All Gauge Model Railroading Page 2001
We have assembled a variety of links to operating passenger railroads in the US and Canada. Our goal - to enable railfans travelling around the country to find and ride the remaining passenger system. To this end, we have assembled links to the railroads, their schedules, and to the great variety of unofficial websites which focus on regional passenger lines, Amtrak, streetcars, trolleys, subways and tourist / excursion roads.
Perhaps the finest, most organized and most navigable passenger railroad site. Harris has made it a snap to find the road of your choice. Definitely a help!
Train Travel in the US- http://www.trainweb.com/traintravel
`Train Routes in the US- http://www.trainweb.com/traintravel/routes
Amtrak - http://www.amtrak.com/
Amtrak's page includes routers, schedules, fares, a travel planner and other conveniences for the rail traveler. Great for getting your trip organized and making reservations.
These are our "home roads," and we feel obliged to give you the best we have. Note that we have included personal information about certain lines. This is intended to help you better decide when to ride, what to bring, and how to enjoy your destination more.
The Official NJ Transit Home Page - http://www.njtransit.state.nj.us/
This is it - the main website that has schedules, routes, fares and everything else you need to know. We rate this as one of the BEST Official websites going!
But....there are some heavy unofficial sites, too: try Mike's excellent unofficial NJ Transit site,
Hoboken Terminal - The Unofficial NJ Transit Homepage - http://students.cec.wustl.edu/~mjs6/hoboken.html#njtlinks
Bob Scheurle's website is a masterpiece for folks trying to find a schedule. He claims - and we confirm - that his site has better schedules and information than NJ Transit's official page. Bob also has excellent info on connections to buses, trains and ferries. A must for anyone contemplating a trip via NJ Transit:
New Jersey Transit Train Schedules - http://www.nj.com/njtransit
New Jersey's Department of Transportation offers NJ Commuter.Com, which covers all of the public state's transportation
NJ Commuter.Com - http://www.njcommuter.com/
Not as nice as NJ Transit, but it has all the official info on schedules, routes and fares
The Official MTA Metro North Railroad Page - http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mnr
Here's a site that's great to view and has Metro North and MTA links:
NJ, NY and CT Railroad page - http://www.quuxuum.org/~haviland/
From Metro North to New England - their links pages are a BIG help
The Hudson Valley and New England Railfan Pages - http://www.erols.com/habs93
The Cape may Seashore line operates in the southern end of New Jersey. It's a new railroad that's expanding as we write:
Cape May Seashore Lines - http://www.erols.com/rowanb/cmsl.htm
If coming from New York City, you can get NJ Transit Trains to Newark's Penn Station from Penn Station, NY, under Madison Square Garden. You can also take a PATH Train to Hoboken from 33rd, 23rd, 14th, 9th, and Christopher streets and the World Trade Center (Path runs generally along 7th avenue) A Path train is available to Newark. You can take the Path from 33rd, 23rd, 14th, 9th and Christopher Streets to Journal Square, where you change to the Newark Train. From the World Trade center, Path runs direct to Newark. Note that from 33rd Street, you have the option of a Hoboken or Journal Square train. 33rd is not far from Madison Square Garden.
In Hoboken, if you have time and want a good meal, go straight out the Waiting Room door (the one between the ticket booths and men's room) and cross the plaza to the old boat slip. Turn left, walk about a block and a half, and you'll see the Clam Broth House - good seafood. If you keep going, however, stop at Washington Street - you will see City Hall across the street. Make a hard right and you're a few feet from the Italian Bakery - great coffee and pastry. A ride to Suffern is enhanced by having cannolis and coffee on the train.
Newark is rather "heads up" - stay in the station at night. It's that kind of town. Better to eat before or after hitting Newark. There's nothing but fast food offered inside the terminal, and local restaurants are not close to the station. Shore trains depart on Tracks 3 and 4. Police protection inside the station is good.
