.|
|Amarillo, Texas||257,578||Last service was the Santa Fe's San Francisco Chief in 1971.|
|Binghamton, New York||251,725||Last service was the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Yakima, Washington||243,231||Last service was in 1981 when the Empire Builder was rerouted through Everett, Washington.|
|Sioux Falls, South Dakota||237,251||Last service was a Sioux Falls section of the Milwaukee Road's Arrow in September 1965.|
|College Station – Bryan, Texas||234,501||Last service was the Dallas-Houston section of the Texas Eagle in 1995.|
|Macon, Georgia||232,723||Last service was the Central of Georgia's Nancy Hanks II in 1971.|
|Rochester, Minnesota||209,607||Last service was the Chicago and North Western Railroad's Rochester 400 in 1963.|
|Las Cruces, New Mexico||209,233||Last service was the Santa Fe's El Pasoan in 1968.|
|Athens, Georgia||196,425||Last service was the Seaboard Coast Line's Silver Comet in 1969.|
|Elmira – Corning, New York||187,820||Last service was the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Joplin, Missouri||174,327||Last service was the Kansas City Southern's Southern Belle in 1969.|
|Terre Haute, Indiana||170,943||Last service was the National Limited in 1979.|
|Monroe, Louisiana||170,053||Last service was a Little Rock-Alexandria section of the Missouri Pacific's Texas Eagle in 1967.|
|East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania||169,842||Last service was the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Waterloo – Cedar Falls, Iowa||168,747||Last service was the Illinois Central's Hawkeye in 1971.|
|Abilene, Texas||166,963||Last service was the Missouri Pacific's West Texas Eagle in 1969.|
|Blacksburg – Christiansburg – Radford, Virginia||162,958||Last service was the Hilltopper in 1979. New service being studied by VA DOT.|
|Billings, Montana||162,848||Last service was the North Coast Hiawatha in 1979.|
|Eau Claire – Menomonie, Wisconsin||161,151||Last service was the Chicago and North Western Railroad's Twin Cities 400 in 1963.|
|Fort Collins, Colorado||161,000||Last service was the Burlington Route's Shoshone in 1967.|
|Pueblo, Colorado||160,852||Last service was a Denver-La Junta connecting train operated by the Santa Fe Railway in 1971. Preliminary studies to add Pueblo as stop on the Southwest Chief have been undertaken.|
|Janesville, Wisconsin||160,418||Last service was the Lake Country Limited in 2001.|
|Iowa City, Iowa||158,231||Last service was the Rock Island's Des Moines Rocket and Corn Belt Rocket. New service probable around 2016?.|
|Albany, Georgia||157,308||Last service was the Illinois Central's City of Miami in 1971.|
|Williamsport, Pennsylvania||155,349||Last service was a remnant of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Northern/Southern Express in 1971.|
|Alexandria, Louisiana||153,922||Last service was the Kansas City Southern's Southern Belle in 1969.|
|Bangor, Maine||153,746||Last service was the Boston and Maine's State of Maine Express and Bar Harbor Express in 1960. Extension of Downeaster service studied.|
|Ithaca – Cortland, New York||150,900||Last service was the Lehigh Valley's Maple Leaf in 1961.|
|Florence – Muscle Shoals, Alabama||146,988||Last service was the Southern Railway's Tennessean in 1968.|
|Wheeling, West Virginia||146,420||Last service was the Baltimore and Ohio's Chicago-West Virginia Night Express in 1961.|
|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||Last service was an unnamed C&O/B&O Railroad train in 1967. New service under study.|
|Sioux City, Iowa||144,062||Last service was the Illinois Central's Hawkeye in 1971.|
|Dalton, Georgia||142,227||Last service was the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad and Louisville and Nashville's The Georgian in 1971.|
|Tupelo, Mississippi||139,671||Last service was the Frisco and Southern Railway's Kansas City-Florida Special in 1964.|
|Rapid City, South Dakota||138,738||Last service was the Milwaukee Road's Sioux in 1951, when the run was truncated to Canton, South Dakota.|
|Bloomington, Indiana||137,974||Last service was the Floridian in 1979.|
|Napa, California||136,484||Last intercity service was an unnamed Southern Pacific train in 1929. Currently served by the Napa Valley Wine Train.|
|Jamestown – Dunkirk – Fredonia, New York||134,905||Last service was the Erie Lackawanna's Lake Cities in 1970.|
