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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: District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia and Illinois



Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority*

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency (WMATA) was created in 1967 for the purpose of creating and operating a public transit system serving the District of Columbia and areas in Virginia and Maryland. WMATA operates Metrorail.
Miles: 118
Rolling stock: 1,200 rail cars
Cars/locomotives on order: 748 rail cars (7000 series), of which 548 have been delivered
Ridership: 44.9 million (Metrorail, Q1 FY2018)
Operating budget: $1.9 billion (FY2019 budget)
Capital budget: $1.3 billion (FY2019 budget)
Stations: 91
Major active capital projects: Several major capital projects are underway, including the 7000 series rail-car acquisition; construction of the Andrews Federal Center Bus Maintenance and Storage facilities; the Radio and Wireless Infrastructure project, which will facilitate wireless communication in the underground segments of the rail system and upgrade radio communications systemwide; and construction of Silver Line Phase 2 to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County, for which WMATA is providing technical support.

* Information sources:, WMATA FY2019 budget



SunRail is a commuter-rail service that operates through Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties in Florida.
Service launched: Commuter rail launched on 32 miles in May 2014 and expanded to 49 miles on July 30.
Route Miles: 49
Rolling stock: 11 locomotives, 10 rebuilt in 2013 and one delivered in 2018; 20 rail cars, average age 5 years; two coaches on order with expected delivery in 2019
Annual ridership: 831,640 (FY2018)
Operating and capital maintenance costs: $33,104,992 (FY2018)
Stations: 16, including four that opened July 30.
Major capital improvement projects underway: N.A.


Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority*

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the principal rapid-transit system in the Atlanta area. It provides rail and bus service to 1.7 million residents of metro Atlanta.

Service launched: Heavy rail, 1979
Track Miles: 47.6 miles of operational double track
Rolling stock: 338 rail cars
Annual ridership: 206,100 average weekday on heavy rail; 8,000 average weekday on light-rail/streetcar**
Net operating expenses: $496 million, FY2019
Capital budget: $485 million, FY2019
Stations: 38
Major capital improvement projects underway: More MARTA Atlanta is the largest transit investment in four decades — $2.5 billion over the next
40 years. Funded by the half-penny sales tax overwhelmingly passed in 2016 by Atlanta voters, the program includes improvements to existing service and investment in a variety of transit projects and system-wide enhancements. (Source: More Marta Fact Sheet 2018)

Information sources: *; **APTA Transit Ridership Report, Q1 2018


Chicago Transit Authority*

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the second largest public transportation system in the United States. The CTA is a regional transit system that serves Chicago and 35 suburbs.
Service launched: 1947
Miles of track: 224
Rolling stock: 1,492 rail cars
Ridership: 230.2 million rail rides (2017)
Operating budget: $1.5 billion (2018)
Capital budget: $2.7 billion (five-year capital budget for 2018-2022)
Stations: 145
Major capital improvement projects underway: Among the capital projects to begin or continue in 2018 are 95th Street Terminal reconstruction (Red Line); Red and Purple Line Modernization Program, including rebuilding four Red Line stations, and track and signal systems, and constructing a rail bypass; selecting a final alignment for a proposed Red Line Extension from 95th Street to 130th Street and perform additional project engineering work; Your New Blue program to upgrade the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line; Ravenswood Corridor signal improvements to benefit Brown, Purple Express between Armitage and the Merchandise Mart stations; upgrades and accessibility improvements to Quincy Loop ‘L’ station and Illinois Medical District Blue Line stations; Belmont Blue Gateway project, which includes architecturally enhancing the street-level entrance to the Belmont subway station, and improving the bus arrival/departure areas; Garfield Green Gateway project, which includes station and streetscape improvements; overhaul of 3200-series rail cars currently on Orange, Brown lines; and overhaul of more than 200 articulated buses that serve some of the city’s busiest routes.

* Information source: CTA website


Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter-rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 242 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates nearly 700 trains and provides nearly 290,000 passenger trips each weekday.
Service launched: 1984
Route Miles: 487.5
Rolling stock: 150 locomotives, average age 30.7 years; 661 trailer cars and 187 cab cars, average age 29.8 years; 186 electric propelled cars, average age 5 years
Cars/locomotives on order: Reissued RFP; no contract at this time
Ridership: 78.6 million passenger trips (2017)*
Annual operating budget: $797.2 million (2018)
Annual capital budget: $196.8 million (2018)
Stations: 242
Major capital improvement projects underway:
Locomotive rehabilitation program partially in-house and partly contracted out to Progress Rail, Patterson, Georgia; $20 million allocated in 2019
Rail-car rehabilitation program in house; $11 million allocated in 2019. New gallery cars and locomotives; both projects are in the RFP process with $10 million allocated for 2019. PTC installation of $18.8 million allocated in 2019; multiple contractors and in-house forces will be used. Continuation of ongoing project to build new bridge over the Fox River on the Milwaukee District West Line and the replacement of multiple bridges in Chicago on the Union Pacific North Line with $26 million allocated to multiple contractors in 2019. Expansion and improvements to rail-car rehab facility in the Rock Island Yard, an ongoing project with $10 million allocated in 2019.

* Information source: Metra’s “Ridership Trends Annual Report 2017”

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