PSUL

Passenger Train Services over Unusual Lines

listing regular passenger trains over obscure rail routes


Compiled by Richard Maund

This page was updated on 15 August 2017 - any recent amendment shown in red.


Europe

For Europe other than the British Isles see the Enthusiast's Guide to Travelling the Railways of Europe; refer in particular to the "Lines with obscure or sparse passenger services" sections.

For the British Isles see the main PSUL pages.

The World beyond Europe

It is not the intention to pretend that the same degree of coverage can be provided for the rest of the world - in some countries the "normal" services are obscure and difficult enough to track down! The first place to start is the website of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. For some countries, the Fahrplancenter site provides timetable information. There are railway systems with well known "normal" passenger services which also have passenger services of a regular nature over "obscure" sections of line which may not be obvious from their passenger timetables; such services need not necessarily be frequent - a service operating regularly on even one or two dates a year would qualify for inclusion below. Where tourist operations are mentioned below, it is their "obscure" operations - rather than their better known core operation - which are recorded. As "obscure" services come to light, this is where they can be recorded...

Links open in a new window.

The details given are current at the report date given - subsequent updating and reports of other potential candidates for this section (with as full detail as possible) will be greatly welcomed by the compiler.

To receive automatic advice as pages are up-dated, use a web monitoring program, such as Follow That Page or WatchThatPage.


There is no pay-wall for this facility - but if you use it, and find it helpful, you are urged to donate generously to a railway related charity: we suggest RBF - The Railway Benefit Fund is worthy of your consideration for donations - or a charity of your choice.


AUSTRALIA

An excellent portfolio of public transport schematic plans for the whole of Australia is available at the Australian Rail Maps website. This identifies routes with regular, but limited, advertised services (and provides links to timetable information). Therefore, such lines will not be repeated below. Train Times provides an alternative source of data - based on working/employee timetables - which is therefore helpful in identifying trains over some of the routes below.

New South Wales

North Strathfield Junction – Flemington NSW1
Each year the Sydney Royal Easter Show is held at Olympic Park and CityRail has operated excursions from the Central Coast & Newcastle line on some Show days, over this ca.2 km link (the North Strathfield Goods Line). 2016 services: Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 0659 and 0756 Hamilton - Olympic Park; 0845 Wyong - Olympic Park (no return services). Report updated: March 2016

Orange avoiding line NSW2
Indian Pacific trains serve a short platform on the avoiding line and do not serve Orange station. The weekly Countrylink train between Sydney and Broken Hill runs into Orange station and reverses both there and at Orange East Fork Junction (or vice versa on the return from Broken Hill), thus using the Orange Fork East Jn - Orange Fork West Jn curve, not the Orange station - Orange West Fork Jn curve (which has no regular passenger use); this is so that the train formation is not reversed at Orange. Report updated: October 2007

Cootamundra – Bethungra NSW3
The two tracks used by the Sydney - Melbourne and Sydney - Griffith trains are separated with the longer northbound track taking the Frampton deviation and the Bethungra spiral. Reported: January 2008

Unanderra – Moss Vale NSW4
Under the name The Cockatoo Run, 3801 Limited operate excursion trains between Sydney Central and Moss Vale over this 61.44 km line as advertised, Wed, Thu and Sun. Prior to arrival at Moss Vale, the loaded outward train is turned on the Moss Vale north fork (triangle). The line itself (but not the north fork) is also used for diversions when engineering work blocks the Main South line between Glenfield and Moss Vale.
All 3801 Ltd excursions have been suspended from April 2017 until further notice. Report updated: August 2017

Picton – Thirlmere NSW5
Under the name Thirlemere Flyer, New South Wales Rail Transport Museum operate excursion trains during the season between Sydney Central and their museum site at Thirlmere over this 7.1 km line as advertised. They also operate local excursions over this section at some special events, such as their Festival of Steam. Reported: January 2011

Sydney Central – Redfern – Erskineville Junction NSW6
Trains use these distinct routes:

  • Central terminal platforms 1 to 15 and Redfern 1/2: Illawarra Diveunder and Illawarra Lines
  • Central platforms up to 23 and Redfern 5/6/7/8: Illawarra Local Lines (main route for City Circle trains)
  • Central platforms 16 to 23 and Redfern 9/10: Illawarra Lines (little used inbound - no outbound trains)
  • Central platforms 24/25 and Redfern 11/12: Illawarra Relief Lines (Bondi Junction route trains).
    Reported: December 2011

    Cootamundra – Stockinbingal – Goobang Junction (Parkes) – Narromine – Dubbo – Binnaway – Gap (Werris Creek) NSW7
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Farley (Lochinvar) – Telarah via Triangle Loop NSW8
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Flemington – Flemington North Junction [ – Olympic Park] NSW9
    This 2.65 km section of the former Homebush Bay branch provides a route direct to Olympic Park from the east. There is no regular service (all regular services at Olympic Park are shuttles from/to Lidcombe) but trains run for special events (such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show during which frequent direct services run between Sydney Central and Olympic Park, plus those on route NSW1). During engineering work west of Flemington, train services may run between Sydney Central and Olympic Park, for connections with rail replacement bus services at Olympic Park station. Report updated: March 2016

    Goobang Junction (Parkes) - Stockinbingal - Cootamundra North Junction NSW10
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular route between Parkes and Sydney via the Blue Mountains, GSR's Indian Pacific trains may be diverted via this 199.5 km line and the Main South line, and intermediate stops at Parkes and east thereof omitted. Such diversion applied in November 2014; information may appear on GSR's news webpage. Report updated: November 2014

    Griffith - Stockinbingal - Cootamundra NSW11
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular route between Griffith and Cootamundra, NSW TrainLink's once weekly service may be diverted via this 211km line, and intermediate stops such as Narrandera omitted. Such diversion applied in 2013; information may appear on their Service alerts webpage. Reported: July 2014

    Sefton Park North Junction - Sefton Park South Junction NSW12
    This 0.65km North Fork section of the Main South line between Regents Park and Sefton stations carries a limited service, Mondays to Fridays only (at January 2017):
    9-E 0733 Museum - Liverpool
    69-G 1458 Liverpool - Museum
    31-J 1528 Liverpool - Museum
    Reported: January 2017

    Queensland

    [Brisbane] Mayne or Bowen Hills – Exhibition – Roma Street station or Roma Street south junction QLD1
    The Exhibition (or Normanby) line has triangular junctions at both ends.
    Various Traveltrain (country) services to and from the north use the Exhibition line between Roma Street and Mayne, where the route is shown as "Normanby" in the Train Times website -> Queensland Traveltrain Coastal. All other trains to or from the north use the normal passenger route between Roma Street and Mayne via Central.
    The twice-weekly Traveltrain (country) Westlander services (Brisbane to/from Charleville) use the Exhibition line between Bowen Hills and Roma Street south junction.
    The Exhibition line and Exhibition station are used for special services in conjunction with the Royal Queensland Show (known as Ekka), held at the RNA Showgrounds early each August and other events as locally advertised; the basic service is usually an anti-clockwise circuit, twice hourly, calling Roma Street, Central, Exhibition, Roma Street.
    See also QLD3. Report updated: August 2014

    Yeerongpilly – Tennyson – Corinda QLD2
    This link line between the Gold Coast and Ipswich lines is used when major engineering works blocks either the section between Roma Street and Yeerongpilly or that between Roma Street and Corinda to enable trains to maintain a through service by using the alternative route south of Roma Street. See also QLD3. Report updated: September 2011

