List of railroads eligible to participate in the formation of Amtrak

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On May 1, 1971, there were 26 railroads in the United States that were eligible to participate in the formation of Amtrak. Twenty chose to join Amtrak in 1971, and one more eventually joined in 1979. Of the remaining five, four ultimately discontinued their services, while one was taken over by a state agency.

Participating railroads[edit]

Twenty railroads opted to participate. Each contributed rolling stock, equipment, and financial capital to the new government-sponsored entity. In return, the railroads received the right to discontinue intercity passenger rail services; most received tax breaks, while some received common stock in Amtrak. The four railroads that accepted stock were the Burlington Northern Railroad, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("Milwaukee Road"), and Penn Central.[1] Because Amtrak discontinued many passenger rail routes when it commenced operations, some of the participating railroads did not host successor passenger rail service. The twenty participating railroads were:[2]

Non-participating railroads[edit]

There were six railroads eligible to participate in the formation of Amtrak that declined to spin off their passenger rail services. The intercity passenger operations of those six railroads eventually were absorbed by Amtrak or another governmental entity, or discontinued. The six non-participating railroads and disposition of their routes were as follows:

Ineligible railroads[edit]

A few major railroads with operations in the United States were not eligible to participate in the formation of Amtrak:


  1. ^ Hilton 1980, pp. 15–16
  2. ^ Sanders 2006, pp. 7–8
  3. ^ a b c d Hilton 1980, p. 16
  4. ^ Sanders 2006, p. 247
  5. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. December 31, 2010. p. 15. 
  6. ^ "Last passenger trains rolling across Wyoming". Spokesman-Review. July 13, 1983. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ Cox 2011, p. 246
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  9. ^ Solomon 2004, p. 41
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  11. ^ Carter, Thad Hills (2009). Kansas City Southern Railway. Images of Rail. (Reprint of an article by Philip Moseley originally published in the May 1986 issue of Arkansas Railroader). Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Portsmouth, NH; San Francisco, CA: Arcadia Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7385-6001-4. Retrieved November 2, 2013. I was working that night November 3, 1969, when the last southbound run of the Southern Belle made its way into DeQueen. 
  12. ^ Sanders 2006, p. 183
  13. ^ Thoms 1973, p. 50