Planned Commuter Rail Systems

Atlanta | Austin | Baltimore | Boston | Charlotte | Connecticut | Detroit | Fort Worth | Hampton Roads | Harrisburg | Houston | Kansas City | Los Angeles | Madison | Miami | Milwaukee | Minneapolis | Monterey Bay | Montréal | New Jersey | New York | Orlando | Pittsburgh | Providence | Raleigh | Rogue Valley | San Antonio | San Bernardino | San Francisco | Tulsa | Washington

Note that projects currently under construction are noted on that page. Use the feedback form at the end of the page to suggest updates.

  • Atlanta
    • Atlanta to Lovejoy CR
      • 26-mile new route from Atlanta south to Lovejoy, via Airport and Jonesboro
      • Six future lines would extend from Atlanta in all directions, to Macon, Madison, Athens, Gainesville, Canton, Bremen, and Senoia – these have no funding and little planning
  • Austin
    • Austin-San Antonio CR- 2011-2012
      • 112-mile route from San Antonio from Austin, via San Marcos
      • Construction likely to begin in 2011
  • Baltimore
    • Orange Line
      • 11-mile line from Camden Yards to Dorsey, via Lansdowne along existing MARC tracks
      • Planned metro-like frequencies at rush hours
      • Proposed in Baltimore Region Transit Plan
      • Funding not yet available
    • Purple Line
      • 38-mile line from Edgewood to Odenton, via East Baltimore, Penn Station, and West Baltimore along existing MARC tracks
      • Planned metro-like frequencies at rush hours
      • Proposed in Baltimore Region Transit Plan
      • Funding not yet available
  • Charlotte
    • Purple North CR – 2012 (Phase I) / 2019 (Phase II) – Partially Funded
      • 30-mile new line, including new Uptown station, leading north to Huntersville (Phase I), and into Iredell County (Phase II)
      • Projected daily ridership of 4,500
      • Construction likely to begin in 2011
  • Connecticut
    • Danbury Branch Metro-North Extension CR
      • Extension of the existing Danbury Branch of the Metro-North New Haven Line from Danbury north to New Milford, via Brookfield
      • Project, not yet fully designed, may also incorporate partial electrification of the Danbury branch, which would allow Metro-North EMUs running on the main line of the New Haven Line to continue to Danbury
      • Construction could begin at earliest in 2011
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Metro-North Considers CT Branch Upgrades, 3 January 2009.
    • Waterbury and New Canaan Branch Metro-North Improvements CR
      • Currently undergoing study; two lines could benefit from numerous improvements and possible extensions
      • Waterbury Branch of the Metro-North New Haven Line extends from Stratford to Waterbury, via Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, and Beacon Falls; New Canaan Branch extends from Stamford to New Canaan, via Glenbrook and Springdale
    • New Haven-Hartford-Springfield CR – Partially Funded
      • 62-mile upgrading of existing Amtrak line from New Haven (CT) to Springfield (MA), via Meriden, Hartford, and Hartford Airport, and Windsor; connection to Amtrak, Metro-North, and Shore Line East in New Haven; project would involve the building of a second track along much of the line and the development of new stations
      • 1,600 to 3,400 projected daily riders
      • $300 million cost
      • Original plan would have begun construction in 2008 for service in 2011, but lack of dedicated state funding has delayed the project
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Connecticut Opens up to Transit Expansion, 1 March 2009.
  • Detroit
    • Detroit-Ann Arbor CR
      • Peak-hours-only new line running from Midtown Detroit to Downtown Ann Arbor, via Detroit Airport
      • One train acquired and currently being refurbished.
      • Funding from Federal DOT allowed purchasing of tracks by Michigan DOT, easing process of allowing commuter trains onto line.
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Detroit Regional Transit Plan Approved, 9 December 2008.
  • Fort Worth
    • TEX Rail CR – 2016 – Partially Funded
      • Southwest Fort Worth to DFW Airport, via Downtown Fort Worth, with connection to Trinity Railroad Express downtown and Dallas DART at DFW Airport
      • $755 million project
      • Construction could begin in 2014, but contingent on receiving federal New Starts funding
  • Hampton Roads
    • Commuter Rail Lines
      • From Downtown Norfolk to Chesapeake, ultimately into North Carolina – 2035
      • From Downtown Norfolk to Downtown Suffolk – 2035
      • From Downtown Newport News to Lightfoot – 2026
  • Harrisburg
    • Capital Red Rose Corridor/Corridor One CR
