|Type|| High-speed rail |
|System|| Amtrak |
Norfolk Southern Railway
Providence and Worcester Railroad
|Termini|| Boston South Station |
Washington Union Station
|Stations||108 (30 Amtrak stations, 78 commuter-rail-only stations)|
|Ridership||12,525,602 (Amtrak FY2019)|
|Opened||1834 (first section)|
1917 (final section)
|Owner|| Massachusetts (MA/RI border)|
Amtrak (Boston–MA/RI border–New Haven)
Connecticut Department of Transportation (New Haven–CT/NY border)
Metro-North Railroad (CT/NY border–New Rochelle)
Amtrak (New Rochelle–Washington)
|Operator(s)||Amtrak, MBTA, Shore Line East, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, PATH train, SEPTA, MARC|
|Line length||457 mi (735 km)|
|Number of tracks||2–6|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification|| Overhead catenary |
25 kV at 60 Hz (Boston to Mill River)
12.5 kV at 60 Hz (Mill River to Sunnyside Yard)
12 kV at 25 Hz (Sunnyside to Washington D.C.)
|Operating speed||150 mph (240 km/h) (Acela)|
125 mph (201 km/h) (other)
The Northeast Corridor (NEC) is an electrified railroad line in the Northeast megalopolis of the United States and the busiest rail corridor in the Western Hemisphere. Owned primarily by Amtrak, it runs from Boston through Providence, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore to Washington, D.C. The NEC closely parallels Interstate 95 for most of its length, and is the busiest passenger rail line in the United States both by ridership and by service frequency as of 2013.The NEC carries more than 2,200 trains daily. Branches to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Springfield, Massachusetts, and various points in Virginia are not considered part of the Northeast Corridor, despite frequent service from routes that run largely on the corridor.
The corridor is used by many Amtrak trains, including the high-speed Acela Express , intercity trains, and several long-distance trains. Most of the corridor also has frequent commuter rail service, operated by the MBTA, Shore Line East, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, SEPTA, and MARC. The corridor is also shared by a rapid transit system in a short part of New Jersey, the PATH train. Several companies run freight trains over sections of the NEC.
Much of the line is built for speeds higher than the 79 mph (127 km/h) maximum allowed on most U.S. tracks; in fact, the only high-speed rail services in the Americas operate exclusively on the corridor: Amtrak operates Northeast Regional , Keystone Service , Silver Star , Vermonter and Acela Express trains, the first four reaching 125 mph (201 km/h) and the latter reaching 150 mph (240 km/h) on a few sections in Massachusetts and Rhode Island; the MARC commuter rail system, which has operations on the line, also has certain express trains going up to 125 mph (201 km/h). Acela covers the 225 mi (362 km) between New York and Washington, D.C., in under 3 hours, and the 229 mi (369 km) between New York and Boston in under 3.5 hours. Under Amtrak's $151 billion Northeast Corridor plan, which hopes to roughly halve travel times by 2040, trips between New York and Washington via Philadelphia would take 94 minutes.
The Northeast Corridor was built by several railroads between the 1830s and 1917. The route was later consolidated under two railroads: the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H) between Boston and New York, and the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) between New York and Washington.
The New York Central Railroad (NYC) began planning electrification between Grand Central Terminal and the split at Mott Haven after the opening of the first electrified urban rail terminal in 1900, the Gare d'Orsay in Paris, France.[ citation needed ] Electricity was in use on some branch lines of the NYNH&H for interurban streetcars via third rail or trolley wire.[ citation needed ] An accident in the Park Avenue Tunnel near the present Grand Central Terminal that killed 17 people on January 8, 1902 was blamed on smoke from steam locomotives; the resulting outcry led to a push for electric operation in Manhattan.
The NH announced in 1905 that it would electrify its main line from New York to Stamford, Connecticut.[ citation needed ] Along with the construction of the new Grand Central Terminal, opened in 1912, the NYC electrified its lines, beginning on December 11, 1906 with suburban multiple unit service to High Bridge on the Hudson Line.[ citation needed ] Electric locomotives began serving Grand Central on February 13, 1907, and all NYC passenger service into Grand Central was electrified on July 1.[ citation needed ] NH electrification began on July 24 to New Rochelle, August 5 to Port Chester and October 6, 1907 the rest of the way to Stamford.[ citation needed ] Steam trains last operated into Grand Central on June 30, 1908, after which all NH passenger trains into Manhattan were electrified.[ citation needed ] In June 1914, the NH electrification was extended to New Haven, which was the terminus of electrified service for over 80 years.
The PRR was building its Pennsylvania Station and electrified approaches, which were served by the PRR's lines in New Jersey and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). LIRR electric service began in 1905 on the Atlantic Branch from downtown Brooklyn past Jamaica, and in June 1910 on the branch to Long Island City, part of the main line to Penn Station.[ citation needed ] Penn Station opened September 8, 1910 for LIRR trains and November 27 for the PRR; trains of both railroads were powered by DC electricity from a third rail.[ citation needed ] PRR trains changed engines (electric to/from steam) at Manhattan Transfer; passengers could also transfer there to H&M trains to downtown Manhattan.[ citation needed ]
On July 29, 1911 NH began electric service on its Harlem River Branch, a suburban branch that would become a main line with the completion of the New York Connecting Railroad and its Hell Gate Bridge.[ citation needed ] The bridge opened on April 1, 1917, but was operated by steam with an engine change at Sunnyside Yard east of Penn Station until 1918.[ citation needed ]
Electrification north of New Haven to Providence and Boston had been planned by the NH, and authorized by the company's board of directors shortly before the United States entered World War I.[ citation needed ] This plan was not carried out because of the war and the company's financial problems.[ citation needed ] Electrification north of New Haven did not occur until the 1990s, using a 60 Hz system.