    Brisbane Steam Train Sunday QLD3
    Workshops Rail Museum operates steam-hauled excursion trains in the Brisbane area on the first Sunday of each month (except January and February) under the title "Steam Train Sunday". These normally comprise a service of two trains on each day of operation, both running on the same circular route: Brisbane Roma Street - South Brisbane - Yeerongpilly - Tennyson - Corinda north curve - Indooroopilly - Roma Street south junction - Exhibition - Bowen Hills - Central - Roma Street. When engineering blocks this route, the route instead is: Brisbane Roma Street - Central - Eagle Junction - Doomben - Pinkenba balloon loop - Doomben - Eagle Junction - Mayne - Exhibition - Roma Street. The routing is not known until about a month before operation. Note: these excursions book heavily in advance and casual bookings may not be available on the day. Report updated: February 2012

    Rocklands triangle QLD4
    The Central Line diverges from the North Coast Line some 10km south of Rockhampton, at Rocklands triangular junction of which the North Coast Line forms one leg. To maintain the forward- facing formation, the Spirit of the Outback [Brisbane to/from Longreach] train runs head-on into Rockhampton station, performs its station work and changes train locos. A shunt loco is attached rear and the train drawn back to the apex of Rocklands triangle by which it entered, the shunt loco removed and the train reverses again. Thus, the Longreach-bound Spirit covers the north- south (North Coast Line) and south-west legs of the triangle, while the Brisbane-bound train covers the north-west and south-west legs. Report updated: August 2014

    Toowoomba triangle QLD5
    Toowoomba station is at the south apex of a triangle where the Main (from Brisbane), Southern and Western Lines converge. To maintain the forward-facing formation, The Westlander [Brisbane to/from Charleville] train runs head-on into Toowoomba station. Having performed its station work, it propels back to the apex of the triangle by which it entered and reverses. Thus, the Charleville-bound Westlander covers the east-station and east-west (avoiding line) legs of the triangle, while the Brisbane- bound train covers the west-station and east-west (avoiding line) legs. Report updated: August 2014

    Toowoomba – Clifton – Hendon – Warwick – Stanthorpe – Wallangarra QLD6
    The 196 km south of Toowoomba are without regular passenger service, while the 103 km south of Warwick have no regular freight traffic either.
    The Australian Railway Historical Society's Queensland Division (trading as Sunshine Express Rail Tours) occasionally operate weekend tours from Brisbane to Wallangarra as advertised.
    The Southern Downs Steam Railway operate excursions from Warwick to Clifton, Hendon, Stanthorpe or Wallangarra as advertised. Report updated: May 2014

    Yarongmulu – Laidley QLD7
    The two tracks used by the Brisbane - Charleville Westlander trains are significantly separated over much of this 5.3 km section. Report updated: August 2014

    Croydon turning triangle QLD8
    The weekly in-bound Gulflander train on Wednesdays turns on the triangle immediately after arrival. Reported: November 2010

    Forsayth turning triangle QLD9
    The weekly in-bound Savannahlander train on Thursdays turns on the triangle immediately after arrival. Reported: November 2010

    Ipswich (Workshops branch junction) – Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum QLD10
    This 1.5km branch provides access to the Workshops Rail Museum. Used by Grandchester Express and Christmas Express excursions from The Workshops Rail Museum as advertised. Report updated: February 2017

    Victoria

    Newport, Altona Junction – Laverton Junction VIC1
    Suburban trains booked to call intermediately between Newport and Laverton use the single track Altona link line via Westona, but trains not booked to call intermediately use the double track main line via Paisley (closed station). Reported: January 2001

    Newmarket – Showgrounds – Flemington Racecourse VIC2
    This 2.25km branch is used by special services between Melbourne Southern Cross and Flemington Racecourse for race meetings and other events. For dates of forthcoming events see Flemington Racecourse wesbite. Services for race meetings normally run from/to Southern Cross (calling at North Melbourne when advertised); details from the Metlink web site or MetroTrains extra services web page a few days before the event. From inbound trains, it may not be possible to exit the station without paying an event admission fee (although an immediate return by an advertised train should be practicable). However, by walking from 57 tram route at the Epsom Road/Union Road stop (ca. 20 mins via Langs Road and Leonard Crescent to The Hill Gate entrance) passengers should be able to access afternoon return trains without incurring such fee. The branch is also used - as advertised - for events at Showgrounds (but these trains do not cover the final 0.8km of the branch). These services may also use the Broadmeadows Suburban Lines (see VIC3) between Southern Cross station and Kensington.
    When major engineering work calls for bus substitution in the Melbourne outer western suburbs such replacement services may use Flemington as their inner terminal, with linking rail service over this branch - see the PTV service alterations website. Report updated: February 2016

    North Melbourne – Kensington (via Broadmeadows Suburban Lines flyover) VIC3
    This 1.8km route is an alternative to the normal (East Suburban Lines route), is only accessible from platforms 13/14 at Southern Cross station and 5/6 at North Melbourne. This usage can be found in V/Line Passenger Schedules - North Eastern Region pages for their trains. Routing denoted by column note BS at North Melbourne (Down) / Kensington (Up).
    It may also be used by trains in VIC2. Report updated: February 2016

    Melbourne : Flinders Street – Southern Cross via Through Suburban Lines viaduct VIC4
    Following a noticeably different alignment - swinging closer to the Yarra River than the four track City Loop viaduct - is a two-track viaduct, carrying the Through Suburban & Goods Lines. Apart from freight and empty stock, these tracks are used only by V/Line country services between Southern Cross station and Bairnsdale - and those Melbourne suburban services (to/from the higher numbered platforms at Flinders Street and Southern Cross) for the lines via Footscray when these are advertised via Southern Cross instead of via the City Loop during peak hours; sometimes these are Sandringham services working through. Report updated: January 2006

    Bungaree loop VIC5
    Between Ballan and Ballarat an extended passing loop exists at Bungaree, of which the two bi-directional tracks take quite separate routes; the newer south track is 4.8km shorter than the original north track. The route scheduled to be taken by each train - north or south track - is shown in V/Line Passenger Schedules - Western Region pages (routing denoted by column note N or S, respectively). Report updated: February 2010

    Newport Workshops – Newport VIC6
    Both Vintage Rail Travel (707 Operations Inc.) and Diesel Electric Rail Motor Preservation Association of Victoria use the 0.6km branch to the Newport Workshops as the origin and return destination of railtours when so advertised. They use separate platforms adjacent to their storage areas (Workshops Garden Platform and Ironbark Gully, respectively).
    Report updated: June 2015

    Brooklyn – Sunshine VIC7
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Western Australia

    Whiteman Park : Mussel Pool – Mussel Pool Tram Workshop WA1
    Beyond the public running section of the Whiteman Park Heritage Tramway in Whiteman Park, WA the track extends a couple of hundred metres to the workshop and depot ("car barn"). On the fourth Sunday of the month during Autumn [March, April, May] and Spring [September, October, November] conducted tours of the workshop are available, leaving Whiteman Village by tram between 1100 and 1530. See Perth Electric Tramway Society website => Carbarn Tours. Report updated: September 2016

