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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2018

Part 1 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: Preface

Part 2 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: Amtrak, California, & Colorado

Part 3 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia and Illinois

Part 4 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: New Jersey, New York, Ohio & Oregon

Part 5 : Progressive Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: Pennsylvania, Texas, & Washington

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: New Jersey, New York, Ohio & Oregon



New Jersey Transit

New Jersey Transit is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 944,000 weekday trips on bus, light-rail, commuter-rail and Access Link systems.
Service launched: Commuter rail, 1979; light rail, 1930s
Miles: 1,001 (commuter rail)
Rolling stock: 188 locomotives, average age 16 years; 1,098 rail cars, average age 20 years; 93 light-rail vehicles, average age 16 years
Locomotives on order: 17 ALP 45A dual powered locomotives; first vehicle to be delivered in December 2019; manufacturer is Bombardier
Ridership: commuter rail, 85.4 million; light rail, 23.7 million
Annual operating cost: $2.35 billion budget (systemwide)
Annual capital cost: $1.46 billion budget (systemwide)
Stations: 62 light rail, 165 commuter rail
Major capital improvement projects: Positive train control installation continues; Raritan River Bridge Replacement Project, to advertise this year; Long Slip Fill and Rail Enhancement Project, to advertise this year.

Port Authority Transit Corp.*

The Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO) is a rapid transit line from Center City Philadelphia to Lindenwold, New Jersey. PATCO is a subsidiary of the Delaware River Port Authority.
Service launched: 1969
Miles: 14.5
Rolling stock: 120 rail cars
Annual ridership: 10.8 million (2017)
Annual operating budget: $57.8 million (2018 budget)
Annual capital cost: $65.17 million (2018 budget)
Stations: 13
Major capital improvement projects underway: $194 million refurbishment of all 120 rail cars; $45 million Lindenwold Yard rehabilitation; $6 million project to improve Lindenwold, Woodcrest and Ferry Avenue stations; $31 million plan to make all stations fully accessible; $5.2 million Woodcrest Lot rehabilitation

* Information sources:,


MTA Long Island Rail Road

The MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR) is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, serving a modern record-high ridership of over 89 million trips per year.
Service launched: 1834
Miles: 320
Rolling stock: 45 locomotives, average age 20 years; 1,120 rail cars (includes diesel cars), average age 17 years
Cars/locomotives on order: M9 EMU base order, 92 units; expected delivery May 2019 to January 2020; manufacturer is Kawasaki
Annual ridership: 89.2 million
Annual operating cost: $1.5 billion
Annual capital cost: $600 million
Stations: 124
Major capital improvement projects:
• The double-track project, which will add a second track in a single-track territory between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma, is set for completion this year. Cost: $432 million.
• The LIRR Main Line expansion project, which will add a third track between Floral Park and Hicksville and eliminate seven grade crossings, broke ground this year. Expected completion: 2022. Cost: $2.1 billion. 3TC (Third Track Constructors) was awarded the project contract in December 2017.

MTA Metro-North Railroad

MTA Metro-North Railroad was created in 1983 when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority assumed control of Conrail’s suburban and commuter operations in the states of New York and Connecticut. Metro-North operates three main lines — the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven — each extending over 70 miles north and east from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and serving 111 stations. The 95-mile Port Jervis and 30-mile Pascack Valley lines west of the Hudson River extend north from New Jersey Transit’s terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey, connecting with service from Penn Station in New York City, Secaucus Transfer and serving 11 stations in New York.
Commuter-rail Service launched: 1983
Miles: 384
Rolling stock: 67 locomotives, average age 18 years; 1,159 rail cars, average age 15 years
Cars/locomotives on order: 60 EMU cars manufactured by Kawasaki; expected delivery in 2020
Annual ridership: 86.6 million
Annual operating cost: $1.6 billion
Annual capital cost: $2.46 billion (5-year program)
Stations: 124
Major capital improvement projects underway:
Metro-North has a $2.46 billion capital plan programmed from 2015 through 2019. This comprehensive program includes investments in safety, fleet, right of way, stations, communications, signals, power, yards and shops. The majority of the program is dedicated to achieving and maintaining a state of good repair for railroad assets. Major projects in this five-year period include positive train control, station rehabilitation/replacement, extensive customer service initiatives, bridge repair/replacements and replacement of structures at the Croton-Harmon fleet maintenance shop.

