Existing Commuter Rail Systems

Baltimore | Boston | Chicago | Dallas | Los Angeles | Miami | Minneapolis | Montréal | Nashville | New Haven | New Mexico | New York | Philadelphia | Portland | Salt Lake City | San Diego | San Francisco | San Jose | Seattle | Toronto | Vancouver | Washington

Note that projects currently under construction and projects being planned are noted on their respective pages.Use the feedback form at the end of the page to suggest updates.

  • Baltimore
    • MARC
      • 187-mile system with 43 stations
      • Three services:
        • Penn Line: from Washington Union Station to Perryville, via Odenton and Baltimore Penn Station
        • Brunswick Line: from Washington Union Station to Frederick (one spur) and Martinsburg (another spur)
        • Camden Line: from Baltimore Camden Station to Washington Union Station, via Laurel
      • About 32,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1984
      • Proposed expansion of service from Washington Union Station to L’Enfant Plaza and Northern Virginia; expansion north from Perryville to Wilmington, DE
  • Boston
    • MBTA Commuter Rail
      • 368-mile system with 123 stations
      • Eight services from Boston South Station:
        • Fairmount Line: to Readville
        • Framingham/Worcester Line: to Worcester
        • Franklin Line: to Forge Park/I-495
        • Greenbush Line: to Greenbush
        • Kingston Plymouth Line: to Kingston/Rt 3 (one branch) and Plymouth (another branch)
        • Middleborough/Lakeville Lines: to Middleborough/Lakeville
        • Needham Line: to Needham Heights
        • Providence/Stoughton Line: to Providence (one branch) and Stoughton (another branch)
      • Four services from Boston North Station:
        • Fitchburg Line: to Fitchburg
        • Haverhill/Reading Line: to Haverhill
        • Lowell Line: to Lowell
        • Newburyport/Rockport Line: from Boston North Station to Newburyport (one branch) and Rockport (another branch)
      • About 145,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1973
      • Proposed expansions of Providence Line to T.F. Green airport and other sections of Rhode Island; creation of new line to New Hampshire; a new North-South rail link between two main Boston stations
  • Chicago
    • Metra
      • 487.7-mile system with 239 stations
      • Three services from Chicago Ogilvie Transportation Center:
        • Union Pacific North Line: to Kenosha
        • Union Pacific Northwest Line: to McHenry (one branch) and Harvard (another branch)
        • Union Pacific West Line: to Elburn
      • Six services from Chicago Union Station:
        • Milwaukee District North Line: to Fox Lake
        • North Central Service Line: to Antioch
        • Milwaukee District West Line: to Elgin
        • BNSF Railway Line: to Aurora
        • Heritage Corridor Line: to Joliet, via Willow Springs
        • South West Service Line: to Manhattan
      • One service from Chicago La Salle Street Station:
        • Rock Island District Line: to Joliet, via Blue Island
      • Three services from Chicago Millennium Station:
        • Metra Electric Blue Island Branch: to Blue Island
        • Metra Electric Main Line: to University Park
        • Metra Electric South Chicago Branch: to South Chicago
      • About 315,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1984
      • Proposed expansion of McHenry Line to Johnsburg; a new SouthEast Service to Crete; extension of the UP North Line to Milwaukee; creation of the new STAR inter-suburban line between O’Hare Airport and Joliet
    • NICTD South Shore Line
      • 90-mile line, from Chicago Millennium Station to South Bend Airport, via Kensington and Gary, with 20 stations
      • About 14,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1989
  • Dallas
    • Trinity Railway Express
      • 34-mile line, from Dallas Union Station to Fort Worth T&P Station, via Irving, Richland Hills, and downtown Fort Worth, with 10 stations
      • About 10,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1996
    • A-Train
      • 21-mile line, from Denton to North Carrollton with 5 stops including at Hebron and Lewisville
      • Will eventually run with DMU vehicles
      • Links to Dallas DART Green Line light rail at Trinity Mills station
      • $320 million construction cost ($191 million originally estimated)
      • Began operations in 2011 after construction began in 2009
  • Los Angeles
    • Metrolink
      • 512-mile system, with 55 stations
      • Seven services:
        • Ventura County Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to Montalvo, via Burbank and Chatsworth
        • Antelope Valley Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to Lancaster, via Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Palmdale
        • San Bernardino Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to San Bernardino, via El Monte and North Pomona
        • Riverside Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to Riverside, via Industry and Downtown Pomona
        • Orange County Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to Oceanside, via Irvine
