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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2016

Part 1 : Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Preface

Part 2 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Amtrak and transit agencies in Arizona & California

Part 3 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Colorado, Florida, & Georgia

Part 4 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Illinois, New Jersey, & New York

Part 5 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Ohio and Pennsylvania

Part 6 : Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Texas & Washington

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Progressive Railroading’s Passenger Rail at a Glance 2016: Amtrak and transit agencies in Arizona & California




Amtrak is the U.S. intercity passenger railroad.

Service launched: 1971
Rolling stock: Amtrak-owned or leased, active equipment includes 20 Acela Express high-speed trainsets; 389 locomotives; two Cascades Service trainsets; more than 1,500 passenger cars, including Amfleet, Superliner, Viewliner, Auto Train vehicle carriers, baggage cars and other types. In 2016, Amtrak received its final Amtrak Cities sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotive to complete the order of 70 delivered by Siemens.
Annual ridership: 30.8 million (FY2015)
Annual operating expense: $650 million (requested for FY2017)
Annual capital expenditures: $920 million (requested for FY2017)
Stations: 500-plus

Major capital improvement projects underway or scheduled to begin within the year:
Amtrak is contracting with Alstom to produce 28 next-generation high-speed trainsets to replace the equipment used to provide Amtrak’s premium Acela Express service. The contract is part of a $2.45 billion investment in infrastructure upgrades on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor (NEC). The investment includes significant station improvements at Washington Union Station, Moynihan Station New York, as well as track capacity and ride quality improvements to the NEC that will benefit the Acela Express riders and other Amtrak and commuter passengers. Amtrak will also modify fleet maintenance facilities to accommodate the new trains. The prototype trainset is expected to be delivered in 2019 with the first trainset expected to enter revenue service in 2021.




Valley Metro is the regional public transportation agency providing coordinated, multimodal transit options to residents of greater Phoenix. With a core mission of advancing a network of transit services, Valley Metro plans, develops and operates the regional bus and light-rail systems and alternative transportation programs for commuters, seniors and people with disabilities.

Service launched: Light rail, 2008
Miles per mode: Light rail, 26
Rolling stock: Light-rail vehicles, 50; average age, 6.5 years
Annual ridership: Light rail, 14,276,884
Annual operating cost: $31,288,715
Annual capital cost: $27,925,004 (light rail)
Stations: 35
Major capital improvement projects underway include:
• Gilbert Road Extension, a 1.9-mile extension of light rail that will travel on Main Street east to Gilbert Road in downtown Mesa. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 2016. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is finalizing the project’s design. Stacy and Witbeck/Sundt is the project contractor. Capital cost for this project is $152.7 million, with completion scheduled for late 2018.
• 50th Street Station, a new light-rail station and platform that will be constructed along Valley Metro’s rail alignment on Washington and 50th streets in Phoenix. Cost for this project is $22.94 million. Groundbreaking is scheduled for spring 2017, with completion scheduled for 2019.




Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is a heavy-rail system serving the San Francisco Bay area.

Service began: 1972
Miles: 107 (track)
Rolling stock: BART has 669 revenue vehicles composed of 59 A2 cars, 389 B2 cars, 150 C1 cars and 80 C2 cars in its fleet. BART is replacing and expanding its existing fleet of 669 cars with the first of 775 new cars scheduled to start arriving this year. The agency is working on funding for 306 more cars to get to 1,081.
Annual ridership: 129 million trips (estimated FY2016)
Annual capital budget: $888.5 million (FY2017)
Annual operating expense: (subtotal) $691.5 million (FY2017)
Total stations: 45
Major capital projects: Construction is underway or expected to begin next year on the Concord Station and Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza modernization plans; Balboa Park Phase 2 Eastside project; East Contra Costa BART Extension; and the VTA/BART Silicon Valley Extension. Also, BART staff is developing conceptual engineering and a project-level Draft Environmental Impact Report for a proposed 4.8-mile BART extension along Interstate-580 from the existing Dublin/Pleasanton Station to a new station near the Isabel Avenue interchange.

*Information source:



Caltrain is a commuter-rail system that provides service between San Francisco and Gilroy, Calif. It operates 92 weekday trains, 36 Saturday trains, and 32 Sunday trains. Caltrain is governed by the Peninsula Joint Powers Board.

Service launched: 1992
Route miles: 77
Rolling stock: 29 locomotives, average age 26 years; 134 passenger-rail cars, average age 24.
Annual ridership: 19.2 million passengers (FY2016)
Annual operating budget: $146.4 million (FY2017)
Annual capital budget: $250.9 million (FY2017)
Number of stations: 32, including 29 regular stations, two weekend-only stations and one special events station.
Major projects underway include:
• San Mateo 25th Avenue grade separation: The project will raise the elevation of the tracks for a portion of the tracks in San Mateo, eliminate an at-grade crossing at 25th Avenue, and create two new grade separated crossings at 31st and 28th avenues. The existing station at Hillsdale Boulevard will also be relocated. The city of San Mateo and Caltrain are doing the work. The project cost is $180 million, funded by city, county sales tax, state and high-speed rail contributions. Project designer is HDR Inc. Design completion is expected by 2016’s end, with award of the construction contract and start of construction forecast to begin in mid-2017. Completion is slated for 2020. Vali Cooper & Associates is the construction manager.
• South San Francisco Station improvements: Realign tracks, relocate and construct a new center board platform, and construct a pedestrian underpass in the city of South San Francisco. A new pedestrian underpass will be built to allow safe access to the station. Project cost is $55 million, with most funding coming from local and county sources. HNTB began the design, and it is now being updated by Railway Surveyors & Engineers Inc. to reflect recent changes in regulations and area land developments. Design completion is expected by 2016’s end and construction is slated to begin by mid-2017. Completion: 2019.