    CANADA

    Alberta

    See BC7 and BC8 under British Columbia

    British Columbia

    Coho (CN) / Nepa (CP) (near Basque) – Page (near Matsqui) BC1
    Over this section, eastbound passenger trains use CP's Mission, Cascade and Thompson subdivisions (155.1 miles) while westbound trains use the CN's Ashcroft and Yale subdivisions (156.2 miles). This applies equally to VIA and Rocky Mountaineer trains. Report updated: May 2006

    Lovell – Minaret BC2
    The outer 76.3 miles of CN's Takla Subdivision is used by a 5-7 days a week round trip by UTV (utility transport vehicle) from Lovell, for the use of First Nation residents of Bear Lake and loggers at Minaret. See well illustrated article at Steven Brown's website (but note that Northwood Inc.'s logging activities have since been acquired by the Canfor Corporation, the main operating company of which is Canadian Forest Products Ltd). An illustrated record of a speeder group's 2005 trip to Minaret is at their website. Reported: September 1999

    D’Arcy – Seton Portage – Lillooet BC3
    The Kaoham Shuttle operates a daily round trip between Seton Portage and Lillooet, with extensions if required (by advance booking only) between D'Arcy and Seton Portage. D'Arcy - Lillooet is 56km. This route is also traversed by Rocky Mountaineer trains between Jasper, AB and Whistler, BC (see BC8). Report updatded: July 2010

    Vancouver BC4
    VIA train 1 inbound from Toronto uses the wye (CN Junction - CN Main Yard - Burrard Inlet Junction [- Vancouver Pacific Central station]) to turn train prior to arrival at Vancouver; VIA train 2 outbound runs direct [Vancouver Pacific Central station -] Burrard Inlet Junction - CN Junction. Rocky Mountaineer train 103 inbound from Jasper/Banff runs direct CN Junction - CN Main Yard west end, then setting back into their Cottrell Street station; loaded Rocky Mountaineer train 104 outbound for Jasper/Banff draws forward from their Cottrell Street station to CN Main Yard west end, then uses the wye (CN Main Yard - Burrard Inlet Junction - CN Junction) to turn the train and depart. Report updated: May 2006.

    Charles – Tete Jaune – Redpass BC5
    Trains usually work anti-clockwise - see sketch of the area. For example, eastbound VIA train 2 and Rocky Mountaineer train 104 from Vancouver use CN's Albreda subdivision (27.9 miles) while their westbound equivalents use CN's Robson subdivision (29.8 miles). Similarly for VIA and RM trains between Jasper and the Prince George line, although the 20.2 mile section of the Robson subdivision between Taverna and Redpass may be used in both directions by such trains. Report updated: July 2010

    Kamloops BC6
    VIA trains use the CN main line through Kamloops North (formerly Kamloops Junction) - in effect, the north-west arm of the wye there. Rocky Mountaineer trains use the following routes: Vancouver <=> Kamloops: CN main line, south-west leg of wye at Kamloops North and branch to Kamloops CN Lorne St station; Jasper <=> Kamloops: CN main line, north-south leg of wye at Kamloops North and branch to Kamloops CN Lorne St station; Banff <=> Kamloops: CP main line to CP/CN Junction and branch to Kamloops CN Lorne St station.
    Kamloops Heritage Railway uses Kamloops CN Lorne St station and the branch to Kamloops North for its Spirit of Kamloops trips. Note that there is no regular passenger service on the CP main line between Kamloops CP/CN Junction and Nepa (near Basque) . Report updated: September 2015

    Rocky Mountaineer BC8
    These inclusive tour trains cover on a regular, seasonal basis the following lines (also into Alberta) not used by other passenger service: Kamloops, West Junction (CN) and Kamloops North (a.k.a. Junction or VIA) station - Kamloops Lorne Street (CN) station - Kamloops CN/CP Junction - Connaught tunnel - Banff, AB; Prince George, CN/ex-BCR junction - Lillooet; D'Arcy - North Vancouver. On the Kamloops - Banff route, the following sections of line observe directional running, with eastbound and westbound routes following noticeably separate alignments: in British Columbia: Notch Hill - Tappen (Shuswap) (8.9 miles); Tum Tum - Begbie (4.6 miles); in Alberta: Divide - Lake Louise (5.3 miles). Pasenger trains generally (but not invariably) follow the directional running (except that trains calling at Lake Louise in either direction have to use the eastbound track). Although Ross Peak - Fraine is also "directional", passenger trains in both directions normally use the Connaught Tunnel, not the longer Mount MacDonald Tunnel. Report updated: November 2014

    Manitoba

    Thompson MB1
    VIA trains 690 to 693 between Winnipeg or The Pas and Churchill use the wye to turn train at Thompson - southbound trains between arrival and departure (with through passengers aboard), northbound trains after departure. Thompson is at the end of a 30.5 mile branch. Report updated: November 2016

    Thompson Junction MB2
    VIA trains 690 to 693 between Winnipeg or The Pas and Churchill use the north and south legs of the wye to reach Thompson and so do not use the north-south main leg. Report updated: November 2016

    Churchill MB3
    VIA trains from the south use the wye before arrival in Churchill. All services are suspended between Gillam and Churchill on account of flood damage until further notice (reopening of line not expected before winter 2017/8). Report updated: June 2017

    The Pas, Flin Flon Junction - Pukatawagan MB4
    This 251 km section of the Lynn Lake line continues to appear on VIA's network map but not in their timetable. Passenger service is now operated by Keewatin Railway Co., on a twice weekly schedule. There is no overnight accommodation at Pukatawagan. Reported: August 2016

    New Brunswick

    McAdam – St.Stephen NB1
    Each autumn (fall) in recent years a fund raising trip has been run for UNICEF over this 33.9 mile former Canadian Pacific line at the end of September (2015 date: Friday 25 September). Details from the McAdam Village Office (tel 1-506-784-2293 or by email). Reported: September 2015

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    See QC6 under Québec

    Ontario

    Hearst : wye at junction between former Algoma Central and Ontario Northland lines ON1
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    London Junction, wye ON2
    Entry deleted - no longer used in passenger service

    Niagara Falls : wye at Clifton ON3
    Entry deleted - no longer used in passenger service

    [Toronto] Snider – Doncaster ON4
    VIA train 1 outbound to Vancouver uses this 5.2 mile section of the York Subdivision - also the north - west links at the junctions at both Snider and Doncaster - whereas the inbound train 2 runs direct between Doncaster and Toronto Union station via the Bala Subdivision.
    (Notes: This routing is to turn the train which cannot readily be turned elsewhere in the Toronto area during its overnight layover. The section of train 1's route between Toronto Union station and Snider (north junction) is not included here as it is also traversed by GO Transit commuter trains). Report updated: July 2014

    Boyne/Reynolds (near Parry Sound) – Wanup (near Sudbury) ON5
    Over this section, eastbound VIA passenger trains use CN's Bala subdivision (101.4 miles) while westbound VIA trains use CP's Parry Sound subdivision (92.6 miles). Reported: January 2006

    Toronto trams (streetcars) ON6
    The following TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) tram routes, or sections thereof, operate limited service:

  • 502: runs SSuX; McCaul Street and loop, and the Kingston Road section, are served only by this route
  • 503: runs SSuX peak hours; the section along Church Street, Wellington Street and York Street is served only by this route (and only in the clockwise or westbound direction) (temporarily replaced by buses from 11 October 2016 until further notice)
  • 506: Coxwell Avenue between Queen Street and Gerrard Street when going into or out of service
  • Although the 506 item is trams on their unadvertised way to or from depot, they are in service and can be used by passengers.
    Various sections of route have no regular service but are used as diversionary routes (lines coloured black on network plan); planned diversions are shown on TTC Route Diversions web page. Report updated: November 2016