Notes on Hoboken: Hoboken was a pretty wild town about 20 years ago, but the proximity to New York attracted new tenants. "Yuppies" appreciated the short commute to Manhattan and lower rents, resulting in a kind of Rennaissance for the Mile Square City. The superb terminal, located off Observer Highway on the South side of town, was built by the Lackawanna Railroad. It served as a passenger train terminal and ferry station. Ferries ran to Manhattan. In the 1950s, the Erie closed its Jersey City terminal in order to run from Lackawanna Terminal. The merger of the two roads was simplified by their use of a single station.
Unfortunately, passenger rail declined in the 1960s, and the terminal was allowed to decay. NJ Transit has spent a lot of time and money resuscitating Lackawanna Terminal. It has regained some of its former splendor. Along with NJ Transit trains and local bus service, the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) runs frequently from Hoboken both to 33rd Street and to the World Trade center in Manhattan. A Fast Ferry offers a run to the Financial Center (located one block from the World Trade Center). On nice days, try the ferry. It's a lot more comfortable, since the underground PATH station can be a humid, sweltering pit!
While you can get hot dogs and light carry-on snacks at the Terminal, real meals are available locally. We like the Clam Broth House, and Arthur's Steakhouse on 3rd and Washington. We haven't tried the Planet Diner across from the Terminal, although its predecessor was a frequent stop back in the 80s. Be aware that the Yuppie joints charge a little more than regular restaurants.
In the summer, NJ Transit runs direct service to the Jersey Shore from Hoboken. Check the schedule. Miss the Shore train? No problem! Take the PATH train to WTC, get off at Exchange place. Go to the other track and await a Newark train. You can get all Shore trains from Newark. Shore trains depart from Tracks 3 and 4 in Newark.
WARNING: there is an NJ Transit line heading West to Dover which has a Newark Station. This is NOT the Penn Station, but an old Lackawanna Station. It is NOT a shortcut and is quite a distance from Penn Station. The neighborhood is very "heads up" - not a good place to be at night, not much better during the day. When in doubt, use PATH.
PATH riders: Newport Center has revitalized the old Pavonia area. High-rises, a new mall, and all the trimmings have replaced any vestiges of Erie's old Jersey City Yard. For a dinner with a fine view of the Manhattan skyline, try the Cafe Newport - just a short walk from Pavonia station.
Be advised that Exchange Place has also revitalized and offers some decent restaurants. Grove Street is still a mixed bag, and Journal Square has declined in quality. The Square can be "heads up," especially if you head south or west. While Hoboken experienced a boom, Jersey City went down the tubes.
Port Jervis Notes: Port Jervis: get to Route 209 and head north about a mile or so. Leaving Port Jervis, you'll pass a school and farmer's stand on the right. A little ways down the road, in the trees, you will see a long dark, log-type building - the Cornucopia Restaurant. Excellent German food, casual attire is okay. Classy place, so you get all the benefits without the fuss of dressing up.
Want to see scenery? From Port Jervis, walk over to the bridge to Pennsylvania. Halfway across, stop and look out over the Delaware. Wow! When you get to Pennsy, cross the road and come back on the other side. Halfway, look outward again. WOW! Two great views, one great bridge.
Port Jervis was a busy town at one time, but the completion of Route 84 and the malls of Middletown proved too much. Though it is making a comeback, the process is slow.
Do NOT get off at Otisville expecting a good time. The station is about half a mile out of town, and there's not much there. No public transportation, no nice diners or restaurants, no sites to see. For Railfans, Otisville's only claim to fame is the tunnel, and believe me, it's no great shakes.
Jersey Shore notes: Good stops are from Bradley Beach to Bayhead. Best photography of a bascule bridge - in fact, just general photography of the shore and nice sites can be found at Belmar. Trains run frequently. Good spots to see: Shark River inlet - the railroad and both car bridges, the Belmar marina, Avon-by-the-Sea's quaint boardwalk and pavilions. Bradley is somewhat more residential, although as stations go, Bradley's looked better than Belmar's. Spring Lake is rather upscale. If you have to bribe the wife, take her shopping there.
