Talk:Class I railroad/Archive 1

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I'm adding Amtrak to this page since it clearly has revenue over $255.9 million and since it's in the box at the bottom of the pages of Class 1 railroads. If that's not right, please remove it and accept my apologies. Chazzoz 00:55, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)

And isn't the list at the bottom actually the Class 1 railroads of the United States, not the North American Class 1 railroads? Chazzoz 08:28, Jan 1, 2005 (UTC)

That list includes the Canadian and Mexican railroads that the AAR considers Class I. --SPUI 21:57, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Actually the two Canadian and two Mexican railroads are considered by the AAR to be Class I sized. The Surface Transportion Board (a U.S. regulatory agency) determines what U.S. railroads are Class I. They do not regulate the Canadians or Mexicans, except their operations in the USA.TwoScars (talk) 03:50, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Rail Site Files may be very useful for this article and the template. I don't feel like looking through it now, but maybe I will later. --SPUI 21:57, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

why would you want to be in the club?

this page implies that the class II railroads would like to become class I, but aren't allowed by the others. It doesn't explain why they would care. What is the benefit of being a class I railroad? Mozzerati 13:34, 2005 Apr 8 (UTC)

No idea. It might be like how some towns want an Interstate Highway, even though they already have a perfectly fine four-lane freeway. The railroad can say "we're Class I, so locate your business along our tracks". --SPUI (talk) 13:50, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Looks like you were right - Class IIs lobby to raise the bar so they don't have to be Class I. --SPUI (talk) 21:06, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

LIRR a Class I?

In 2000, the Long Island Rail Road made $379,981,000 in operating revenue. Assuming it hasn't gone down since then, this would put it in the Class I bracket (like Amtrak). Are there any flaws with this reasoning? Any other passenger-only railroads that would fit? I can't find the NYC Subway figures, but I'd guess that makes more than the LIRR. --SPUI (talk) 23:23, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Any flaws? Not sure. In Canada, I believe that legislation governing revenue reporting is different between freight/passenger railways and commuter railways (can't find a source to point to right now though). I don't know how this works in the U.S.; might be worth investigating. JYolkowski 23:52, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Class I, as defined by the AAR, only applies to freight railroads. But Amtrak is usually considered Class I, as the definitions were put in place before freight and passenger operations were split. --SPUI (talk) 00:16, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
AAR does not define Class I, the STB does. Class I railroads are under more regulatory scrutiny. Amtrak is Class I, but has exemptions -- and does not have the reporting requirements that the seven Class I freight railroads have. The Long Island was considered a Class I railroad in the 1970s, but I believe it is now exempted.TwoScars (talk) 03:50, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
LIRR is now Class II: [1] --NE2 11:21, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

1991 info

From Trains April 1991:

  • $93.5 million per year
  • 13 Class 1 "plus Amtrak"
  • 31 regional railroads - "formerly were called Class 2 railroads" - $40 million to $92 million per year or at least 350 miles of track
  • 464 local railroads (presumably formerly Class 3)
  • AT&SF 11700 miles
  • BN 28937 miles
  • C&NW 6366 miles
  • Conrail 13000 miles
  • CSX 19356 miles
  • FEC 541 miles - smallest Class 1
  • GTW 935 miles
  • Guilford - B&M 1574 miles, MEC 738 miles - not clear if it's one or two (December 1991 says the components are not Class 1 at all, and lists ST as Class 2)
  • IC 2869 miles
  • KCS 881 miles
  • NS 17505 miles
  • Soo Line 5807 miles
  • SP 10100 miles (plus D&RGW 2400 miles and SSW 2100 miles)
  • UP 21882 miles
  • Amtrak 24000 miles, 516 stations

--SPUI (talk) 21:14, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

From Trains December 1991:

  • ICC still uses Class 2 but AAR uses regional, local, or "switching and terminal"
  • 1990 regional list includes 32, Trains decided not to include GS&F, part of the NS, but to include the LIRR, which was not in the list

--SPUI (talk) 22:02, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Subsidiary Railroads/Notes from 1950s Class I's

St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico, 606 miles,was part of Missouri Pacific's Gulf Coast Lines. Operated in south Texas.