The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) serves as the principal transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for Los Angeles County, where more than 9.6 million people live and work in its 1,433-mile service area.

Service launched: Light rail, 1990; heavy rail, 1993
Route miles: Light rail, 86 miles; heavy rail, 16 miles
Rolling stock: 104 heavy-rail vehicles, average age 18.7 years; 203 light-rail vehicles, average age 13.1 years; 46 light-rail vehicles under construction or in delivery, with options for 157 additional light-rail vehicles. Expected delivery is ongoing. Manufacturer is Kinkisharyo.
Annual ridership: light rail, 62,775,098; heavy rail, 47,506,711
Annual operations cost: $201,778,160 for light rail; $88,018,931 for heavy rail.
Annual capital cost: $147,715,000, light and heavy rail combined
Stations: 77 light rail, 16 heavy rail

Major projects underway:
• Crenshaw/LAX Line, a Light-rail line between the Expo Line at Exposition/Crenshaw Station and the Green Line at Aviation/LAX Station; 8.5 miles; eight stations and a maintenance facility. Underground, street-run, private-right-of-way, aerial. Project cost: $2 billion. Contractors: Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors and Hensel Phelps/Herzog. Under construction, with revenue service scheduled for 2019.
• Regional Connector, a light-rail line between the Blue and Expo lines at 7th Street/Metro Center and Gold Line at First and Alameda; 1.9-miles; three stations. Underground. When completed, the Gold, Blue and Expo lines will be reconfigured into two operating lines, with one operating from Long Beach to Azusa and the other operating from Santa Monica to East Los Angeles. Project cost: $1.5 billion. Contractors: Skanska-Traylor Regional Connector Constructors Joint Venture. Under construction, with revenue service scheduled for 2020.
• Westside Purple Line Extension, a heavy-rail line between Wilshire/Western Station and the VA Hospital Station in West Los Angeles; 9 miles; seven stations. Underground. The project is being built in three phases, with the first phase consisting of 3.9 miles to Wilshire/La Cienega. Cost: $3.15 billion (Phase I). Contractors: Skanska, Traylor Brothers Inc. and J.F. Shea Construction Joint Venutre (Phase I). Under construction, with Phase I revenue service scheduled for 2024.
• Light-rail vehicles, a base order for 78 Kinkisharyo light-rail vehicles, with 32 in revenue service and 46 under construction or in the delivery/acceptance process. Additional options have been approved for 157 vehicles following the base order. Cost: $890 million.

Projects yet to be let:
• Westside Purple Line Segment 2, which involves La Cienega Station to Century City Station.
• Emergency Operations Center/Security Operations Center, now in preliminary engineering. Procurement for design-build to begin in 2017.
• L.A. County Traffic Improvement Plan, also known as “Measure M,” a half-cent sales tax for transit projects, on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. If the measure passes, a large number of rail projects in the county will be funded or accelerated. Those projects and their timelines include: Westside Purple Line Segment 3, FY24; Gold Line Foothill Extension to Claremont/Montclair, FY25; Sepulveda Pass Line Phase I, FY26; East San Fernando Valley Line, FY27; West Santa Ana Branch Phase I Light-Rail Line, FY28; Green and Crenshaw Line Extension (South Bay Light Rail), FY30; Sepulveda Pass Line Phase 2, FY33; Gold Line Eastside Extension (South El Monte or Whittier Corridor TBD), FY35; West Santa Ana Branch Phase 2, FY41; Crenshaw Line Northern Extension FY47; Green Line Eastern Extension FY52; Sepulveda Pass Line Phase 3 (Expo to LAX/96th Street Station), FY53; Orange Line Conversion to Light-Rail Transit, FY57; Gold Line Eastside Extension (South El Monte or Whittier Corridor TBD), FY57.



The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) plans, designs, builds, operates, regulates and maintains one of the most diverse transportation networks in the world. The agency directly oversees five transit modes — bus, trolley bus, light rail, historic streetcar and cable car — in addition to overseeing paratransit service.

Service launched: Light rail, 1974.
Miles per mode: Light rail, 71.5
Rolling stock: 151 light-rail vehicles, average age 15; 215 cars/locomotives on order for delivery this year through 2027.
Annual ridership: 49 million
Annual operating budget: $940 million (Adopted FY2016)
Annual capital projects: $23.2 million (Adopted FY2016)
Stations: 10

Major capital improvement projects underway:
• Central subway, $1.65 billion. The project will construct a modern, efficient light-rail line that will improve public transportation in San Francisco. This new 1.7-mile extension of Muni’s T Third Line will provide direct connections to major retail, sporting and cultural venues, while efficiently transporting people to jobs, education and other amenities. The Central Subway is designed to improve transit options for residents of one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the nation, provide a rapid transit link to a burgeoning technology and digital media hub, and improve access to the commercial district and tourist attractions. Stops will be in South of Market (SoMa), Yerba Buena, Union Square and Chinatown.

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