Food: folks, if you see a bunch of old folks in leisure suits streaming toward a place, avoid it! It's another overpriced seafood restaurant, aimed at summer visitors. In local jargon, a Bennie Joint. (The nickname for North Jerseyans who vacation at the Jersey Shore is 'Bennies.") Most restaurants get their fish from the Fulton Fish market - they are only capitalizing on the seaside atmosphere. Look for places that are less conspicuous but have a lot of cars parked in the lot.
Asbury Park used to be the Gem of the Jersey Shore, but today it is a run-down shadow of its former self. The boardwalk is a ghost town of abandoned pavilions and cannibalized rides; even the old Indoor Fun House is empty. Most of the old beachfront hotels are gone, and that area looks like 1945 Berlin. Drugs have replaced tourists. It's one stop to avoid. For those who remember Asbury Park in its happier years, the current condition of the seaside city is downright depressing.
Long Branch is where you have to switch trains, as the line is not electrified any further south. Long Branch used to be a much better shorefront, but it's lost a lot over the years. You're better off headed to Spring Lake, Avon or Belmar.
Photo fans - winter and autumn provide excellent photo opportunities. Dress for warmth and to repel wind for off-season.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority covers New York City area trains, including Metro North, the NY Subways, the Staten Island Railroad and the Long Island Railroad. We lump them here because most travelers to NYC will hit the subway and most likely try a jaunt on the LIRR.
MTA Long Island RailRoad - http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/lirr/lirr.htm
The LIRR has gotten a bad rap because of dirty cars, frequent breakdowns and shaky schedules. If you ride the LIRR, expect that cars won't be very clean or posh. Air conditioning and heat are a variable, and there are problems with doors that won't open, filthy or broken latrines, etc. The road handles two routes extending from Manhattan, beside Penn Station under Madison Square Garden, to both Greenport and Montauk. You might have to switch trains at some point, as the line is only partially electrified. Not our favorite ride, but on Long Island it's the only show in town.
MTA New York City Homepage - http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/
Covering trains and buses in all five boroughs. Official schedules, routes, etc.
Let's be real- the subways can be very "heads up," so don't be careless. Better a little paranoia than running into trouble. The best way to use them is to buy a Metrocard, which is more convenient than tokens. It allows you to transfer to other trains or buses en route, saving you a hassle and some money. Don't ride in the last two cars of NYC subways - it's the place where you're more vulnerable to crime. Pat attention, get to your platform, don't stand too close to the edge (there are nuts who push people off - too many nuts in NYC!) Get on the train fast, watch your pocketbook and wallet. When you get off, move out smartly.
If you must ask directions anywhere in New York City, on the subway or street, ask a cop, token booth attendant or street vendor. Don't ask strangers - better safe than sorry. And if a stranger offers to take you there, heads up!
This will get you to MTA subways and railroads, as well as buses and the region's bridges and tunnels. Covers all five boroughs of New York City plus Long Island, Westchester and part of Connecticut
MTA Staten Island Railway - http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/sir/sirmain.htm
Good service, trains generally run every half hour. During rush hours, they run every 20 minutes. A few express trains run between Great kills and the St. George Ferry Terminal. Trains may be slightly off schedule on weekdays between 10 am and 3 pm when construction and MOW are underway, especially in the summer months.
We make fun of SIRT, but it's still a good road with clean cars, the air conditioning works and it's reliable.
You pay at St. George, whether getting on or getting off. Have your Metrocard ready, because if you stop to buy token you might miss the boat. Though the SIRT tries to work with boat schedules, snafus happen on occasion. And yes, the Staten island Ferry is a free ride!
By the way, if you take the ferry to Manhattan and hop a train, it is considered a transfer when using metrocard. Another $1.50 you save!