    Port Stanley - St. Thomas ON7
    On Saturdays in July and August, as advertised, so-called Complete Line Tours of this tourist line - the former London and Port Stanley Railway - are operated as far as the St. Thomas southern city limits at Parkside. Occasionally (as on 24 June 2017) trains are extended through to St.Thomas Talbot Street. Report updated: May 2017

    Sault Ste.Marie - Steelton Yard ON9
    Entry deleted - used by all remaining passenger trains

    Georgetown (Silver) - Burlington Junction ON10
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular route between Toronto and Aldershot, some VIA trains may be diverted via this 25.4 mile Canadian National line, and the intermediate stop at Oakville omitted. Such diversions applied in November 2013 and 2015 but are unlikely to apply often. GO Transit services between Toronto and Aldershot or beyond are more likely to be replaced by bus but check their website. Report updated: October 2015

    Snider - Halwest ON11
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular route between Toronto and Brampton, some VIA trains may be diverted via this 11.1 mile Canadian National line, and the intermediate stop at Malton omitted. Such diversions applied during 2014 but are unlikely to apply often thereafter. The section of route between Toronto Union station and Snider is not included here as it is also traversed by GO Transit commuter trains. The diversions use the connecting track in the southwest quadrant at Snider (i.e. not the same connection as used by train 1 under ON4 above). Reported: July 2014

    Hamilton ON12
    The GO Transit operation between Aldershot and Hamilton is not particularly "obscure", with six round trips during Mon to Fri peak hours, but may easily be overlooked - particularly as two separate terminii are used in Hamilton, on routes diverging at Hamilton Junction:

  • West Harbour: two round trips serving a terminal station on a track alongside the CN Grimsby sub-division (the latter is used by VIA/Amtrak's Maple Leaf (trains 97-64/63-98) between Toronto and New York but has no station in Hamilton)
  • Hamilton GO Centre: four round trips serving a station on the CP (former Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo) Hamilton sub-division.
  • Reported: November 2016

    Québec

    Montréal, Ballantyne – Taschereau Yard – Jonction de l'Est QC1
    VIA trains between Montréal Centrale and northern Québec use this circuitous (5 miles) route as diesel haulage is not practicable through the more direct route through Mont Royal tunnel. Reported: November 2002

    [Montréal] Pointe St.Charles (Hibernia) – Pont Victoria (via Connecting Tracks) QC2
    This line, avoiding the throat of Montréal Central station, is used by trains which reverse either on arriving or departing Montréal. Depending on direction, trains reverse at either Pointe St.Charles (Hibernia) or Pont Victoria. Trains performing this manoeuvre:

  • VIA through trains between Québec and Ottawa appear to use the curve on departure from Montréal Central
  • other VIA trains with extended running time Dorval - Montréal Central may use the curve
    Report updated: November 2016

    St.Constant – Canadian Railway Museum (Barrington platform), St.Constant/Delson QC3
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Havre St.Pierre – Tio QC4
    The Chemin de Fer Romaine Rivière (Québec Iron & Titanium Corporation) operate an unadvertised workers' service at shift change-over times over their 26.17 mile line. The railway does not provide facilities for casual passengers or railfans. Reported: August 2011

    Port Cartier – Love [ – Mont Wright] QC5
    The ArcelorMittal Mines Canada Railway (former Chemin de Fer Cartier) operate a once weekly unadvertised workers' service over this line conveying maintenance of way (permanent way) staff. This used to be out Wednesday evenings, return Thursday afternoons, between Port Cartier and Love only (170 miles); current information would be welcomed. The railway does not provide facilities for casual passengers or railfans. Report updated: September 2012

    Sept Iles – Schefferville [Labrador] QC6
    Tshiuetin Rail Transportation operate passenger trains (normally twice weekly) over the 225.3 miles of Québec North Shore & Labrador Railway between Sept Iles and Emeril Junction [Labrador] and the 132.3 miles of their own line thence to Schefferville. The southbound train usually uses the wye at Sept Iles prior to arrival, to turn the train (at Schefferville the train is wyed between trips). This is the only publicly-accessible passenger service in this quarter of Québec and Labrador. Reported: August 2011

    Bromont - Magog - Sherbrooke QC8
    Orford Express operate dining round trips between Magog and Sherbrooke and between Magog and Bromont, as advertised, over this portion of the Central Maine & Quebec (former Canadian Pacific) line. On a few dates (2017 dates: Wednesdays 12 July to 23 August) both trips operate on the same day. Reported: May 2017

    CHILE

    Ferrocarril de Antofagasta (FCAB) CI1
    It is reported that FCAB operate special trains three or four times a year from Antofagasta, Calama and Chuqicamata, for employees or their families. Any information about such services which may operate on any regular basis would be welcomed by the compiler. Reported: January 2012

    HONG KONG

    University (Racecourse north junction) – Racecourse – Fo Tan (Racecourse south junction) HK1
    On the occasions of race meetings at the Sha Tin racecourse, KCRC trains call at Racecourse station, and so run via this route (ca. 2km), instead of the more usual direct line. Reported: January 2001

    JAPAN

    Echigo-Yuzawa – Gala-Yuzawa JP1
    This 1.8km standard gauge branch operates only during the winter ski season, usually from mid-December to March. Services (shown in the national timetable) are classed as "Limited express" - extensions of Joetsu Shinkansen Tanigawa service of East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Reported: January 2010

    Seibu-Chichibu Station - Ohanabatake Station link lines JP2
    These two stations - on, respectively, the Seibu Railway and the Chichibu Railway, are virtually adjacent. Linking tracks are provided in both directions (see sketch). Principal uses:

  • Mondays to Fridays two trains in each direction over the "left hand turnout" in the morning and evening, between the Chichibu Railway and Hanno (via Yokose) on the Seibiu Railway;
  • Saturday and Sunday morning trains between Kagemori (Seibu Railway) and Mitsumineguchi (via Yokose) (Chichibu Railway), and returns in the afternoons, use the "right hand turnout", and reverse at Seibu-Chichibu station.
    Reported: July 2014

    JORDAN

    Al-Mafraq - Amman – Qatraneh JO1
    The Jordanian section the 1050mm gauge Hedjaz Railway, based on Amman, has no normal regular passenger traffic, but features in itineraries of photographic specials to the Hedjaz Railway by various tour operators advertised in the railway enthusiast press. In addition, locally advertised excursions are run including non-religious Jordanian holidays - the Jordan Hejaz Railway website is not particularly specific, but local “picnic” excursions are operated from Amman to El-Jiza on Fridays and Saturdays at 0900, returning from El-Jiza at 1400.Report updated: July 2017

    KOREA, Republic of [South Korea]

    [Gwangju – ] Geungnakgang – Gwangju-Songjeong KR1
    Geungnakgang and Gwangju stations are served by triangular access from the west. The north arm is used by services to and from Gwangju not booked to call at Gwangju-Songjeong station; the south arm is used only by four train pairs daily calling at both Gwangju and Gwangju-Songjeong (services between Gwangju and Mokpo or Suncheon) and by one train pair between Mokpo and Bujeon. Service at October 2013:
    1981 0655 Gwangju - Mokpo and 1982 1840 return
    1951 0625 Bujeon - Mokpo and 1954 0910 return
    1972 0610 and 1974 1852 Gwangju - Suncheon and 1971 0620 and 1973 1735 return
    Through trains between Seoul and Mokpo use the third side of the triangle, serving Gwangju-Songjeong station and thus avoiding Geungnakgang and Gwangju stations. Report updated: November 2013