In 1905 the PRR began to electrify its suburban lines at Philadelphia, an effort that eventually led to 11 kV, 25 Hz AC catenary from New York and Washington.[ citation needed ] Electric service began in September 1915, with multiple unit trains west to Paoli on the PRR Main Line (now the Keystone Corridor). Electric service to Chestnut Hill (now the Chestnut Hill West Line), including a stretch of the NEC, began March 30, 1918.[ citation needed ] Local electric service to Wilmington, Delaware, on the NEC began September 30, 1928, and to Trenton, New Jersey, on June 29, 1930.[ citation needed ]
Electrified service between Exchange Place, the Jersey City terminal, and New Brunswick, New Jersey began on December 8, 1932, including the extension of Penn Station electric service from Manhattan Transfer.[ citation needed ] On January 16, 1933, the rest of the electrification between New Brunswick and Trenton opened, giving a fully electrified line between New York and Wilmington. Trains to Washington began running under electricity to Wilmington on February 12, with the engine change moved from Manhattan Transfer to Wilmington.[ citation needed ] The same was done on April 9 for trains running west from Philadelphia, with the change point moved to Paoli.[ citation needed ]
In 1933, the electrification south of Wilmington was stalled by the Great Depression, but the PRR got a loan from Public Works Administration to resume work. [ citation needed ] On April 7, the electrification of passenger trains was complete, with 639 daily trains: 191 hauled by locomotives and the other 448 under multiple-unit power.[ citation needed ] New York–Washington electric freight service began May 20 after the electrification of freight lines in New Jersey and Washington.[ citation needed ] Extensions to Potomac Yard across the Potomac River from Washington, as well as several freight branches along the way, were electrified in 1937 and 1938.[ citation needed ] The Potomac Yard retained its electrification until 1981.[ citation needed ]The tunnels at Baltimore were rebuilt, and electric service between New York and Washington began February 10, 1935.
In the 1930s, PRR equipped the New York–Washington line with Pulse code cab signaling. Between 1998 and 2003, this system was overlaid with an Alstom Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES), using track-mounted transponders similar to the Balises of the modern European Train Control System. [ citation needed ]The ACSES will enable Amtrak to implement positive train control to comply with the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
In December 1967 the UAC TurboTrain set a speed record for a production train: 170.8 miles per hour (274.9 km/h) between New Brunswick and Trenton, New Jersey.
In February 1968 PRR merged with its rival New York Central Railroad to form the Penn Central (PC). Penn Central was required to absorb the New Haven in 1969 as a condition of the merger, which brought the entire Washington–Boston corridor under the control of one company.[ citation needed ]
On September 21, 1970 all New York–Boston trains except the Turboservice were rerouted into Penn Station from Grand Central;[ citation needed ] the Turboservice moved on February 1, 1971 for cross-platform transfers to the Metroliners.
In 1971 Amtrak began operations, and various state governments took control of portions of the NEC for their commuter transportation authorities. In January, the State of Massachusetts bought the Attleboro/Stoughton Line in Massachusetts,[ citation needed ] later operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The same month, the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority bought and Connecticut leased from Penn Central their sections of the New Haven Line, between Woodlawn, Bronx, New York and New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1973 the Regional Rail Reorganization Act opened the way for Amtrak to buy sections of the NEC not already been sold to these commuter transportation authorities. These purchases by Amtrak were controversial at the time, and the Department of Transportation blocked the transaction and withheld purchase funds for several months until Amtrak granted it control over reconstruction of the corridor.
In February 1975, the Preliminary System Plan for Conrail proposed to stop running freight trains on the NEC between Groton, Connecticut, and Hillsgrove, Rhode Island, but this clause was rejected the following month by the U.S. Railway Association.
By April 1976 Amtrak owned the entire NEC except Boston to the RI state line which is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New Haven to the New Rochelle, New York, which is owned by States of Connecticut and New York. Amtrak still operates and maintains the portion in Massachusetts, but the line from New Haven to New Rochelle, New York, is operated by the Metro-North Railroad, which has hindered the establishment of high-speed service.[ citation needed ]
In 1976, Congress authorized an overhaul of the system between Washington and Boston. [ citation needed ] It allowed more trains to run faster and closer together, and set the stage for later high-speed operation. NECIP also introduced the AEM-7 locomotive, which lowered travel times and became the most successful engine on the Corridor. The NECIP set travel time goals of 2 hours and 40 minutes between Washington and New York, and 3 hours and 40 minutes between Boston and New York. These goals were not met because of the low level of funding provided by the Reagan Administration and Congress in the 1980s.Called the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project (NECIP), it included safety improvements, modernization of the signaling system by General Railway Signal, and new Centralized Electrification and Traffic Control (CETC) control centers by Chrysler at Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
Electrification between New Haven and Boston was to be included in the 1976 Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.
The last grade crossings between New York and Washington were closed about 1985; eleven grade crossings remain in Connecticut.
In the 1990s, Amtrak upgraded the NEC north of New Haven, CT to get it ready for the high-speed Acela Express trains.Dubbed the Northeast High Speed Rail Improvement Program (NHRIP), the effort eliminated grade crossings, rebuilt bridges, and modified curves. Concrete railroad ties replaced wood ties, and heavier continuous welded rail (CWR) was laid down.
In 1996, Amtrak began installing electrification gear along the 157 miles (253 kilometres) of track between New Haven and Boston. The infrastructure included a new overhead catenary wire made of high-strength silver-bearing copper, specified by Amtrak and later patented by Phelps Dodge Specialty Copper Products of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Service with electric locomotives between New Haven and Boston began on January 31, 2000.The project took four years and cost close to $2.3 billion: $1.3 billion for the infrastructure improvements, and close to $1 billion for both the new Acela Express trainsets and the Bombardier–Alstom HHP-8 locomotives.