        • Inland Empire/Orange County Line: from Oceanside to San Bernardino, via Irvine, Corona, and Riverside
        • 91 Line: from Los Angeles Union Station to Riverside, via Corona
      • About 40,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1992
      • Extension proposed on 91 Line to Perris; a proposed extension of the San Bernardino line to Redlands; proposed use of the Harbor Subdivision corridor in Los Angeles to bring Metrolink to LAX Airport
  • Miami
    • Tri-Rail
      • 72-mile line from Miami Airport to Mangonia Park, via Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, with 18 stations
      • About 12,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1987
  • Minneapolis
  • Montréal
    • AMT Commuter Rail
      • 133-mile network, with 52 stations
      • Two services from Gare Centrale:
        • Mont-Saint-Hilaire Line
        • Deux-Montagnes Line
      • Three services from Lucien-L’Allier:
        • Blainville-Saint-Jérôme Line
        • Dorion-Rigaud Line
        • Delson-Candiac Line
      • About 52,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1996
      • New service called Train de l’Est, running to Mascouche from Montréal Gare Centrale, will open in 2010
  • Nashville
    • Music City Star
      • 32-mile line, between Nashville and Lebanon, with 6 stations
      • About 1,000 daily riders
      • Mostly one-track operations
      • Began modern operations in 2006
  • New Haven
    • Shore Line East
      • 59-mile line, between New Haven and New London (with most trains terminating in Old Saybrook), with 11 stations
      • Some express service west of New Haven to Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, and Stamford
      • About 2,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1990
  • New Mexico
    • Rail Runner Express
      • 97-mile line, between Santa Fe and Belen, via Bernalillo and Albuquerque, with 11 stations
      • About 4,500 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 2006
      • Extensions north to Taos and south to Las Cruces and El Paso have been discussed
  • New York
    • MTA Long Island Railroad
      • 700-mile system, with 124 stations
      • Three New York City termini:
        • Penn Station, Manhattan
        • Long Island City, Queens
        • Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn
      • Ten services, operating out of New York City termini:
        • Port Washington Branch: to Port Washington, via Flushing
        • Oyster Bay Branch: to Oyster Bay, via Jamaica
        • Port Jefferson Branch: to Port Jefferson, via Jamaica and Hicksville
        • Ronkonkoma Branch: to Greenport, via Jamaica and Hicksville
        • Montauk Branch: to Montauck, via Jamaica and Hicksville
        • Babylon Branch: to Babylon, via Jamaica
        • Hempstead Branch: to Hempstead, via Jamaica
        • West Hempstead Branch: to West Hempstead, via Jamaica
        • Long Beach Branch: to Long Beach, via Jamaica
        • Far Rockaway Branch: to Far Rockaway, via Jamaica
      • About 335,000 daily riders
      • Began operations in 1836
      • Extension from Sunnyside Yards to Grand Central Terminal currently under construction
    • MTA Metro-North Railroad
      • 384-mile system, with 120 stations
      • Three services, all terminating at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, via Harlem-125th Street:
        • Hudson Line: to Poughkeepsie, via Yonkers, Croton-Harmon, and Beacon
        • Harlem Line: to Wassaic, via Fordham, White Plains, and Southeast
        • New Haven Line: to New Haven, via New Rochelle, Stamford, and Bridgeport; with three branches:
          • New Canaan Branch: from Stamford to New Canaan
          • Danbury Branch: from South Norwalk to Danbury
          • Waterbury Branch: from Stratford to Waterbury
      • About 275,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1983
      • Pascack Valley Line and Port Jervis Line considered part of Metro-North, but operated by New Jersey Transit as they are west of the Hudson River
    • New Jersey Transit Commuter Rail– Northern New Jersey (except Atlantic City Line)
      • 893-mile system, with 154 stations
      • Five services terminating at New York Penn Station:
        • Northeast Corridor: from Trenton, via Elizabeth, Newark Penn, and Secaucus
        • North Jersey Coast Line (some trains): from Long Branch, via Elizabeth, Newark Penn, and Secaucus
        • Morristown Line (some trains): from Dover, via Summit, Newark Broad, and Secaucus
        • Gladstone Branch (some trains): from Gladstone, via Summit, Newark Broad, and Secaucus
        • Montclair-Boonton Line (some trains): from Montclair State, via Newark Broad, and Secaucus
      • Eight services terminating at Hoboken
        • North Jersey Coast Line (some trains): from Bay Head, via Long Branch, Elizabeth, and Newark Penn
        • Main Line: from Suffern, via Paterson and Secaucus
        • Port Jervis Line: from Port Jervis, via Suffern, Paterson, and Secaucus
        • Bergen County Line: from Suffern, via Radburn and Secaucus
        • Pascack Valley Line: from Spring Valley, via Secaucus