Gulf Coast Lines was a group of four class one railroads owned by Missouri Pacific. The New Orleans, Texas and Mexico, The Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western, The St.Louis, Brownsville and Mexico and the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf operated in south Texas from Louisiana to Mexico.

xx-Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, ATSF's lines in Texas and Louisiana east of Sweetwater. xx-Muskogee Company, this was a group of three railroads, Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf, Midland Valley, and Oklahoma City-Ada-Atoka. Operated mostly in Oklahoma and reached into Arkansas, Kansas and Texas. San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf, 317 miles,was part of Missouri Pacific's Gulf Coast Lines in Texas. New Orleans Northeastern Railroad, 203 miles, this was part of the Southern Railway and ran from New Orleans to Meridian. 82-New Orleans, Texas and Mexico, 191 miles, this was part of Missouri Pacific's Gulf Coast Lines.

xx-Oregon Trunk,was part of Spokane, Portland and Seattle. Operated in central Oregon. xx-Panhandle and Santa Fe,was part of ATSF and operated in Texas west of Sweetwater. 115-Texas and New Orleans, Southern Pacific's lines in Texas and Louisiana.

105-St. Louis, San Francisco and Texas, 159 miles, was the Texas lines of the SLSF.

Title change

I propose the title be changed to a capital R in Railroad - there is no redirect to this article from a search for "Class I Railroad." Instead of redirecting here, I say we just rename this one.

Red and Blue?

What do the colors mean on the table with all the railroads? Why the change in color?Anagnorisis 05:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The article says that the cutoff was raised from $10 million to $50 million in 1978; these railroads might have dropped off at this time. But then why are CN and CP shown that way? --NE2 21:49, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

External link

Does someone know an external website describing exactly what were and are the official criteria to discriminate between class 1, 2 and 3 railroads?

CNW Inclusion

CNW lasted through April of 1995; up until that point it was still a Class I and would assuredly continue to be one- should it be included?Schnauf 18:33, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


This article (along with its Class II railroad and Class III railroad sisters) desperately needs some description as to *why* these classes exist and are important. At present the articles mostly make them sound like rather arbitrary statisticians constructs, which probably wouldn't in themselves merit WP articles. There are sideways hints that there are regulatory consequences to a railroad depending on what class it is in, but nothing that really describes how the regulation of different classes of railroad differ. Can anybody supply this. -- Chris j wood (talk) 15:53, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

See below, specifically 49CFR1201. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation Board (which oversees Railroad operations) determines the classes, and a Railroad's class "annual carrier operating revenues" determine which class it is in. Which class it is in affects whether certain federal regulations apply or not (i.e. Class I railroads are much more regulated by the U.S. federal government than Class III railroads). LeheckaG (talk) 12:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)


The Classes (in the United States of America) are defined by 49CFR1201 as authorized by 49USC11142.

This Class I article implies or says that the AAR determines the classes, that is partially true - but only from a lobbying point of view and not the Code of Federal Regulations which actually sets the classes.

The Class I, Class II and Class III articles need to be updated with the appropriate USC/CFR and Federal Register references, See: Talk:Alaska Railroad#Class II versus Class III

so the Class I, Class II, Class III articles and the corresponding Templates and Lists probably all need updating.

I am not sure about the specific "classes" in Canada, my guess is that they are somewhat similar to U.S.; I will try to research GC.CA to see what I can find when I have time. LeheckaG (talk) 12:18, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Canadian Transportation Agency, Rail Transportation, similarly classifies carries:
  • 1100 Administrative Matters
  • 1101 Classification of Carriers
  • .01 Railway companies within the legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada are classified as follows:
  • .02 Class I -A railway company that realized gross revenues of at least $250,000,000 for the provision of Canadian rail services in each of the two calendar years before the year in which information is provided pursuant to the Carriers Information Regulations.
  • .03 Class II -A railway company that realized gross revenues of less than $250,000,000 for the provision of Canadian rail services in each of the two calendar years before the year in which information is provided pursuant to the Carriers Information Regulations.
  • .04 Class III -A railway company, other than a class I rail carrier or a class II rail carrier, that is engaged in the operation of bridges, tunnels and stations.

Uniform Classification of Accounts and Related Railway Records (UCA)

Other than Canadian and U.S. Dollars not necessarily being the same, the break between Class I and Class II is; although the definitions of Class III are different than the U.S. LeheckaG (talk) 16:25, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

History of the Canadian classes

As far as I can tell, the split in Canada is very recent. [2] says that the Canada Transportation Act authorized the Minister of Transport to make regulations requiring carriers to provide information. The Carriers Information Regulations were published in 1996 and the Carriers and Transportation and Grain Handling Undertakings Information Regulations in 1999; it's not clear what the former did, but the latter related to Class I carriers and grain. My guess is that the former implemented the classification, since the 1996 report mentions the classes. (There doesn't seem to have been a 1995 report.) Does anyone have access to the Canada Gazette for 1996, specifically Part II on July 24, 1996? --NE2 00:38, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

If anyone doubted the inclusion of switching and terminal roads

Here's proof from the ICC (third column is class). These are, however, both defined as S&T and classified according to the I/II/III scale. (Normally "S&T" would appear in that column.) --NE2 04:16, 13 April 2009 (UTC)