Historic US Passenger Train System Maps

 

 

Maps Depicting Routes and Service Levels for U.S. Intercity Passenger Trains, 1962 to 2005

Click on each date to view the map of passenger trains operating on that date (PDF). Maps prepared by former NARP staff Scott Leonard and David Johnson.

March 1, 2005
This map reflects the following changes made after the previous map in this series (April 26, 2004):

  • Three Riversdiscontinued west of Pittsburgh (to Chicago via. Akron and Fostoria, OH, March 1, 2005).
  • Silver Palm discontinued: New York-Washington-Florence-Jacksonville-Ocala-Tampa-Miami.  Replaced by Palmetto:  New york-Washington-Florence-Savannah.  Silver Star changed to operate: New York-Washington-Columbia-Savannah-Jacksonville-Orlando-Lakeland-Tampa-Lakeland-Miami.  Service eliminated Jacksonville-Tampa via. Ocala, November 1, 2005.
  • Station added at Milwaukee Airport on Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service (not noted on map).

Total route-miles = 21,807


April 26, 2004
This map reflects the following changes made after the previous map in this series (March 18, 2002):

  • Pennsylvanian discontinued west of Pittsburgh (to Chicago via. Cleveland and Toledo, February 10, 2003).
  • Additional New Haven-Springfield service (April 28, 2003)
  • Additional Detroit-Pontiac service (April 28, 2003)
  • Kentucky Cardinal discontinued, Indianapolis-Louisville (July 8, 2003)
  • International discontinued, Port Huron-Toronto (April 25, 2004)

Total route-miles = 22,453


March 18, 2002
This map reflects the following changes made after the previous map
in this series (April 15, 2000):

  • Daily Texas Eagle, affecting St. Louis-San Antonio segment (May
    21, 2000; also a segment of bi-directional running in northeastern Texas
    that ended Feb. 28, 2001).

  • Detroit-Pontiac frequency cut from three to two daily (May 21, 2000); but
    third frequency since restored (Aug. 31, 2000)—then Chicago-Detroit
    cut to one (late Dec. 2000), restored to three (Jan. 26, 2001); Detroit-Pontiac
    cut to zero (late Dec. 2000), restored to two (Jan. 26, 2001).

  • Portland-Eugene frequency increased from two to three daily (Oct. 6, 2000).
  • Springfield-New Haven frequency cut from seven/eight to five daily plus
    one on weekdays (Apr. 29, 2001).

  • Kentucky Cardinal extended Jeffersonville-Louisville (Dec. 4, 2001).
  • Downeaster corridor service, Boston-Portland, begun (Dec. 15, 2001).
  • Increased Sacramento-Stockton-Bakersfield service (Mar. 18, 2002).

Some changes were not of a nature to be shown here, such as additional
New York-Albany and Los Angeles-San Diego frequencies. Also not shown is
Chicago-Janesville (which began Apr. 15, 2000 and ended Sept. 22, 2001).

Total route-miles = 22,745


April 15, 2000 This map reflects the following changes made after the previous map in this series (May 11, 1997):

  • Daily service, Chicago-Indianapolis (July 19, 1998).
  • Third Chicago-Cleveland frequency (Pennsylvanian, Nov. 7, 1998).
  • Sacramento-Stockton (part of San Joaquin, Feb. 21, 1999).
  • Fort Worth-Oklahoma city (June 15, 1999).
  • Reroute Coast Starlight Sacramento-Chico (1999).
  • Third Seattle-Everett frequency (Sept. 1, 1999).
  • Indianapolis-Jeffersonville (Dec. 17, 1999).

Total route-miles = 22,688


May 11, 1997

Total route-miles = 22,257

December 1, 1996

Total route-miles = 24,318

Massive tri and quad-weekly operation of many long distance trains, which proved to be a ridership and revenue disaster.  Most daily services restored by May 11, 1997.  Pioneer and Desert Windeliminated May 11, 1997.  VIA Rail Canada’s Atlantic Limited across northern Maine eliminated in 1996.)


November 4, 1993

Total route-miles = 25,189

January 20, 1990

Total route-miles = 23,951

April 6, 1987

Total route-miles = 22,951

April 29, 1984

Total route-miles = 23,614

April 26, 1981

Total route-miles = 23,847

January 8, 1978

Total route-miles = 26,621

May 22, 1975

Total route-miles = 24,812

May 1, 1971

Total route-miles = 19,366

At the advent of Amtrak, route-miles were slashed over half.  Hundreds of trains made their last runs on April 29 or 30.

December 31, 1970
Total route-miles = 44,020

This is the extent of the intercity passenger rail network on the eve of the creation of Amtrak. Legislation creating Amtrak was passed in October 1970, with a freeze on train discontinuations while Amtrak routes could be evaluated by the U.S. Department of Amtrak. Routes shown on the above link operated until April 30, 1971; the following day an Amtrak network less than half this size began operation.

Though the network has grown only slightly in the last 30 years, Amtrak’s creation did serve to halt the steeply accelerating decline in the network that took place up to 1971.

July 31, 1967
Total route-miles = 65,842

This is the extent of the intercity passenger rail network at the time of the removal of most mail contracts from passenger trains by the U.S. Postal Service, and at the time of the creation of NARP. Shrinkage of the national network—in the face of massive, government-run aviation and highway programs—had been steady for the 20 years up to 1967, but greatly accelerated thereafter. From mid-1967 to late 1970, 34% of the network disappeared, measured in route-miles (with many frequency reductions on remaining routes).

Compared to the mid-1967 network shown here, the first Amtrak network in 1971 represented a 70% reduction in route-miles.

January 1, 1962
Total route-miles = 88,717

This is the extent of the intercity passenger rail network at the time when construction of the interstate highway system was in full swing. The World War II ticket tax was eliminated this year, but unlike the case for highway “user fees,” none of those billions went to infrastructure for the mode that generated these tax revenues. Thus, this is a time of deep disinvestment in passenger rail infrastructure. From early 1962 to mid-1967, 26% of the network disappeared, measured in route-miles (with many frequency and service-quality reductions on remaining routes).