To get to Island Trains, get off at Great Kills. Go to Nelson Avenue (it's okay to ask for directions - folks are polite in this area) and head toward Hylan Boulevard. At Hylan, make a right and go down a block. Island Trains is right on the corner.
Syracuse has a small rail system using old Susquehanna Railroad RDC's - a classic that offers regular service.
Syracuse On-Track Schedule - http://web.syr.edu/~mobrandt/ontrack/sched.htm
Boston and Eastern Massachusetts
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - http://www.mbta.com/
The MBTA covers Boston Area buses and subways, as well as commuter lines extending from Rhode Island north to Fitchburg, Haverhill and Rockport. It's a large system, but the website has almost everything you need to know.
Below is an unofficial website covering New England transit, trains as well as buses in Massachusetts and Connecticut. As usual, the unofficial pages contain useful info that didn't make it into the official website. Nothing like personal interest to keep a website current :)
New England Transportation Site - http://members.aol.com/netransit/indexc.html
Traction and trolley fans: the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts has working trolley lines. This website also covers connections and bus routes:
The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority - http://www.allcapecod.com/ccrta/
For schedules, connections and information on Connecticut's Shore Line East, operating east of New Haven (for the west, see Metro North)
Shore Line East - http://www.rideworks.com/rwsl.htm
Rideworks is a non-profit group in south-central Connecticut dedicated to commuting, with info on trains, buses, carpooling, etc. Not exactly a rail passenger site, but the concept is worth including here:
Rideworks - http://www.rideworks.com/index.htm
An unofficial site with public transportation info, including rails, in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
Public Transportation in NH, VT and ME - http://www.geocities.com/cgi-bin-local/GeoAD?pageID=/spgp/Business_and_Money/Industries/Transportation
The Green Mountain Railroad and Vermont railway currently offer excursions and fan trips. They plan regular commuter service in the future. This is their official passenger rail page:
RAILS - VT - http://www.rails-vt.com/
Unofficial page with schedules for the Green Mountain Railway's excursions and fan trips:
Green Mountain Railway (unofficial) - http://www.geocities.com/cgi-bin-local/GeoAD?pageID=/gp/Society
Metra Information Center - http://www.metrarail.com/
Metra's official page covers all the bases, including a guide to attractions in Chicago. Covers as far west as Geneva and Harvard, north to Kenosha, WI, south to Joliet and University Park. The trains are reportedly clean and in good shape; we hear Metra is a good, reliable commuter road.
The website below is great - covers everything you could want, from predecessor transit lines to interurbans to trolleys and buses to regular passenger rail. Typical unofficial railfan page - has all the extra useful info you wish the official pages had. (Great job, Bill!)
Chicago Transit / Metra Railfan Page - http://members.aol.com/chirailfan/railfan.html
The Algoma Central Railroad offers a variety of scenic tour and excursion trains:
Algoma Central Tour Train - http://www.wclx.com/rail/algoma/algomac.htm
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority operates trains, light rail and subway type trains in the Philadelphia region and parts of Delaware. This is their official website, listing all rail and bus operations plus connections:
SEPTA Regional Rail Home Page - http://www.septa.org/index.html
The Port Authority Transit Corporation runs trains between Central Philadelphia, PA and Lindenwold, NJ. Connections to NJ Transit and SEPTA, schedules, etc.
Welcome to PATCO - http://www.libertynet.org/drpa/patco/index.html
The Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers covers rail transit in southeastern Pennsy, southern New Jersey and Delaware. You get info here that's not on "official" railroad pages:
DVARP - http://www.libertynet.org/dvarp/
Serving the Pittsburgh area, there are 22.5 miles of light rail known as the "T". Includes bus and connecting line information:
Port Authority Home Page - http://trfn.clpgh.org/orgs/patransit/
Maryland's services include MARC commuter trains, Central Light Rail Line, the Baltimore Metro Subway and bus line schedules, maps and fares:
Maryland Mass Transit Administration - http://www.inform.umd.edu:8080/MD-DOT/mta/
If you're in the area and want to check out vintage streetcars, including rides, here's the place:
Baltimore Streetcar Museum - http://www.baltimoremd.com/streetcar/
Metro schedules and maps of rail and bus transit in our nation's Capital:
Washington Area Metropolitan Area Transit Authority - METRO - http://www.wmata.com/logobar.htm
A site for commuters, to encourage use of public transportation and car pooling, including rail, of course. We like the concept:
Commuter Connections - http://www.mwcog.org/commuter/Bdy-About.html
This section covers regional railroads operating from Virgina to Florida. Check Amtrak, also.