On December 11, 2000, Amtrak began operating its higher-speed Acela Express service.Fastest travel time by Acela is three and a half hours between Boston and New York, and two hours forty-five minutes between New York and Washington, D.C.
In 2005, there was talk in Congress of splitting the Northeast Corridor, which was opposed by then acting Amtrak president David Gunn. The plan, supported by the Bush administration, would "turn over the Northeast Corridor – the tracks from Washington to Boston that are the railroad's main physical asset – to a federal-state consortium."
With the passage of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, the Congress established the Northeast Corridor Commission (NEC Commission) in the U.S. Department of Transportation to facilitate mutual cooperation and planning and to advise Congress on Corridor rail and development policy. The commission members include USDOT, Amtrak and the Northeast Corridor states.
In August 2011 the United States Department of Transportation committed $450 million to a six-year project to support capacity increases on one of the busiest segments on the NEC, a 24-mile (39 km) section between New Brunswick and Trenton, passing through Princeton Junction. The Next Generation High-Speed project is designed to upgrade electrical power, signal systems, and overhead catenary wires to improve reliability and increase speeds up to 160 mph (260 km/h), and after the purchase of new equipment, up to 186 miles per hour (299 km/h). In September 2012, speed tests were conducted using Acela train sets, achieving a speed of 165 miles per hour (266 km/h). The improvements were scheduled to be completed in 2016, but have been delayed; the project is now scheduled to be finished in 2019.
Eleven minutes after leaving 30th Street Station in Philadelphia on May 12, 2015, a year-old ACS-64 locomotive (#601) and all seven Amfleet I coaches of Amtrak's northbound Northeast Regional (TR#188) derailed at 9:21pm at Frankford Junction in the Port Richmond section of the city while entering a 50 mph (80 km/h) speed limited (but at the time non-ATC protected) 4º curve at 106 mph (171 km/h), killing eight and injuring more than 200 (eight critically) of the 238 passengers and five crew on board as well as causing the suspension of all Philadelphia–New York NEC service for six days.
This was the deadliest crash on the Northeast Corridor since 16 died when Amtrak's Washington–Boston Colonial (TR#94) rear-ended three stationary Conrail locomotives at Gunpow Interlocking near Baltimore on January 4, 1987.Frankford Junction curve was the site of a previous fatal accident on September 6, 1943 when an extra section of the PRR's Washington to New York Congressional Limited derailed there killing 79 and injuring 117 of the 541 on board.
The NEC is a cooperative venture between Amtrak and various state agencies. Amtrak owns the track between Washington and New Rochelle, New York, a northern suburb of New York City.[ citation needed ] The segment from New Rochelle to New Haven is owned by the states of New York and Connecticut; Metro-North Railroad commuter trains operate there.[ citation needed ] Amtrak owns the tracks north of New Haven to the border between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The final segment from the border north to Boston is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[ citation needed ]
At just over 453 miles (729 km), the Northeast Corridor is the longest electrified rail corridor in the United States.[ citation needed ] Most electrified railways in the country are for rapid transit or commuter rail use; the Keystone Corridor is the only other electrified intercity mainline.[ citation needed ]
Currently, the corridor uses three catenary systems. From Washington, D.C., to Sunnyside Yard (just east of New York Penn Station), Amtrak's 25 Hz traction power system (originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad) supplies 12 kV at 25 Hz. From Sunnyside to Mill River (just east of New Haven), the former New Haven Railroad's system, since modified by Metro-North, supplies 12.5 kV at 60 Hz.[ citation needed ] From Mill River to Boston, the much newer 60 Hz traction power system supplies 25 kV at 60 Hz.[ citation needed ] All of Amtrak's electric locomotives can switch between these systems at speed.[ citation needed ]
In addition to catenary, the East River Tunnels have 750 V DC third rail for Long Island Rail Road trains, and the North River Tunnels have third rail for emergency use only.[ citation needed ]
In 2006, several high-profile electric-power failures delayed Amtrak and commuter trains on the Northeast Corridor up to five hours.Railroad officials blamed Amtrak's funding woes for the deterioration of the track and power supply system, which in places is almost a hundred years old. These problems have decreased in recent years after tracks and power systems were repaired and improved.
In September 2013, one of two feeder lines supplying power to the New Haven Line failed, while the other feeder was disabled for service. The lack of electrical power disrupted trains on Amtrak and Metro-North Railroad, which share the segment in New York State.
There are 109 active stations on the Northeast Corridor; 30 are used by Amtrak. All but three (Kingston, Westerly, and Mystic) see commuter service. Amtrak owns Pennsylvania Station in New York, 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Station in Baltimore, and Union Station in Washington.[ citation needed ]
The main services of the Northeast Corridor are indicated using the following abbreviations. Other services are listed in the right-most column. Note that not all trains necessarily stop at all indicated stations.
