Washington Terminal Company

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Rail yard immediately north of Union Station in the early 20th century

The Washington Terminal Company (reporting mark WATC) is a corporation created in Washington, D.C., United States, to provide support to railroads using Washington's Union Station. It is now a nearly wholly owned subsidiary of Amtrak.

It was established in 1901 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad-controlled Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad.[1]

The Washington Terminal Company owned and operated Union Station (opened in 1907) and about 5 miles (8.0 km) of track in the Washington area, providing switching services for passenger trains using the station or passing through the area:

Union Station in the early 20th century

In 1981, Amtrak took over the terminal company's operations.[2] It currently owns a 99.7% interest in WTC; all of its officers and directors are Amtrak employees.[3] Despite being nearly wholly owned by Amtrak, the Washington Terminal Company is legally a separate entity, and unlike Amtrak, it is not exempt from the Interstate Commerce Act. This allowed Virginia Railway Express to threaten a filing to the Surface Transportation Board to enforce its right to access when Amtrak tried to oust VRE from Union Station after VRE said they would not automatically re-hire Amtrak as its operating contractor. Faced with this action, Amtrak backed down.[when?][citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tindall, William (1914). Standard History of the City of Washington. Knoxville, TN: H.W. Crew. p. 418. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  2. ^ Amtrak (2007)."Nation’s Capital Marks 100 Years of Train Service." Amtrak Ink (newsletter). October 2007. p.3.
  3. ^ "SEC Info – A/P I Deposit Corp · S-3 · On 1/11/02".