Virginia Railway Express is a commuter passenger line connecting the Northern Virginia suburbs with Alexandria and Washington DC. Yes, folks, real trains here - they have diesel locomotives
Virginia Railway Express - http://www.vre.org/
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has schedules, fares, and other great info on their rail and bus services.
MARTA - http://www.itsmarta.com/
Tri-Rail serves Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Their official website includes schedules, fares, and info on connecting transit lines:
Tri-Rail Web Site (official) - http://www.tri-rail.com/main.html
For Metrorail trains and other transit in the Miami/ Dade County area, with connections to Tri-Rail, this is the official website:
Metro-Dade Transit Online - http://www.metro-dade.com/mdta/
Here's a website that includes info on all Florida passenger and freight trains, including current operators. Lots of railfanning info, too.
Florida rails - Passenger Trains to the Palms - http://www.getcruising.com/rails/
Yes, there's even a Monorail in Florida! You will want to check this out! Located in Jacksonville:
Jacksonville Transportation Authority Skyway - http://www.jtaonthemove.com/sk.automate.htm
The Seminole Gulf Railway in Southwestern Florida offers a variety of excursions, scenic tours, dinner trains and murder mystery rides. They operate from Fort Myers:
Seminole Gulf Railway - http://www.semgulf.com/
Don't let the name fool you - the New Orleans Police Transit unit's page gets you to their ever-popular, classic streetcars!
Popular Routes and Schedules (Transit Police Unit) - http://pages.prodigy.com/LA/transitpolice4/transitpolice.html
The Metrolink is a light rail system in the St. Louis area:
St. Louis Regional Transit - http://www.bi-state.org/
The Arizona Rail Passenger Association focuses on Amtrak and propsed railways in the state:
Arizona Rail Passenger Association - http://www.psn.net/~azrail/equip/index.htm
Caltrain servies the San Franciso Area with a popular commuter rail line:
Caltrain - http://www.caltrain.com/caltrain/index.html
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority operates one of the longest light rail lines. Info on light rail, buses, connections to Caltrains:
Santa Clara VTA - http://www.vta.org/
This unofficial site focuses on rail transit in Los Angeles. Includes Metro Red, Blue and Green Lines, Metrolink, Amtrak and the Angel's Flight funicular:
Union Station - The Los Angeles Transit Rail Page - http://www.westworld.com/~elson/larail/
Another unofficial site, includes trains and trolleysas well as buses throughout Southern California
Southern Califonria Transit Information Page - http://socaltip.lerctr.org/
For information on rail, streetcars and other mass transit in the San Francisco region:
San Francisco Bay Area Transit Information = http://www.transitinfo.org/
The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) connects Stockton and San Jose.
ACE - http://www.acerail.com/index.html
The Alaska railroad is the nation's most unique, fulkl service railroad. Find all you need on passenger and tourist services, along with freight and other Alaska RR operations:
Alaska Railroad - http://www.akrr.com/
Via Rail is the canadian equivalent of Amtrak, offering a variety of services and plenty of information for travelers:
Via Rail - http://www.viarail.ca/
Information on BC Rail's passenger and specialty tourist lines, as well as freight railroad.
BC Rail - http://www.bcrail.com/bcrpass/index.htm
This page is under construction - if you have links to operating passenger railroads - official and unofficial - please email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
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