    Jeonui – Osong KR2
    This curve permits north - east movements at Jochiwon. Service at October 2013:
    1282 0900 Jecheon - Seoul and 1281 1805 return. Reported: November 2013

    Angang – Seogyeongju KR3
    This curve permits east - west movements at Gyeongju. Service at October 2013:
    1042 0800 and 1044 1720 Pohang - Seoul and 1041 0935 and 1043 1605 return. Reported: November 2013

    Hayang – Bugyeongcheon KR4
    This curve permits west to north movements at Yeongcheon. Service at October 2013:
    1672 0615 and 1674 1630 Dongdaegu - Gangneung and 1671 0615 and 1673 1722 return. Reported: November 2013

    LATIN AMERICA (Central and South American countries)

    The Fahrplancenter site can be consulted; accurate up-to-date reports would be welcomed by their webmaster.

    MEXICO

    Apart from suburban metro operations, Mexican passenger services are very thin on the ground - usually in rural areas where road alternatives are poor. There is no centrally published timetable – and differing information is offered by accessible sources. There are also some services promoted for the tourist market. The following sites can be consulted: Fahrplancenter and Mexlist; accurate up-to-date reports would be welcomed by the respective webmasters.

    MOROCCO

    This series of "MA" entries should not be confused with those for Massachusetts, below.

    Taourirt avoiding line MA1
    The west to north curve of the triangular junction west of Taourirt station provides a through route, avoiding reversal there. It is used by the overnight trains between Casa Voyageur (Casablanca) and Beni Nsar Port which do not call at Taourirt. Reported: June 2011

    Sidi Yahya El Gharb – Mechraa Bel Ksiri MA3
    This 27km cut-off - west of Sidi Kacem - is used (instead of the triangular junction at Sidi Kacem) by passenger trains between Casa Voyageur (Casablanca) and Tanger (Tangiers) which do not call at Sidi Kacem. Reported: March 2013

    MYANMAR (Burma)

    Thahton- Myaing Ka Lay MM1
    The ca. 35 km-long branch serves a quarry and cement factory. Though most traffic pases by road, a loco. and single coach run from Thahton at 1035 every tenth day (according to station master) for local passengers (return time unknown). Further reports on operating dates and schedule welcomed by the compiler. Reported: December 2016

    NEW ZEALAND

    Train Times provides a useful source of data - based on working/employee timetables - which is therefore helpful in identifying trains over some of the routes below.

    South Island

    Port Chalmers (lower) – Sawyers Bay [ – Dunedin] NZ01
    The 2km branch into the docks at Port Chalmers (a section of the original Dunedin & Port Chalmers Railway) is used by Dunedin Railways specials in connection with visiting cruise liners at Dunedin, to provide ship-side train access. For current scheduled cruuise calls see Port Otago's website. Report updated: January 2017

    [Dunedin – ] Middlemarch – Pukerangi NZ02
    The furthest 18.8km of the remaining section of the Otago Central line is traversed by the Taieri Gorge Limited only on Sundays and summer Fridays (otherwise, trains terminate at Pukerangi). For details see Dunedin Railways website. Report updated: January 2017

    Lyttelton – Christchurch, Addington West Junction NZ03
    This 14km section of the Main South Line is used by specials to Arthur's Pass in connection with visiting cruise liners at Lyttelton, to provide ship-side train access. However, the number of visiting vessels has reduced in recent years - for current scheduled calls (if any) see Lyttelton Port's Shipping Schedule. Report updated: October 2014

    Invercargill - Wingatui [ - Dunedin - Sawyers Bay - ] Waitati - Oamaru - Rolleston NZ04
    The Main South line between Wingatui and Waitati is used by regular Dunedin Railways services. A "Seasider" excursion from Dunedin extends to Oamaru one Sunday each month. Very occasionally they offer a rail tour to traverse the whole line south of Christchurch - check their "Rail touring" page. Reported: January 2017

    North Island

    Hamilton (Frankton Junction) – Te Puna – Tauranga – Mount Maunganui - Hauone NZ51
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Palmerston North, Milson Junction – Woodville – Mangatainoka NZ52
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    [Palmerston North, Milson Junction –] Woodville – Napier – Gisborne NZ53
    There is no regular passenger service over this line, but seasonal excursions are operated as far as Napier by both Mainline Steam Trust and Steam Incorporated when advertised on their websites. The Napier Art Deco weekend in mid-February each year usually includes a trip by Steam Incorporated.
    The line was severed by serious washouts in the section Opoutama – Beach Loop during the last week in March 2012 (see KiwiRail's press release) and the section beyond Napier has since been formally "mothballed" (see KiwiRail's press release). In consequence, the Gisborne City Vintage Railway operation (itself suspended since April 2014) is isolated and trips from the main system can reach no further than Napier. A Napier Gisborne Railway Shortline Establishment Group has been formed - see their website. Report updated: October 2014

    Auckland, Quay Park Junction (The Strand) NZ54
    The third side of the triangle at Quay Park Junction has no regular through service but it and its associated platform are used by steam hauled excursions not scheduled to serve Britomart station. From 21 December 2015 the Northern Explorer Auckland <--> Wellington train has used Strand station - see KiwiRail's web site. For a slightly less positive view, see the NZ Herald's report. Report updated: December 2015

    Newmarket (Auckland) triangle NZ55
    Where the Auckland-Newmarket Line joins the North Auckland (West) Line to Swanson is a full running triangle. All services to/from the West Line are normally booked to reverse at Newmarket station, so none uses the direct curve to the West Line. However, when engineering work at Newmarket intervenes trains may use the direct curve. Such diversions applied during October 2014 and appear on Auckland Transport's website. Report updated: October 2016

    SINGAPORE

    Jurong East connecting chord SG1
    Trains on the SMRT [Singapore Mass Rapid Transit] North South Line normally use the turn-back track at Jurong East, giving cross- platform interchange in both directions. However, using a separate link chord north of the station, trains can run through from the north to Pasir Ris and are known to have been regularly scheduled to do so in the morning peak. Unfortunately, it it no longer possible to ascertain whether this is still so from the SMRT website so reports would be welcomed. It is believed that there is no equivalent return service. Report updated: November 2016

    SOUTHERN AFRICA:

    BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, SOUTH AFRICA, SWAZILAND, TANZANIA, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE

    Rovos Rail and Shongololo Express cruise trains cover various sections of line not traversed by the countries' national passenger rail operators - consult their websites. Some less obvious examples are shown under the respective countries. Ceres Rail operate occasional excursions beyond their normal operations between Cape Town and the Prince Alfred Hamlet branch. Reported: June 2017

    SRI LANKA

    Peradeniya avoiding line LK1
    Through trains between Colombo and Badulla use the avoiding line (which forms a triangle at this junction station); short trains use a platform on the avoiding line, longer trains use the avoiding line before setting back into the main platforms. Report updated: March 2017