|City||Station||Amtrak corridor services||Amtrak long distance services||Commuter services||Additional services/connections|
|MA||228.7 mi (368.1 km)||Boston||South Station||AE||NR||P/S||NE||FR||Amtrak: Lake Shore Limited |
MBTA Commuter Rail: Fairmount, Framingham/Worcester, Greenbush, and Old Colony lines
MBTA subway: Red Line
|227.6 mi (366.3 km)||Back Bay||AE||NR||P/S||NE||FR||Amtrak: Lake Shore Limited|
MBTA Commuter Rail: Framingham/Worcester Line
MBTA subway: Orange Line
|226.5 mi (364.5 km)||Ruggles||P/S||NE||FR||MBTA subway: Orange Line|
|223.7 mi (360.0 km)||Forest Hills||NE||MBTA subway: Orange Line|
|220.6 mi (355.0 km)||Hyde Park||P/S||FR|
|219.2 mi (352.8 km)||Readville||P/S||MBTA Commuter Rail: Fairmount Line|
|217.3 mi (349.7 km)||Westwood||Route 128||AE||NR||P/S|
|213.9 mi (344.2 km)||Canton||Canton Junction||P/S|
|210.8 mi (339.2 km)||Sharon||Sharon||P/S|
|204.0 mi (328.3 km)||Mansfield||Mansfield||P/S|
|196.9 mi (316.9 km)||Attleboro||Attleboro||P/S|
|191.9 mi (308.8 km)||South Attleboro||P/S|
|RI||185.1 mi (297.9 km)||Providence||Providence||AE||NR||P/S|
|177.3 mi (285.3 km)||Warwick||T. F. Green Airport||P/S|
|165.8 mi (266.8 km)||North Kingstown||Wickford Junction||P/S|
|158.1 mi (254.4 km)||West Kingston||Kingston||NR|
|141.3 mi (227.4 km)||Westerly||Westerly||NR|
|CT||132.3 mi (212.9 km)||Mystic||Mystic||NR|
|122.9 mi (197.8 km)||New London||New London||AE||NR||SLE|
|105.1 mi (169.1 km)||Old Saybrook||Old Saybrook||NR||SLE|
|101.2 mi (162.9 km)||Westbrook||Westbrook||SLE|
|96.8 mi (155.8 km)||Clinton||Clinton||SLE|
|93.1 mi (149.8 km)||Madison||Madison||SLE|
|88.8 mi (142.9 km)||Guilford||Guilford||SLE|
|81.4 mi (131.0 km)||Branford||Branford||SLE|
|72.7 mi (117.0 km)||New Haven||New Haven State Street||SLE||NHV||Amtrak: Hartford Line |
CTRail: Hartford Line
|72.3 mi (116.4 km)||New Haven Union Station||AE||NR||VT||SLE||NHV||Amtrak: Hartford Line|
CTRail: Hartford Line
|69.4 mi (111.7 km)||West Haven||West Haven||SLE||NHV|
|63.3 mi (101.9 km)||Milford||Milford||SLE||NHV|
|59.0 mi (95.0 km)||Stratford||Stratford||SLE||NHV||Metro-North Railroad: Waterbury Branch|
|55.4 mi (89.2 km)||Bridgeport||Bridgeport||NR||VT||SLE||NHV||Metro-North Railroad: Waterbury Branch|
|52.3 mi (84.2 km)||Fairfield||Fairfield Metro||NHV|
|50.6 mi (81.4 km)||Fairfield||NHV|
|48.9 mi (78.7 km)||Southport||NHV|
|47.2 mi (76.0 km)||Westport||Green's Farms||NHV|
|44.2 mi (71.1 km)||Westport||NHV|
|42.1 mi (67.8 km)||Norwalk||East Norwalk||NHV|
|41.0 mi (66.0 km)||South Norwalk||NHV||Metro-North Railroad: Danbury Branch|
|39.2 mi (63.1 km)||Rowayton||NHV|
|37.7 mi (60.7 km)||Darien||Darien||NHV|
|36.2 mi (58.3 km)||Noroton Heights||NHV|
|33.1 mi (53.3 km)||Stamford||Stamford||AE||NR||VT||SLE||NHV||Metro-North Railroad: New Canaan Branch|
|31.3 mi (50.4 km)||Greenwich||Old Greenwich||NHV|
|30.3 mi (48.8 km)||Riverside||NHV|
|29.6 mi (47.6 km)||Cos Cob||NHV|
|28.1 mi (45.2 km)||Greenwich||NHV|
|NY||25.7 mi (41.4 km)||Port Chester||Port Chester||NHV|
|24.1 mi (38.8 km)||Rye||Rye||NHV|
|22.2 mi (35.7 km)||Harrison||Harrison||NHV|
|20.5 mi (33.0 km)||Mamaroneck||Mamaroneck||NHV|
|18.7 mi (30.1 km)||Larchmont||Larchmont||NHV|
|16.6 mi (26.7 km)||New Rochelle||New Rochelle||NR||NHV|
|3.2 mi (5.1 km)||Queens||Sunnyside||CTZ||Planned to open in 2022|
|0.0 mi (0 km)||New York||Penn Station||AE||NR||VT||KS||PA||CD CL CS PL SM SS||CTZ||NEC||NJC||Amtrak Empire Corridor: Adirondack , Ethan Allen Express , Empire Service , Lake Shore Limited , Maple Leaf |
Long Island Rail Road: Port Washington Branch, Main Line
NJ Transit Rail: Gladstone, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, and Raritan Valley lines
New York City Subway: A , C , and E and 1 , 2 , and 3 trains
|NJ||5.0 mi (8.0 km)||Secaucus||Secaucus Junction||NEC||NJC||NJ Transit Rail: Bergen County, Gladstone, Main, Meadowlands, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley lines|
Metro-North Railroad: Port Jervis Line
|10.0 mi (16.1 km)||Newark||Penn Station||AE||NR||VT||KS||PA||CD CL CS PL SM SS||NEC||NJC||NJ Transit Rail: Raritan Valley Line|
Newark Light Rail
PATH: Newark–World Trade Center
|12.6 mi (20.3 km)||Newark Liberty Int'l Airport||NR||KS||NEC||NJC||AirTrain Newark|
|14.4 mi (23.2 km)||Elizabeth||North Elizabeth||NEC||NJC|