MTA New York City Transit*

The subway opened in 1904. It travels through underground tunnels and elevated structures in the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. On Staten Island, NYCT’s Staten Island Railway links 22 communities.
Miles: 665 mainline track
Rolling stock: 6,418 subway cars
Annual ridership: 1.727 billion (2017)
Annual operating expenses: N.A.
Annual capital expenses: N.A.
Stations: 472
Major capital improvement projects: In May, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) unveiled a 10-year, $40 billion “Fast Forward” plan to repair NYCT’s subway and bus systems. The plan calls for updating the subway signal and track infrastructure to improve performance. Within five years, the agency plans to install communications-based train control on five additional rai lines. Within the 10 years, the control system would be implemented on 11 more lines.

* Information sources:, MTA reports


Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority*

The agency provides public transit services to Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Services include heavy and light rail, bus, bus rapid transit and paratransit. Established on Dec. 30, 1974, as a successor to Cleveland Transit System, Shaker Heights Rapid Transit and a number of suburban bus systems.
Service launched: light rail, 1913; heavy rail, 1955.
Route Miles: Light rail, 15.3; heavy rail, 19
Rolling stock: 1 locomotive, age 36 years; 40 heavy-rail cars, average age 34 years; 34 light-rail cars, average age 37 years.
Annual ridership: light rail, 1.6 million; heavy rail, 6.3 million
Annual operating budget: $259.7 million (2018 budget)*
Annual capital cost: $30 million
Stations: 34 light rail, 18 heavy rail
Major capital improvement projects underway: Complete E. 34th Station ADA rehabilitation, $7 million; complete E.116th Station ADA rehabilitation, $5.6 million; complete Farnsleigh Station ADA rehabilitation, $1 million; complete demolition of WB CRMF access bridge over Norfolk Southern Railway, $600,000; complete design for Red Line fiber optic communication system replacement, $800,000; complete light-rail retaining wall rehabilitation, Phase 2, $2.1 million; complete Tower City Track 10/Track 13 rehabilitation with platform, catenary and signal work; complete construction of the Red Line West Park to airport track rehabilitation, $10 million; complete signal system evaluation, $400,000; complete replacement of the West 65th Substation, $2.5 million; complete replacement of Puritas and Warrensville/Van Aken substations, $5.5 million; begin construction of E. 79th Station ADA rehabilitation, $8 million.

* Information source:


Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon*

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) provides bus, light- and commuter-rail service in the Portland, Oregon, region.
Service launched: MAX light rail, 1986; WES commuter rail, 2009
Miles: 60 service miles, MAX light rail; 14.7 miles of track, WES commuter rail
Rolling stock: 145 light-rail vehicles; 3 commuter-rail trains
Annual ridership: 40 million trips on light rail (FY2017); 449,000 trips on commuter rail (FY2017)
Operating budget: $710 million for all transit services (FY2019)
Annual capital improvements: $274.2 million (FY2019)
Stations: 97 for light-rail, five for commuter-rail service
Major capital investments: The FY2019 budget provides funds for keeping the TriMet system in a state of good repair while also allowing for expansion to meet the region’s future needs. The budget does that by funding new light-rail vehicles, station and right-of-way maintenance, as well as the expansion and upgrade of TriMet facilities. In addition, TriMet will continue to renovate MAX Blue Line stations and support the development of the Division Transit (bus) and Southwest Corridor (light rail) projects.

*Information source:

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