      • 40-mile line from Harrisburg east to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, via Middletown, Elizabethtown, and Mt. Joy
      • Line will use diesel-locomotive-pulled standard rail cars
      • Project has yet to receive state confirmation of $10 million yearly operating funds, and therefore has yet to submit formal application for federal funding
  • Houston
    • Houston Regional Rail
      • Proposed regional rail network would run commuter trains on a number of existing freight railroad corridors extending from Houston city center
      • Potential destinations could include Galveston, Hardy/Palestine, Eureka, Westpark, and Glidden
      • Connections to existing light rail system would be possible at intermodal terminal
      • Project currently has no source of funding, but full implementation costs could reach $3 billion
  • Kansas City
    • Regional Commuter Rail System
      • 144-mile system would include 7 lines extending from Union Station to areas around the region, including Kansas
      • Using existing track and new stations
      • Expected 20,000 to 25,000 users daily
      • Cost would be about $1 billion
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Kansas City Envisions 150-Mile Regional Commuter Rail System, 13 October 2009.
  • Los Angeles
    • Perris Valley CR- 2011
      • 24-mile extension of existing Los Angeles MetroLink System from Riverside to Perris, via I-215 corridor
      • Estimated $169 million cost
      • Predicted 5,700 riders a day
      • Construction likely to begin in 2010
  • Milwaukee
    • Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Link
      • 33-mile line extending on existing tracks south of Milwaukee to Kenosha, would include 6 new stations
      • 14 daily planned DMU trains
      • 53-minute travel time, 7,400 daily trips
      • Would be coordinated with existing Chicago-Kenosha Metra commuter rail service to allow connections between the two
      • Around $200 million predicted cost
  • Monterey Bay
    • Caltrain extension from Gilroy to Salinas – 2012 – FUNDED
      • 37-mile extension of existing Caltrain service, with up to 4 daily round trips
      • $101 million cost
      • 2,000 projected daily riders
      • Construction likely to begin in 2011
  • Montréal
    • West Island CR
      • New line would run from Gare Centrale or Gare Lucien-L’Allier along the west side of Montréal Island, with service to the airport, with a final destination of Vaudreuil
  • New Jersey
    • Monmouth Ocean Middlesex CR
      • 28 to 40-mile project would extend either Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast CR Lines to Lakehurst, via three alternative routings
      • Project still being studied; financing not yet assured
    • West Trenton CR
      • 27-mile extension of existing NJT Raritan Valley CR, north-south from Bridgewater to West Trenton, via Hillsborough, Belle Mead, and Hopewell; would connect to Newark Penn Station via Raritan Line; connection to SEPTA R3 Line at West Trenton, with direct trains to Philadelphia
      • $219 million cost
      • Project still being studied; financing not yet assured
    • Lackawanna Cutoff CR
      • 88-mile commuter rail project from Dover, NJ to Scranton, PA, via Warren and Monroe Counties
      • $551 million cost
      • First segment, 7.3 miles to Andover, is currently under construction
      • Project still being studied; financing not yet assured
  • New York
    • Metro-North Penn Station Access CR
      • Project would route Metro-North New Haven Line trains along the Amtrak Hell Gate Corridor into Penn Station via Queens and Metro-North Hudson Line trains along the Amtrak Empire Corridor into Penn Station via Manhattan’s West Side; project may involve construction of new stations or not
      • Routing is made possible only once the LIRR East Side Access project to Grand Central Terminal is completed, freeing up capacity in Penn Station for Metro-North
      • No funding has yet been committed; project is still being studied
      • Relevant article on the Transport Politic: Regional Rail for New York, 17 July 2009.
    • Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement CR and BRT – Partially Funded
      • Project would allow for new transit on the replacement for the existing and degraded Tappan Zee bridge; BRT or CR would connect Westchester and Rockland Counties, mainly in the corridor between Rye and Suffern, via White Plains, Tarrytown, Nyack, and Spring Valley
      • Project would provide connection to Stewart Airport in Orange County, north of New York City but on the west side of the Hudson River