|15.4 mi (24.8 km)||Elizabeth||NEC||NJC|
|18.6 mi (29.9 km)||Linden||Linden||NEC||NJC|
|20.7 mi (33.3 km)||Rahway||Rahway||NEC||NJC|
|24.6 mi (39.6 km)||Woodbridge||Metropark||AE||NR||VT||KS||NEC|
|27.1 mi (43.6 km)||Metuchen||Metuchen||NEC|
|30.3 mi (48.8 km)||Edison||Edison||NEC|
|32.7 mi (52.6 km)||New Brunswick||New Brunswick||NR||KS||NEC|
|34.4 mi (55.4 km)||Jersey Avenue||NEC|
|48.8 mi (78.5 km)||Princeton Junction||Princeton Junction||NR||KS||NEC||NJ Transit Rail: Princeton Branch|
|54.4 mi (87.5 km)||Hamilton Township||Hamilton||NEC|
|58.1 mi (93.5 km)||Trenton||Trenton||AE||NR||VT||KS||PA||CD CL CS PL SM SS||TRE||NEC||River Line|
|PA||64.7 mi (104.1 km)||Tullytown||Levittown||TRE|
|67.8 mi (109.1 km)||Bristol||Bristol||TRE|
|70.7 mi (113.8 km)||Croydon||Croydon||TRE|
|72.4 mi (116.5 km)||Eddington||Eddington||TRE|
|73.7 mi (118.6 km)||Cornwells Heights||Cornwells Heights||NR||KS||TRE|
|75.8 mi (122.0 km)||Philadelphia||Torresdale||TRE|
|78.3 mi (126.0 km)||Holmesburg Junction||TRE|
|79.3 mi (127.6 km)||Tacony||TRE|
|81.2 mi (130.7 km)||Bridesburg||TRE|
|86.0 mi (138.4 km)||North Philadelphia||NR||KS||TRE||SEPTA Regional Rail: Chestnut Hill West Line|
|90.5 mi (145.6 km)||30th Street Station||AE||NR||VT||KS||PA||CD CL CS PL SM SS||TRE||NWK||SEPTA Regional Rail: Airport, Cynwyd, Chestnut Hill East, Chestnut Hill West, Fox Chase, Lansdale/Doylestown, Manayunk/Norristown, Media/Elwyn, Paoli/Thorndale, Warminster, and West Trenton lines|
NJ Transit Rail: Atlantic City Line
SEPTA City Transit Division: Market-Frankford Line, subway–surface trolley lines
|94.8 mi (152.6 km)||Darby||Darby||NWK|
|95.5 mi (153.7 km)||Sharon Hill||Curtis Park||NWK|
|96.2 mi (154.8 km)||Sharon Hill||NWK|
|96.7 mi (155.6 km)||Folcroft||Folcroft||NWK|
|97.3 mi (156.6 km)||Glenolden||Glenolden||NWK|
|98.0 mi (157.7 km)||Norwood||Norwood||NWK|
|98.7 mi (158.8 km)||Prospect Park||Prospect Park||NWK|
|99.4 mi (160.0 km)||Ridley Park||Ridley Park||NWK|
|100.1 mi (161.1 km)||Crum Lynne||NWK|
|101.3 mi (163.0 km)||Eddystone||Eddystone||NWK|
|102.4 mi (164.8 km)||Chester||Chester||NWK|
|104.5 mi (168.2 km)||Highland Avenue||NWK|
|105.7 mi (170.1 km)||Marcus Hook||Marcus Hook||NWK|
|DE||108.6 mi (174.8 km)||Claymont||Claymont||NWK|
|115.8 mi (186.4 km)||Wilimington||Wilmington||AE||NR||VT||CD CL CS PL SM SS||NWK|
|121.5 mi (195.5 km)||Churchmans Crossing||NWK|
|127.7 mi (205.5 km)||Newark||Newark||NR||NWK|
|MD||148.5 mi (239.0 km)||Perryville||Perryville||PEN|
|154.5 mi (248.6 km)||Aberdeen||Aberdeen||NR||PEN|
|164.1 mi (264.1 km)||Edgewood||Edgewood||PEN|
|173.0 mi (278.4 km)||Middle River||Martin State Airport||PEN|
|184.7 mi (297.2 km)||Baltimore||Penn Station||AE||NR||VT||CD CL CS PL SM SS||PEN||MTA Maryland: Light RailLink|
|187.5 mi (301.8 km)||West Baltimore||PEN|
|192.3 mi (309.5 km)||Halethorpe||Halethorpe||PEN|
|195.3 mi (314.3 km)||Linthicum Heights||BWI Airport||AE||NR||VT||PEN|
|202.6 mi (326.1 km)||Odenton||Odenton||PEN|
|208.4 mi (335.4 km)||Bowie||Bowie State||PEN|
|213.7 mi (343.9 km)||Seabrook||Seabrook||PEN|
|216.0 mi (347.6 km)||New Carrollton||New Carrollton||NR||VT||PEN||Washington Metro: Orange Line|
|DC||224.7 mi (361.6 km)||Washington||Washington, D.C.||AE||NR||VT||CD CL CS PL SM SS||PEN||Amtrak: Capitol Limited |
MARC Train: Brunswick and Camden lines
Virginia Railway Express: Fredericksburg and Manassas lines
Washington Metro: Red Line
The entire Northeast Corridor has just 11 grade crossings, all in southeastern New London County, Connecticut.[ citation needed ] The remaining grade crossings are along a part of the line that hugs the shore of Fishers Island Sound.[ citation needed ] Without these crossings many waterfront communities and businesses would be inaccessible from land.[ citation needed ] Except for three grade crossings near New London Union Station, all have four-quadrant gates with induction loop sensors, which allow vehicles stopped on the tracks to be detected in time for an oncoming train to stop.[ citation needed ]
FRA rules limit track speeds on the corridor to 80 miles per hour (130 km/h) over conventional crossings and 95 miles per hour (153 km/h) over crossings with four-quadrant gates and vehicle detection tied into the signal system.