|Manhattan, Kansas||134,804||Last service was the Union Pacific's City of Kansas City in 1971.|
|Lawton, Oklahoma||131,089||Last service was the Frisco's Meteor in 1967.|
|Bismarck, North Dakota||120,060||Last service was the North Coast Hiawatha in 1979.|
|Missoula, Montana||116,130||Last service was the North Coast Hiawatha in 1979.|
|Cheyenne, Wyoming||116,070||Last service was the Pioneer in 1997.|
|Owensboro, Kentucky||116,020||Last service was an unnamed L&N train in 1958.|
|Brunswick, Georgia||112,370||Last service was the Southern Railway's Kansas City-Florida Special in 1964.|
|Waterbury, Connecticut||110,366||Last inter-city service was an unnamed New Haven service in 1958. Currently served by Metro-North Railroad's Waterbury Branch|
|Lowell, Massachusetts||108,335||Last inter-city service was the Boston and Maine's State of Maine in 1960. Currently served by MBTA's Lowell Line|
|Bay City, Michigan||107,771||Last service was the New York Central's Beeliner in 1964.|
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 24 miles to the southeast at Alliance, Ohio.|
|Winston–Salem, North Carolina||659,330||Last service was by Southern Railway in 1970. Service 16 miles to the Southeast in High Point, North Carolina.|
|Wichita, Kansas||636,105||Last direct service was the 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||Last direct service was the Milwaukee Road's Varsity and Sioux in 1971. 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||Last direct inter-city service was the Pioneer in 1997. Currently directly served by the Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner commuter rail. Amtrak 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||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||Last direct service was in 1990, when the Broadway Limited rerouted through Nappanee, Indiana. Service 25 miles to the north at Waterloo, Indiana.|
|Reading, Pennsylvania||413,521||Last direct service was regional service in 1981, carried by SEPTA. Service 27 miles to the southwest at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.|
|Canton, Ohio||402,976||Last direct service was in 1990, when the Broadway Limited rerouted through Nappanee, Indiana. Service 23 miles to the northeast in Alliance, Ohio.|
|Boulder, Colorado||294,567||Last direct service was the Burlington Route's Shoshone in 1967. Service 25 miles to the southeast at Denver, Colorado.|
|Waco, Texas||268,696||Service 16 miles to the southwest at McGregor, Texas.|
|Columbia, Missouri||168,535||Service 25 miles to the southeast in Jefferson City, Missouri.|
|State College, Pennsylvania||153,990||Service 30 miles to the southeast in Lewistown, Pennsylvania.|
Other cities are not served directly due to inconvenient water barriers:
- San Francisco, California - trains stop across San Francisco Bay in Oakland and Emeryville. 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 connections in Richmond, Oakland and Emeryville. Caltrain connects to Amtrak 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 the bay into St. Petersburg. The city lost direct service across the bay when CSX lacked adequate funds to maintain the bridge across the bay. There is Thruway Bus Service at 110th Avenue north of City Limits off US19 to Tampa Union Station (PSTA local bus route 34 passes near this location). Otherwise 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. From 1973 to 1981 Amtrak operated the Inter-American, which allowed for transfers between Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas for connecting service with the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México. 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 has studied rail lines formerly canceled that could renew service to some cities. Cities involved include Boise, Mobile, Tallahassee, the Quad Cities (four adjoining cities in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa), Billings, and Wichita. Proposals for high-speed rail could also restore service for several cities. Other services Amtrak could restore include the Pioneer (serving Chicago-Denver-Seattle via the California Zephyr), the Black Hawk (Chicago-Dubuque, eastern Iowa), the North Coast Hiawatha (serving Chicago-Fargo-Seattle via the Montana Rail Link), 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
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