    SUDAN

    No details of services are shown on Sudan Railways Corporation's website so the best summary of regular services is on the Fahrplancenter website (which does appear to be based on information from the railway). See also news report. Fahrplancenter reports that the weekly Khartoum - Atbara - Wadi Halfa train (which appears on the The Man in Seat Sixty-One website) is currently suspended. The only other passenger service in recent times is the fortnightly Er Rahad - Babanousa - Nyala (Darfur); despite continuing conflict in Darfur it is mentioned on both the SRC and Fahrplancenter websites. Report updated: December 2014

    SYRIA

    Bosra Citadel – Gasim [– Dera'a] SY1
    This 34.2km branch has, in the past, had a through train from Damascus (Dimashq) during the period of the Bosra festival, which is held for a fortnight during September every other year. A report of whether that train still operates (outwith times of civil disturbance) would be welcomed. The main line between Damascus (Dimashq) and Gasim is also traversed by the international train between Damascus (Dimashq) and Amman [JO], whenever that train runs. Report updated: September 2011

    Dera'a – Tell-shihab – Zeizoun  SY2
    The first 25.1km of the line through the Yarmuk Gorge (which formerly extended to Haifa [IL]) are used only by charter specials. Report updated: August 2008.

    El Hame – Ain Fije (Fijeh) SY5
    This is short (10.4 km) section of the Syrian segment of the line that formerly extended from Damascus to Beirut. On Fridays (before the outbreak of civil disturbance) an excursion left El Hame (10 km northwest of Damascus) at 09.30 for Ain Fije (Fijeh), returning at 15.00. Reported: March 2007

    Note: the above lines are 1050mm gauge; they (together with the Yarmuk Gorge branch from Dera'a) were usually in the itineraries of photographic specials to the Syrian and Jordanian sections of the Hedjaz Railway by various tour operators; it is not expected that any will run during the civil disturbances in Syria.

    Limited short excursion service resumed in Damascus from 1 May 2015, between Rabwa (Raboeh), in the west of the capital, and Dumar, to the northwest on the former Beirut line: see news report, another report and photo. Reported: May 2015

    THAILAND

    Chitlada Junction – Phaya Thai TH1
    One train a day uses this curve, the third side of a triangle which links the Northern and Eastern lines: 0535 Mon to Fri Rangsit - Hua Takhe (train 376). All other trains originate/terminate in Bangkok. Report updated: January 2016

    Nam Tok – Nam Tok Saiyoknoi TH2
    Two excursion trains per week use this 1.4km extension of the old Thailand-Burma railway: 0630 Sat and Sun Bangkok Hualamphong - Nam Tok and 1425 return (trains 909/910). However, the section can only be traversed if the train is formed of diesel multiple unit stock, as there are no run-round facilities at the single-line Saiyoknoi terminus. All other trains on the route terminate at Nam Tok. Report updated: June 2011

    [Surat Thani –] Ban Thung Pho Junction – Khiri Ratthanikhom TH3
    This 31.8km-long line (which was intended to be a through route to Phuket, but never completed) has one return mixed-train service daily (except public holidays), although this does not feature in the English language version of SRT's timetable: 0600 Khiri Ratthanikhom to Surat Thani (train 490), returning at 1655 (train 489). Journey time each way about an hour. Report updated: December 2013

    TUNISIA

    For non-commuter routes, SNCFT have only an on-line journey planner – for tabular format timetable visit the Fahrplancenter website.

    Kalaâ Sghira triangle (Sousse) TN1
    The former main line through the centre of Sousse is severed, leaving two dead-ended spurs, replaced by an avoiding line (line 12) west of the town - see sketch of the area. The triangular junction at the north end has passenger service on all three sides because the fastest expresses avoid Sousse, stopping instead at Kalaâ Sghira, while some through trains reverse at Sousse. Reported February 2011

    M'Saken (north-west junction) – Sousse Zone Industrielle TN2
    Through trains between Tunis and Monastir or beyond use the Sousse avoiding line and this connecting line - see sketch of the area. Note that while there are triangles at each end of the line, those arcs which would provide a through run between Sousse Sud and M'Saken have no regular passenger service. Reported February 2011

    Métlaoui – Redeyef TN3
    Although not shown in SNCFT's on-line journey planner, there is a daily evening local train (see lines 15/16) and The Red Lizard (le Lézard rouge) tourist train Sun to Fri (this operation may be seasonal) over this 44km route. Reported: February 2011

    Tabeditt – Moularès TN4
    Although not shown in SNCFT's on-line journey planner, there is a daily evening local train (see lines 15/16) over this 9km section. Reported: February 2011

    Kalaâ Kasbah - Kasserine TN5
    A tourist service - La Rose des Sables - covering the 83km section of line 6 beyond the extent of regular passenger services is now expected to start in 2016, operated by Discovery Trains and SNCFT. Other routes are planned to be added in later years. Report updated: September 2015

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    Various tourist railroads offer Fall foliage trips each autumn (usually October weekends). While some traverse simply their regular route, others (including some listed below) cover sections of line not otherwise regularly traversed by passenger trains. A list (which does not distinguish between these two categories) appears on the American-Rails website.

    Amtrak have operated a weekend "Autumn (sic) Express Excursion" over different non-passenger routes in the north-east each October in recent years (expected 2017 dates: 14 and 15 October); check their website from September onwards.

    The National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) and the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners (AAPRCO) each have conventions (the former usually during the summer, the latter usually during the autumn but - in recent years - also with a second event in the spring), in different locations each year. These usually involve running special passenger trains over non-passenger routes; consult their respective websites.

    Rail-bikes (self-propelled pedal machines), speeders (motorised rail inspection vehicles which can be man-handled on and off rail tracks) and hi-rails (motorised vehicles adapted for use on roads or on rails).
       • Rail-bikes - known in Europe as vélos-rail or cyclo-draisines - are used on abandoned lines (or little-used lines during designated periods). While there is some following in North America for peripatetic rail-biking (see Railbike Tours and Bentley Railbike webpages), there appear (at August 2016) only to be three operations on the European pattern where one hires a machine to ride a predetermined section of otherwise closed railway line (distances quoted are one-way):
    Joseph Branch Railroaders (Oregon) on former UP between Joseph and Enterprise (6 miles) or between Minam and Wallowa (13 miles)
    Rail Explorers (Rhode Island, New York, Delaware) - see their website for details (which seem to change year by year)
    Revolution Rail Co. (New York) on former US Government, now Saratoga & North Creek Railway, Tahawus line from North River northwards (3 miles)
    (note: Railbike Tours Inc. on Tacoma Rail (former CMStP&P) between Eatonville and Kapowsin (9.5 miles) is suspended)
       • Speeders and Hi-rails: while there are groups of speeder owners organising tours for their members - some of which are available to passengers (see RailSpeeders website) - there are no known "fixed location" operations like the rail-bike operations above.
       Further information about other regular "fixed location" operations, whether by rail-bike, speeder or hi-rail, would be welcomed by the compiler. Operations over lines that at other times have some regular tourist passenger operation (Rail Explorers have such an operation in Delaware) are not required in this listing.

