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Railroads and Passenger Rail Services

Adirondack Scenic Railroad – This is a tourist railway located in the Adirondack Park. It operates over trackage that belonged to the former New York Central Railroad between Utica and Lake Placid. The Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society, a not-for profit entity, operates the railroad with train with crews composed largely of volunteers.

Al Andalus – This is a luxury train operating in the Andalusia region in southern Spain — from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the Atlantic Ocean — with stops in cities including Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda and Cadiz.

Amtrak – The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a partially government-funded American passenger railroad service. It is operated and managed as a for-profit corporation, and provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States. Founded in 1971, Amtrak is the government-sponsored consolidation of most of the preexisting passenger rail companies in the United States.

AVE – The AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) high-speed train connects Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Barcelona and more cities in Spain.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – This line operates in northern Georgia, following the former Marietta and North Georgia Railroad line along the Toccoa River north to McCaysville, Georgia and its twin city, Copperhill, Tennessee

Blue Train – This South African line runs for about 1,600 Km between Pretoria and Cape Town. It is one of the most luxurious train journeys in the world with butler service, two lounge cars (smoking and nonsmoking), an observation car and carriages with gold-tinted picture windows. Each passenger compartment is sound proofed and fully carpeted and features its own bathroom (many with a full-sized bathtub). Its operator, Belmond, promotes the service as a “magnificent moving five-star hotel.” They say kings and presidents have traveled on it.

Blue Water – This is a higher-speed passenger train service operated by Amtrak as part of its Michigan Services. The 319-mile line connects Port Huron and Chicago, via East Lansing.

British Pullman – Operated by Belmond, British Pullman is a sister luxury train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

California Zephyr – This is a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago and Emeryville, California (across the bay from San Francisco) via Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. At 2,438 miles, it is Amtrak’s second longest route. Amtrak claims the route as one of its most scenic, with views of the upper Colorado River valley in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

Capitol Corridor – This is a 168-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak in California. Although state-supported, it does not operate under the Amtrak California brand. Capitol Corridor runs from San Jose, Calif. to Sacramento, Calif., the state’s capitol. The line runs roughly parallel to Interstate 680 and Interstate 80. One train a day continues through the eastern Sacramento suburbs to Auburn, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority administers the service while employees of Bay Area Rapid Transit manage it. Capitol Corridor trains started in 1991.

Capitol Limited – This is one of two Amtrak trains connecting Washington to Chicago, running 764 miles via Pittsburgh and Cleveland (the other is the Cardinal via Cincinnati and Indianapolis). Service began in 1981. It took its name from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Capitol Limited, which ended in 1971 upon the formation of Amtrak. It carries the Amtrak train numbers 29 and 30. It took these numbers from the discontinued National Limited.

Cardinal – This is a thrice-weekly long distance passenger train operated by Amtrak between New York Penn Station and Chicago Union Station, with major intermediate stops at Philadelphia, Washington, Charlottesville, Charleston, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Trains depart New York on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and depart Chicago on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The 1,146-mile trip takes 26-1⁄2 hours.

Carl Sandburg – This is a 258-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. This train began operation Oct. 30, 2006. It is an addition to the existing Illinois Service rail network created in 1971 and partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, this train service uses the same triple track (old CB&Q) as three other Amtrak routes: the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief and the Illinois Zephyr. The Carl Sandburg and the Illinois Zephyr serve the Galesburg to Quincy route (old CB&Q Quincy/Hannibal main line via Macomb).

Cascades – This is a passenger train route in the Pacific Northwest, operated by Amtrak in partnership with the states of Washington and Oregon and the Canadian province of British Columbia. It takes its name from the Cascade mountain range that parallels the route. The corridor runs 156 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia south to Seattle, Washington. It continues 310 miles south via Portland, Oregon to Eugene, Oregon. Two daily trains travel to and from Vancouver, with Seattle or Portland as its starting or ending point; supplemental Thruway Motor coach service connects travelers from Vancouver to trains heading south from Seattle, as well as providing additional service between Portland and Eugene, and connections to other Amtrak Thruway destinations in Washington and Oregon. The second daily service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. started August 19, 2009. As of December 2011, four trains run daily between Seattle and Portland, with two of those providing service to Eugene.