The New York to New Haven line has long been completely grade-separated, and the last grade crossings between Washington and New York were eliminated in the 1980s.[ citation needed ] In 1994, during planning for electrification and high-speed Acela Express service between New Haven and Boston, a law was passed requiring USDOT to plan for the elimination of all remaining crossings (unless impractical or unnecessary) by 1997. Some lightly used crossings were simply closed, while most were converted into bridges or underpasses. Only thirteen remained by 1999, of which lightly used crossings in Old Lyme, Connecticut and Exeter, Rhode Island were soon closed.
Despite six nonfatal accidents in the previous sixteen years, there was substantial local opposition to closing the remaining 11 crossings. Outright closing the crossing would eliminate the sole access points to several of the places they served, while grade separation would have been expensive and required land takings. 30 miles per hour (48 km/h)) did not.Instead, the crossings were supplied with additional protections. In 1998, School Street in Groton was the first four-quadrant gate installation in the country with vehicle detection sensors tied into the line's signal system. It cost $1 million rather than the $4 million for a bridge. Seven more crossings received similar installations in 1999 and 2000; only the three in New London (which are on a tight curve with speed limits under
On September 28, 2005, a southbound Acela Express struck a car at Miner Lane in Waterford, Connecticut, the first such incident since the additional protections were implemented. 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) when the car reportedly rolled under the lowered crossing gate arms too late for the sensor system to fully stop the train. The driver and one passenger were killed on impact; the other passenger died nine days later from injuries sustained in the crash. The gates were later inspected and declared to have been functioning properly at the time of the incident. The incident drew public criticism about the remaining grade crossings along the busy line.The train was approaching the crossing at approximately
Crossing are listed east to west.
|140.6||Stonington||Palmer Street||500263U||Connects the Pawcatuck residential area to the Mechanic Street arterial.|
|136.7||Elihu Island Road||500267W||Provides sole access to Elihu Island. Private crossing.|
|136.6||Walker's Dock||500269K||Provides sole access to a small marina. Private crossing.|
|134.9||Wamphassuc Road||500272T||Provides sole access to a residential area.|
|133.4||Latimer Point Road||500275N||Provides sole access to a residential area.|
|132.3||Broadway Avenue Extension||500277C||Next to Mystic station. Provides sole access to a residential and industrial area, several marinas, and the northbound platform.|
|131.2||Groton||School Street||500278J||Provides sole access to the Willow Point residential area and marina.|
|123.0||New London||Ferry Street||500294T||Provides sole access to Block Island Ferry and Cross Sound Ferry docks and other marine facilities. Does not have quad gates.|
|122.8||State Street||500295A||Next to New London Union Station. Provides access to the Fisher's Island Ferry, City Pier, Waterfront Park, and the northbound platform.|
|122.5||Bank Street Connector||500297N||Provides access to Waterfront Park.|
|120.2||Waterford||Miner Lane||500307S||Provides sole access to a residential and industrial area.|
|Annual passenger ridership|
|FY*||Northeast Regional||Acela||Total ridership||% Change|
|Sources: 2004–2014; 2015–2016|
In 2003, Amtrak accounted for about 14% of intercity trips between the cities served by the NEC and its branches (the rest were taken by airline, automobile, or bus).A 2011 study estimated that in 2010 Amtrak carried 6% of the Boston–Washington traffic, compared to 80% for automobiles, 8–9% for intercity bus, and 5% for airlines. Amtrak's share of passenger traffic between New York City and Boston has grown from 20 percent to 54 percent since 2001, and 75 percent of public-transport travelers between New York City and Washington, D.C., go by train.
These Amtrak trains serve NEC stations and run at least partially on the corridor:
Seven other trains terminate at NEC stations, but do not use any NEC infrastructure outside the terminus:
The New Haven–Springfield Shuttle : New Haven–Springfield, Massachusetts via the Amtrak-owned New Haven–Springfield branch line of the NEC.
Five Amtrak services operate via the Empire Corridor, a line largely owned by CSX, with other sections owned by Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak. It meets the NEC at New York Penn Station.
The Capitol Limited runs from Washington, D.C.–Chicago and uses NEC infrastructure at Washington Union Station.
Due to the wide availability of Northeast Regional frequencies, the Acela Express, the Keystone Service, and the Pennsylvanian as well as commuter rail, most long- and medium-haul trains operating along the New York-Washington leg of the NEC do not allow local travel between NEC stations. In most cases, long- and medium-haul trains only stop to discharge passengers from Washington (and in some cases, Alexandria) northward, and to receive passengers from Newark to Washington. This policy is intended to keep seats available for passengers making longer trips. The Vermonter is the only medium-haul train that allows local travel in both directions between New York and Washington.
In addition to Amtrak, several commuter rail agencies operate passenger service using the NEC tracks:
Freight trains operate on parts of the NEC through trackage rights. The Norfolk Southern Railway operates over the line south of Philadelphia. CSX Transportation has rights from New York to New Haven; in Massachusetts; and in Maryland from Landover, where its Landover Subdivision joins the NEC, to Bowie, where its Pope's Creek Subdivision leaves it. Between Philadelphia and New York, Conrail operates as a local switching and terminal company for CSX and Norfolk Southern (see Conrail Shared Assets Operations ). The Providence and Worcester Railroad operates local freight service from New Haven into Rhode Island and has overhead trackage rights from New Haven to New York (see Rail freight transportation in New York City and Long Island ).