    Alaska

    Matanuska, south siding switch – South Palmer AK1
    At the end of August/beginning of September the Alaska State Fair is held at Palmer. Alaska Railroad operate excursions from Anchorage on some fair days; see Alaska Railroad website shortly before the event. South Palmer is 4.2 miles from the junction. Report updated: July 2014

    Anchorage, Airport Branch Junction – Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport AK2
    This spur line (see schematic plan) - 2.5 miles long - is used only by chartered trains for cruise companies Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea which berth at Seward. Services in 2013 were: from Seward Cruise Dock at 0800 on Thursdays for Silversea and at 0650 on Fridays for Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, returning from the airport at 1315 Thursdays, 1300 Fridays, to connect into the respective vessels' evening departure. Tickets are obtainable only from the cruise line concerned. There are no booked workings over the north leg of the wye. Report updated: October 2013

    Fairbanks AK3
    To turn ready for their return journey, trains normally approach the station direct (0.2 miles) and leave around a balloon loop (1.3 miles - both distances from road overbridge) (see schematic plan; note that the current passenger station is on Golden Heart Lead, east of the road overbridge shown, while the previous (now closed) 1960-built passenger station was on the short south-facing spur on right of plan). Report updated: October 2013

    Portage : wye AK4
    The south-east leg of the wye at Portage is used by the summer-only Glacier Discovery train on the morning segment from Whittier to Grandview; it reverses at both south junction (to turn the train) and at Portage station (the north junction, to pick up/set down passengers). In the afternoon, the return working from Grandview to Whittier simply reverses at Portage station and does not use the south-east leg. Trains between Anchorage and (a) Whittier and (b) Seward, respectively, use the other two legs of the wye. Report updated: October 2013

    Seward AK5
    There are two passenger "branches" at Seward, south of Yard Switch (see schematic plan; note: Yard Switch is connection between Jesse Lee Main and Upper #8):

  • passenger station: 1.2 miles of the original main line, to its current terminus, used by the summer-only Coastal Classic train between Anchorage and Seward
  • cruise passenger dock terminus: 1.3 miles of the coal dock/cruise dock branch, used only by chartered trains for cruise companies Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea. Services in 2013 were as shown in entry AK2, plus a Sunday train at 0650 for Holland America to Anchorage station ("Historic Depot"), returning at 1230. All connect with vessel sailings. Tickets are obtainable only from the cruise line concerned.
    Report updated: October 2013

    Arizona

    Vail, CP S1000 – Mescal, CP S1023 AZ1
    The two tracks used by the west and eastbound Sunset Limited (trains 1 and 2) are separated for 23.3 miles of the Lordsburg Subdivision: one uses the original Southern Pacific alignment, the other the original El Paso & Southwestern alignment. Reported: August 2006

    Grand Canyon : wye AZ2
    Grand Canyon Railway trains use the wye to turn prior to arrival at Grand Canyon station. Reported: August 2006

    Griffith – Kingman AZ3
    The two bi-directional tracks over this 10.4 mile section are separated. The working of Southwest Chief (trains 3 and 4) is at dispatcher's discretion. (There are also more minor divergences further east, at other locations in Arizona and New Mexico). Reported: June 2012

    Arkansas

    Little Rock: Central Arkansas Transit - River Rail AR1
    Two short linking curves are used only as follows:

  • River Market Avenue to East Second Street: Blue Line daily but only after 1745
  • Main Street to Cumberland Street (along East Markham Street): Green Line SuX but only until 1800
    The first journey on the Blue line (not Sundays) is scheduled to traverse both the linking curves - see schedule.
    The first and last journeys on the Green line (not Sundays) are scheduled to traverse both the linking curves - see schedule.
    The branch between River Market Avenue/Second Street and the Presidential Library/Heifer International (World Avenue/Third Street) is used by both Green (not Sundays) and Blue Lines - but only until 1745 daily. Report updated: July 2014

    California

    San Diego : Santa Fe Depot – Seaport Village CA1
    At the south end of San Diego's Santa Fe Depot is a triangular junction on San Diego Trolley [a light rail system] between the Orange and Blue lines. The third side is used only when advertised by specials (Red line) for Qualcomm Stadium (Mission Valley). Report updated: November 2008

    San Bernardino : Depot – Rana CA2
    There are two bi-directional routes between San Bernardino station and the Riverside line at Rana (approx. 1.6 miles): Amtrak trains take the former Santa Fe's San Bernardino subdivision via West Yard while Metrolink trains (from and to their own terminal platforms at San Bernardino) use the more direct line. Reported: November 2000

    Cajon – Summit CA3
    Over this 6.9 mile section, track 3 follows a shorter, separate alignment from tracks 1 and 2. Although the eastbound Southwest Chief (train 4) usually uses the shorter track, the working of trains 3 and 4 is flexible and no particular track is certain. Report updated: June 2012

    Rocklin - Newcastle - Auburn - Bowman - Colfax CA4
    Over this 31.3-mile section, the two tracks follow different alignments, becoming adjacent between Newcastle and tunnel 18, and between Bowman and Clipper Gap. Both tracks are reversibly signalled between Colfax and Rocklin, and though normal operation has been westbound on track 1 and eastbound on track 2, crossovers at Colfax, Bowman and Newcastle allow trains to be routed on either track in either direction, at dispatcher's discretion. Track 1 is the original 1865 alignment (for the most part) of the transcontinental railroad, and track 2 is the more recent 1909 alignment. The Auburn passenger station (located at the site known as "Auburn - Nevada Street" in Southern Pacific days) is located on track 2 and served only by originating and arriving Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains which thus use track 2 in both directions between Newcastle and Auburn, and can use either track between Newcastle and Rocklin. The California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) can use either track between Rocklin and Colfax, and may cross from one track to another at Colfax, Bowman or Newcastle. Report updated: December 2016

    Clipper Gap – Colfax CA5
    Now subsumed within entry CA4

    East Ventura (Montalvo) : wye CA6
    The platform - used by originating and arriving Metrolink Ventura County trains - is on the north leg of the triangular junction (wye) of the Fillmore branch; it is normally accessed by the south leg and a reversal on the branch. The last evening arrival and the first morning departure may, however, access the north leg of the wye and platform by reversing on the main line, instead of from the south leg.
    Amtrak trains do not serve this location and use the third (main line) leg. Report updated: September 2016

    East Ash Hill – Siberia CA7
    The two bi-directional tracks are separated (9.5 miles via northerly Track 1; 7.7 miles via southerly Track 2). Although the westbound Southwest Chief (train 3) usually uses the shorter track, the working of trains 3 and 4 is at dispatcher's discretion. Report updated: June 2012

    West of Ibis CA8
    The two bi-directional tracks are separated (0.8 miles longer via northerly Track 1 than southerly Track 2). The Southwest Chief (trains 3 and 4). Either track may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Report updated: June 2012

    Los Angeles, CP Dayton – CP Pasadena Junction CA9
    This section of the East Bank line is used - very occasionally - by special trains from the Oxnard or Lancaster lines running direct (i.e. not booked to call at Los Angeles Union Station) to major events at California Speedway (Fontana) on the San Bernardino line, as for example for Auto Club 400 on Sunday 22 March 2014. See Metrolink website or Auto Club Speedway website. Report updated: July 2014

    Millbrae – San Francisco International Airport / San Bruno CA10
    On the BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] rail system only one of these two sections of line is used at any one time - see BART's website. Report updated: October 2009

    Port of Long Beach CA11
    An open day (Green Port Fest) used to be held each October when short trips were operated within the port area. However, POLB are not offering the rail tours now or for the foreseeable future because of the amount of construction going on in the Port (especially the Middle Harbor and Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement projects) but have indicated that "once things settle down in 2-3 years" [i.e. 2018-9] the trips may resume. Readers in California are invited to report in due course. Report updated: June 2016

    North Elmhurst – North Newark, CP CO031 CA12
    Coast Starlight (trains 11 and 14) use this 17.5 mile line instead of the route via Hayward and Fremont used by Capitol Corridor trains. Reported: December 2010.