City of New Orleans – This is the Amtrak passenger train which operates on an overnight schedule between Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana The train is a successor to the Illinois Central Railroad’s Panama Limited. The train gained its current name in 1981. Amtrak operated a daylight train with the same name over the same route in 1971. The Illini and Saluki provides additional corridor service between Chicago and Carbondale, Ill.

Coast Starlight – This is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on the West Coast of the United States. It runs 1,377 miles from King Street Station in Seattle, Wash. to Union Station in Los Angeles. The train took its name from merging two Southern Pacific Railroad train names, the Coast Daylight and the Starlight, two of Southern Pacific’s numerous coastline trains. Major stops include Portland and Eugene, Ore. and Sacramento, Emeryville (for San Francisco), Oakland, San Jose, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, Calif.

CountryLink – This was a an Australian passenger rail and road operator providing regional service in New South Wales to Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. It was owned by RailCorp, a Government of New South Wales entity. In 2013, Countrylink was merged with the regional services of Cityrail to form NSW Trainlink.

Crescent – This is a passenger train operated by Amtrak in the eastern part of the United States. It covers 1,377 miles daily between Pennsylvania Station in New York City and New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal. Most of the route of the Crescent is on the Norfolk Southern Railway. The Crescent passes through more states, including the District of Columbia, than any other Amtrak route.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad – This operates diesel-electric and steam-powered excursion trips from Rockside Station in Independence, Ohio through Canton, Ohio’s Lincoln Highway Station to Akron, Ohio’s Northside Station, all in the Cuyahoga Valley, primarily through the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Danube Express – This is a private train operating in central and Eastern Europe on various itineraries and routes from its home base in Budapest, Hungary. Excursions take the train through Hungary, Romania (including Transylvania), Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Its operating season is generally from April to October. The train is a hotel-on-wheels sleeping car train, usually composed of about eight cars (consisting of four deluxe sleeping cars with en suite facilities, one “classic” sleeping car and restaurant, lounge and staff cars.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – This is narrow gauge heritage railroad operates on 45.2 miles of track between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. The railway is a federally designated National Historic Landmark and the American Society of Civil Engineers has designated it as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Eastern & Oriental Express – This is a luxury train that carries passengers between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Since 2007, the train has also travels between Bangkok and Vientiane, Laos. The State Railway of Thailand and Keretapi Tanah Melayu are the operators of the train.

El Expreso de La Robla – This Spanish luxury train combines vintage rail journeys with modern comforts. There are three separate air-conditioned lounge areas with bar service. All communal areas have large windows for enjoying the views of the northern coast of Spain.

El Transcantabrio – This Spanish luxury train runs in Northern Spain. It offers six sleepers, each with four double compartments with ensuite facilities. It is operated by Ferrocarriles Españoles de Vía Estrecha (FEVE) or Narrow-Gauge Spanish Railways.

Empire Builder – This is a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. The route has two segments west of Spokane that serve two termini, Seattle and Portland. The end-to-end travel time of the route is 45 – 46 hours for an average speed of about 50 mph, though the train travels as fast as 79 mph over the majority of the route. It is Amtrak’s busiest long-distance route.

Essex Steam Train – This train and its companion riverboat are operated by The Valley Railroad. The train, a heritage railroad, is based in Connecticut and travels on tracks of the Connecticut Valley Railroad, founded in 1868. The Valley Railroad also operates the Essex Clipper Dinner Train.

Eurail – The company was launched in 1959 and is owned by a group of European rail carriers and shipping companies. It sells the Eurail pass, formerly known as “Europass” or “Eurorail pass.” This is a train pass that allows holders to travel in 28 European countries on nearly all European railroads and some shipping lines. A Eurail pass is available for non-Europeans, while European residents can travel with an Interrail pass. A pass will generally grant a passenger free transportation on an ordinary train (for example, EuroCity trains and Regional). Trains that require reservations are referred to as premier trains, these include: TGV, Thalys, Eurostar, Eurostar Italia and AVE. Swiss Scenic Trains and night trains with sleeping compartments require a supplement. Both fares covered by the pass and reservation fees vary greatly from country to country. Sleeper reservations fees depend on the accommodation selected and how far in advance they have been reserved.

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