As of 2013, the Federal Railroad Administration is drawing up a master plan for developing the corridor through 2040, taking into account various projects and proposals by various agency and advocacy groups. The plan was completed in spring 2015.Much of the proposed improvements are unfunded.
In 2013, Japanese officials pitched the country's maglev train technology, the world's fastest, for the Northeast Corridor to regional U.S. politicians. The trains could travel from New York to Washington in an hour.
In October 2010, Amtrak released "A vision for High-Speed Rail on the Northeast Corridor", an aspirational proposal for dedicated high-speed rail tracks between Washington, D.C., and Boston. 220 miles per hour (350 km/h), reducing travel time from New York to Washington to 96 minutes (including a stop in Philadelphia) and from Boston to New York to 84 minutes.Projected to cost about $117 billion (2010 dollars), the project would allow speeds of
The proposed alignment would closely follow the existing NEC south of New York City; north of the city, several different alignments would be studied. One option would parallel Interstates 684, 84, and 90 through Danbury, Waterbury, and Hartford, Connecticut; another would follow the existing shoreline route (paralleling Interstate 95); a third would run along Long Island and a new bridge or tunnel across Long Island Sound to Connecticut.[ citation needed ]
In 2012, Amtrak revised its cost estimate to $151 billion. The 438-mile (705 km) HSR route is planned to be completed by 2030 (Washington to New York) and by 2040 (New York to Boston).
In February 2011, Amtrak announced plans for the Gateway Project between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station.The planned project would create a high-speed alignment across the New Jersey Meadowlands and under the Hudson River, including the replacement of the Portal Bridge, a bottleneck. It is projected to cost $14.5 billion and be completed in 2025.
In May 2011, a $294.7-million federal grant was awarded to fix congestion at Harold Interlocking, the USA's second-busiest rail junction after Sunnyside Yard. The work will lay tracks to the New York Connecting Railroad right of way, allowing Amtrak trains arriving from or bound for New England to avoid NJT and LIRR trains.Financing for the project was jeopardized in July 2011 by the House of Representatives, which voted to divert the funding to unrelated projects. The project is currently funded by FRA and the MTA.
In August 2011, Congress obligated $450 million to a six-year project to add capacity on one of the busiest segments on the NEC in New Jersey. 24-mile (39 km) section between New Brunswick and Trenton to improve reliability, increase speeds up to 160 mph (260 km/h), and support more frequent high-speed service. The improvements were scheduled to be completed in 2016, but have been delayed; the project is now scheduled to be finished in 2020. The track work is one of several projects planned for the "New Jersey Speedway" section of the NEC, which include a new station at North Brunswick, the Mid-Line Loop (a flyover for reversing train direction), and the re-construction of County Yard, to be done in coordination with NJT.The project is designed to upgrade electrical power, signal systems and catenary wires on a
Amtrak has applied for $15 million for the environmental impact studies and preliminary engineering design to examine replacement options for the more than 100-year-old, low-level movable rail Pelham Bay Bridge (just west of Pelham Bridge) over the Hutchinson River in the Bronx that has been limiting speed and train capacity. The goal is for a new bridge to support expanded service and speeds up to 110 mph (180 km/h).
On August 26, 2016, Vice President Joe Biden announced a $2.45 billion federal loan package to pay for new Acela equipment, as well as upgrades to the NEC. The loans will finance 28 trainsets that will replace the existing fleet. The trains will be built by Alstom in Hornell and Rochester, New York. Passenger service using the new trains is expected to begin in 2021 and the current fleet is to be retired by the end of 2022 when all the replacements will have been delivered. Amtrak will pay off the loans from increased NEC passenger revenue.
In December 2016, the NEC Future's final environmental impact statement was released.On July 12, 2017, the Federal Railroad Administration revealed the record of decision for the project.
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.
The Acela Express is Amtrak's flagship service along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in the Northeastern United States between Washington, D.C. and Boston via 14 intermediate stops, including Providence, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. The route contains segments of high-speed rail, and Acela Express trains are the fastest trainsets in the Americas; they attain 150 mph (240 km/h) on 33.9 mi (54.6 km) of the route.
The Hell Gate Bridge, originally the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge or the East River Arch Bridge, is a 1,017-foot (310 m) steel through arch railroad bridge in New York City. The bridge carries two tracks of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and one freight track across the Hell Gate, a strait of the East River, between Astoria in Queens, and Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan.
The Northeast Regional is a regional rail service operated by Amtrak in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. In the past it has been known as the NortheastDirect, Acela Regional, or Regional. It is the busiest Amtrak route, carrying 8,686,930 passengers in fiscal year (FY) 2018, a 1.4% increase over the 8.57 million passengers in FY2017. The Northeast Regional service earned over $613.9 million in gross ticket revenue in FY2016, a 0.4% increase over the $611.7 million earned during FY2015.
The Metroliners were extra-fare high speed trains between Washington, D.C. and New York City which operated from 1969 to 2006. They were briefly first operated by Penn Central Transportation, then by Amtrak for 35 years.
Amtrak's 195-mile (314 km) Keystone Service provides frequent regional passenger train service between the Harrisburg Transportation Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, running along the Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line. Most trains continue along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) to Pennsylvania Station in New York.
Baltimore Pennsylvania Station is the main transportation hub in Baltimore, Maryland. Designed by New York architect Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison (1872–1938), it was constructed in 1911 in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It is located at 1515 N. Charles Street, about a mile and a half north of downtown and the Inner Harbor, between the Mount Vernon neighborhood to the south, and Station North to the north. Originally called Union Station because it served the Pennsylvania Railroad and Western Maryland Railway, it was renamed to match other Pennsylvania Stations in 1928.