      • Connection could be made with existing Metro-North Port Jervis Line at Campbell Hall Station or Salisbury Mills-Cornwall Station and Metro-North Hudson Line at Beacon Station
      • No funding has yet been committed; project is still being studied
  • Orlando
    • SunRail Phase II- 2016
      • 30-mile extension of commuter rail service currently under construction, adding an extension to the north from DeBary to DeLand and an extension to the south from Sand Lane Road to Poinciana
      • Project will use locomotives and attached cars
      • 17 total stations in both phases
      • Construction could begin in 2014, but financing not entirely arranged
      • Around 7,400 daily users expected by 2030
      • Both phases expected to cost a total of $615 million
  • Pittsburgh
    • Allegheny Valley Railroad
      • Line would run along existing tracks from downtown Pittsburgh to Verona, Oakmont, New Kensington, and Arnold
      • Would use diesel multiple unit vehicles sharing track with freight trains, eventually terminating at currently unused platforms at the light rail station at Steel Plaza
      • Could be running as early as 2013, depending on financing, expected to come mostly from private sources
      • Ridership could average around 2,700 a day, based on Westmoreland Transit study
      • $228 million cost
      • Problems could arise due to FTA and FRA rules about interoperability between freight and passenger trains
    • Westmoreland Commuter Rail Line to Latrobe
      • Line would run from downtown Pittsburgh to Latrobe, via Greensburg
      • Trains would run along existing Norfolk Southern freight railroad tracks, greatly complicating chances of the project succeeding because of opposition from the company to sharing line with passenger trains
      • Ridership could average around 1,500 a day
      • $85.3 million cost
      • Line currently has no funding source
  • Providence
    • MBTA Providence Line Extension to Westerly (South County Commuter Rail)
      • 24-mile extension of commuter rail service from Wickford Junction to Westerly, via East Greenwich and Kingston
      • Extension of currently under construction line from downtown Providence to Wickford Junction
      • Service could eventually extend into Connecticut to New Haven
      • Along existing Northeast Corridor
      • Around 6,000 daily users expected by 2020
  • Raleigh (North Carolina Triangle)
    • North Carolina Railroad CR- 2012
      • 143-mile new line between Greensboro and Goldsboro, via Durham and Raleigh; could jointly operate with LRT/CR system described above
  • Rogue Valley, OR
    • Ashland-Medford Commuter Rail
      • 2006 study describes a line running between the two southern Oregon cities
      • Would use self-propelled diesel cars
      • No funding for the project as of yet
  • San Antonio
    • Austin-San Antonio CR- 2012
      • 112-mile route from San Antonio from Austin, via San Marcos
      • Construction likely to begin in 2011
  • San Bernardino
    • Redlands CR
      • 9-mile route from downtown San Bernardino to the University of Redlands
      • Would connect to proposed Metrolink extension in downtown San Bernardino
      • Could also be LRT or BRT
  • San Francisco
    • Transbay Terminal CR/HSR extension – 2014 (Terminal) / 2019 (Rail Extension) – Partially Funded
      • 1.3-mile tunneled extension of existing Caltrain service from current terminus at 4th and King Streets; California’s High-Speed Rail system would follow a similar path; new terminal would serve as reception area for HSR, CR, and buses
      • $4.2 billion cost (including $1.2 billion for terminal)
      • Construction likely to begin in 2012 for Rail Extension
  • Tulsa
    • Tulsa-Broken Arrow CR or BRT
      • New line from Downtown Tulsa southeast to Downtown Broken Arrow
      • 4,000 to 14,100 projected daily riders
      • $21 to 43 million cost
      • No funding or construction timeline currently available
  • Washington
    • MARC Commuter Rail extensions
      • Creation of new MARC commuter rail service from Bowie to La Plata, via Brandywine
        • Estimated costs of about $500 million for the upgrading of existing line to commuter rail standards
      • Creation of new MARC commuter rail service from Brandywine to Hughesville and Lexington Park, via St. Mary’s County
        • Estimated costs of about $700 million for the upgrading of existing and abandoned lines to commuter rail standards
      • Lines would extend out of Washington’s Union Station for peak-hour service
      • No funding currently allocated to these projects

The Site / The Fight

by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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