        • Montclair-Booton Line (some trains): from Hackettstown, via Montclair State and Newark Broad
        • Morristown Line (some trains): from Hackettstown, via Summit and Newark Broad
        • Gladstone Branch (some trains): from Gladstone, via Summit and Newark Broad
      • One service terminating at Newark Penn Station
        • Raritan Valley Line: from High Bridge
      • About 275,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1983
  • Philadelphia
    • SEPTA Regional Rail
      • 289-mile system, with 153 stations
      • Seven services, each of which shares the Center City line between 30th Street Station and North Broad
        • R1: from Philadelphia Airport to Glenside, via University City and Wayne Junction
        • R2: from Newark and Wilmington to Warminster, via University City, Wayne Junction, and Glenside
        • R3: from Elwyn to West Trenton, via University City and Wayne Junction
        • R5: from Thorndale to Doylestown, via Wayne Junction and Glenside
        • R6: from Cynwyd to Norristown
        • R7: from Trenton to Chestnut Hill East, via Wayne Junction
        • R8: from Chestnut Hill West to Fox Chase, via Wayne Junction
      • Because of changes in ridership and SEPTA’s unwillingness to change route numbers over time, trains don’t always run from labeled terminus to terminus and can change route designation in Center City
      • About 130,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1983
    • New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line
      • 58-mile line from Philadelphia-30th Street Station to Atlantic City, via Lindenwold, with 8 stations
      • Shared trackage with SEPTA and Amtrak on Northeast Corridor
      • Began modern operations in 1989 as Amtrak service; New Jersey Transit joined in 1990 to Lindenwold; Amtrak left corridor in 1995
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: DRPA announces significant South Jersey Transit Proposals, 13 May 2009
  • Portland
    • Westside Express Service
      • 14.7-mile line, from Beaverton to Wilsonville, with 5 stations
      • About 1,200 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 2009
      • Extension to Salem has been proposed
  • Salt Lake City
    • UTA FrontRunner North
      • 44-mile line, from Ogden to Salt Lake Central Station, with 8 stations
      • About 4,800 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 2008
      • Extension south to Provo currently under construction
  • San Diego
    • NCTD Coaster
      • 41.1-mile line, from downtown San Diego to Oceanside, via Solana Beach, with 8 stations
      • About 6,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1995
  • San Francisco
    • Caltrain
      • 77.4-mile line, from San Francisco 4th/King to Gilroy, via Millbrae, Mountain View, and San Jose, with 32 stations
      • About 40,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1987
      • Extensions north to Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, across the Dumbarton Bridge between Palo Alto and Union City, and south of Gilroy to Monterey County; electrification is also being proposed
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Monterey County selects light rail as preferred local transit alternative, 29 October 2009
  • San Jose
    • Altamont Commuter Express
      • 86-mile line, from San Jose to Stockton, via Fremont, Livermore, and Tracy
      • About 2,600 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1998
  • Seattle
    • Sounder
      • 90-mile system, with 12 stations
      • Two services:
        • North Line: from Seattle Station to Everett
        • South Line: from Seattle Station to Lakewood
      • About 10,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 2000
  • Toronto
    • GO Transit
      • 280-mile system, with 63 stations
      • Seven services, all coming together at Toronto Union Station:
        • Lakeshore West Line (Red/A): to Hamilton (summer weekend service to Niagara Falls)
        • Lakeshore East Line (Dark Red/B): to Oshawa
        • Milton Line (Yellow/C): to Milton
        • Kitchener Line (Green/D): to Georgetown and Kitchener
        • Barrie Line (Light Blue/E): to Barrie
        • Richmond Hill Line (Dark Blue/F): to Richmond Hill
        • Stouffville Line (Brown/G): to Lincolnville
      • About 155,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1967
      • A number of new train corridors in planning
  • Vancouver
    • West Coast Express
      • 42.9-mile line, from Vancouver Waterfront Station to Mission, via Port Moody, with 8 stations
      • About 11,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1995
  • Washington
    • MARC (in the Baltimore Section)
    • Virginia Railway Express
      • 90-mile system, with 18 stations
      • Two services, each sharing track at Alexandria Union Station, Crystal City, and L’Enfant Plaza, and terminating at Washington Union Station:
        • Manassas Line: to Broad Run
        • Fredericksburg Line: to Fredericksburg, via Quantico
      • About 16,000 daily riders
      • Began modern operations in 1992

The Site / The Fight

by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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