The Northeast Corridor Line is a commuter rail service operated by NJ Transit between the Trenton Transit Center and New York Penn Station on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor in the United States. The service is the successor to Pennsylvania Railroad commuter trains between Trenton and New York, and is NJ Transit's busiest commuter rail service. After arrival at New York Penn Station, some trains load passengers and return to New Jersey, while others continue east to Sunnyside Yard for storage. Most servicing is done at the Morrisville Yard, at the west end of the line. The Northeast Corridor Line is colored red on NJ Transit system maps and its symbol is the State House. The Princeton Branch is a shuttle service connecting to the line. Connecting SEPTA Trenton Line service between Philadelphia and Trenton is listed in the timetable.
Union Station, also known as New Haven Railroad Station or simply New Haven, is the main railroad passenger station in New Haven, Connecticut. Designed by noted American architect Cass Gilbert, the beaux-arts Union Station was completed and opened in 1920 after the previous Union Station was destroyed by fire. It served the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad until it fell into decline, along with the rest of the railroad industry in North America after World War II. It was shuttered in 1972, leaving only the under-track 'subway' open for passengers, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 3, 1975, but it was almost demolished before the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project in 1979. Reopened after extensive renovations in early 1985, it is now the premier gateway to the city.
Clockers were regular passenger trains between Philadelphia and New York City on the Northeast Corridor. On the Pennsylvania Railroad they left each terminal on the hour until the 1950s and a less-regular schedule continued on Amtrak. The first train run by Amtrak was a Clocker that left Penn Station at 12:05 AM on May 1, 1971. The last Clocker ran on October 28, 2005. To replace them, New Jersey Transit added four express trains between Trenton and New York City at times approximating the Clocker schedule.
The Bombardier–Alstom HHP-8 is a type of twin-cab electric locomotive manufactured by a consortium of Bombardier Transportation and Alstom for Amtrak and MARC. The locomotive's electrical drive technology is directly derived from the SNCF BB 36000 manufactured by Alstom.
The Keystone Corridor is a 349-mile (562 km) railroad corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that consists of two rail lines: Amtrak's Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg main line, which also hosts SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail service; and the Norfolk Southern Pittsburgh Line. The corridor was originally the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The Harlem River and Port Chester Railroad (HR&PC) was chartered in 1866 as a branch line railroad between New York City and Port Chester, New York. The line opened in 1873 as part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford commuter railroad and served in various capacities until 1971. The HR&PC is now part of Amtrak's high-speed Northeast Corridor.
The New Haven–Springfield Line is a railroad line owned by Amtrak from New Haven, Connecticut, north to Springfield, Massachusetts. As a branch of the Northeast Corridor just north of New Haven State Street station, it is served by approximately seven daily Northeast Regional round trips, some continuing from New Haven to Washington, D.C., along the Corridor and others terminating at New Haven as shuttles. On weekends, there is one train daily to Roanoke, Virginia. It is also served by the daily Vermonter, which starts in Washington, D.C. and continues north from Springfield, finally terminating in St. Albans, Vermont. The line is part of the Inland Route connecting Boston and New York via Hartford, Springfield, and Worcester, in contrast to the "Shore Line" along the Connecticut Shore and through Rhode Island.
Plans for high-speed rail in the United States date back to the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965. Various state and federal proposals have followed. Despite being one of the world's first countries to get high-speed trains, it failed to spread. Definitions of what constitutes high-speed rail vary, including a range of speeds over 110 miles per hour (180 km/h) and dedicated rail lines. Inter-city rail in the United States with top speeds of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) or more but below 125 mph (201 km/h) is sometimes referred to as higher-speed rail.
Railroad electrification in the United States began at the turn of the 20th century and comprised many different systems in many different geographical areas, few of which were connected. Despite this situation, these systems shared a small number of common reasons for electrification.
The Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge is a Howe deck truss structure that carries two tracks of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line across the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland.
Kingston is a historic railroad station located on the Northeast Corridor in the village of West Kingston, in the town of South Kingstown, Rhode Island. It was built at this location in 1875 by the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad, replacing earlier stations dating back to the opening of the line in 1837. Current rail services consist of Northeast Regional trains in each direction, all of which stop at the station. Historically Kingston provided commuter rail service to Providence and Boston via Amtrak's commuter rail services. The MBTA is looking at extending their commuter service with the Providence/Stoughton Line.
Frankford Junction is a railroad junction, and former junction station, located on the border between the Harrowgate neighborhood of Philadelphia and Frankford, Philadelphia. At the junction, the 4-track Northeast Corridor line from Trenton connects with the 2-track Atlantic City Line from Atlantic City in the northeastern portion of Philadelphia about 2.9 miles (4.7 km) northeast of North Philadelphia station. It lies near the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Butler Street, to the west of where New Jersey Route 90 meets Interstate 95 after crossing the Betsy Ross Bridge. It has been used for rail transportation since 1832 but has not served as a station since October 4, 1992.
Amtrak's Hartford Line—known prior to September 2019 as the New Haven–Springfield Shuttle, or simply, the Shuttle—is a train service run by Amtrak primarily between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, along Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line. As part of a new pilot program, two daily round trip trains continue north of Springfield to Greenfield, Massachusetts on the Connecticut River Line under the Valley Flyer designation, other trains on the line carry the Hartford Line designation. Hartford Line and Valley Flyer trains connect with Northeast Regional and Acela Express services at New Haven's Union Station, usually via a cross-platform transfer. The Hartford Line program also includes a single Northeast Regional round trip through train between Washington, DC and Springfield daily and additional through trains on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
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