    Haggin (Sacramento) – El Pinal (Stockton) CA13
    When planned engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Sacramento and Stockton - the former Southern Pacific line via Lodi (Fresno Subdivision) - trains are diverted via the former Western Pacific line (Sacramento Subdivision) to the west - the normally freight-only route is 44.7 miles. Such diversions (which applied in spring, summer and autumn 2016, and January 2017) appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices when the Lodi stops are omitted. Report updated: January 2017

    [Los Angeles – ] Palmdale Junction – Tehachapi – Bakersfield – Modesto – Hicks (Stockton) [ – Oakland] CA14
    When planned engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Oakland and Burbank - the coastal line - the Coast Starlight (trains 11/14) are diverted via the Union Pacific line through the Central Valley; no public stops are made (the normally freight-only element is 320.5 miles). Such diversions applied in autumn 2008, September 2011, February 2012 and March and September 2013, and should appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices when the intermediate calling points are omitted. Report up-dated: January 2017

    Suisun-Fairfield – Napa Junction – Schellville – Sear's Point CA15
    The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority and the Sonoma Raceway have, since 2013, operated an excursion using these sections of the California Northern (13.5 miles) and North Western Pacific (17.5 miles) railroads - the NASCAR Express - from Sacramento to the Toyota SaveMart 350 NASCAR Sprint Race Event at Sear's Point (held on a Sunday towards the end of June - 2017 train cancelled). Special trains have also run for other events, for example 30 August 2015. Report updated: June 2017

    [Folsom Junction – ] Hampton station (Placerville Road, Folsom) – White Rock – El Dorado County boundary – Latrobe CA16
    The operations of the Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad are normally between Hampton and White Rock Road crossing because of restrictions on the use of (a) the road crossings between their base in the triangle (wye) at the former Folsom Junction and Hampton, and (b) the line within El Dorado County.
    There are no regular opportunities to ride the section between Folsom Junction and Hampton. At present, trips beyond White Rock as far as the El Dorado County boundary (County Line Limited) usually run the last weekend of summer months, with one train on that Sunday morning running to Latrobe (Latrobe Breakfast Special), as advertised. Approximate milepost mileages: Folsom Junction 111.1, Hampton 116.3, White Rock 118.0, El Dorado county boundary 119.6, Latrobe 125.2.
    For details of the isolated operations on the Placerville branch between Shingle Springs (MP 136.9) and El Dorado (MP 142.7) see El Dorado Western Railroad's website. Report updated: July 2016

    Mount Hermon - Roaring Camp (Felton) [ - ] Santa Cruz wye [ - Santa Cruz Boardwalk] CA17
    The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway operates between Roaring Camp and Santa Cruz; trains arriving at Santa Cruz turn on the wye there.
    Each Wednesday during the season, passenger trains start back from Mount Hermon station (0.8 miles north of Roaring Camp station) on a charter basis for patrons of the Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center - enquiries should be directed to the centre. Reported: July 2016

    Colorado

    Denver (UP Pullman Yard) – Speer Junction, WY [ – Cheyenne, WY] CO1
    On the first Saturday of the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo week (usually towards the end of July each year) Union Pacific operates, for the Denver Post newspaper, a public excursion from Denver to Cheyenne, WY (112.9 miles). Tickets are allocated only by on-line lottery - see website. The return train on the Saturday wyes at the Beltline junction (CP W004 - CP DS902) before arrival at Pullman.
    The return of the rolling stock to Cheyenne the following day may be advertised by Cheyenne Depot Museum or by Sherman Hill Model Railroad Club. See also CO6. Report updated: April 2016

    Denver : wye at Prospect Junction CO2
    California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) use the Prospect Junction - 31st Street Yard link to turn prior to arrival at Denver Union Station. Report updated: September 2016

    Silverton : wye CO3
    Most Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad trains are wyed (turned) between arrival and departure without passengers aboard. However, when a four-train service operates, one train may be wyed with passengers aboard. Reported: September 2016

    Evans – Louisiana-Pearl CO4
    This south-east curve - avoiding I25 & Broadway station - is used by E Purple Line, F Red Line and H Blue Line depot workings from Evans: those journeys shown with an Evans departure on the southbound current schedule -> E/F/H timetable. Note that in the opposite direction, depot journeys reverse at I25 & Broadway station or run empty. Report updated: February 2017

    Antonito CO5
    Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad trains use different sides of a balloon loop in- and out- bound: inbound trains use a longer arc than outbound. Reported: September 2010

    Denver – Speer Junction, WY [ – Salt Lake City, UT] CO6
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Denver and Salt Lake City via the Moffat Tunnel, the California Zephyr (trains 5/6) is diverted via this route, the Union Pacific main line. The normally freight-only element is 618.7 miles. Such diversions (which applied during May and June 2012, May 2014, May and June 2015 and October 2016) may appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices [use the Amtrak journey planner to check whether a replacement bus is serving intermediate points]. See also CO1. Report updated: September 2016

    Tabernash CO7
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the west and eastbound California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) are separated through Tabernash, between mileposts 65.1 and 67.1, the more southerly track 2 being longer than track 1. Either track may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Reported: September 2013

    Durango, Val-Air wye CO8
    This wye and short "branch" - just south of Val-Air Airport, near Home Ranch siding - are used when 90 minute short distance round-trips are advertised from Durango by Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. These include their Great Pumpkin Patch and Polar Express trains. Reported: September 2013

    [Leadville - ] French Gulch water tank – Talus Slope – Storke Curve (Alicante) CO9
    Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad's regular 2½ hour trips - over the former Denver, South Park & Pacific - run 9.4 miles to French Gulch (141.8 mile). When advertised (particularly September Fall Photo Weekends), 3 hour trips extend another 1.5 miles to Talus Slope (140.3 mile). Once a year, at the beginning of September (2016 date: Fri 2 Sep), a Stork (sic) Curve-Climax Special extends a further 1.7 miles to Storke Curve (Alicante) (138.6 mile). Report updated: September 2016

    Fort Collins: Roosevelt Avenue / Mountain Avenue junction – Carbarn (1801 West Mountain Avenue) CO10
    Fort Collins Municipal Railway's regular summer weekend trips cover 1.3 miles between City Park (Sheldon Drive) and Howes Street/Mountain Avenue. At the end of service, the car runs out of service from City Park at about 1700 to their carbarn, covering an additional 0.3 miles. Subject to the agreement of the motorman, it may be possible to ride this section. Reported: September 2016

    Connecticut

    Providence & Worcester Railroad CT1
    See MA6 under Massachusetts.

    Essex - Old Saybrook and Deep River Landing - Haddam CT2
    The Valley Railroad's Essex Steam Train regular operation is north from Essex to Deep River Landing (3.6 miles). Beyond there, the Essex Clipper dinner train, Eagle Flyer (February weekends) excursion and Fall Foliage excursion (October weekends) extend to Goodspeed station [opposite East Haddam] (a further 4.6 miles) as advertised. These trains may extend a further mile to the present northern limit of useable track at 13½ mile post, short of Haddam station.
    On the first Saturday of each summer month, the Saybrook Special runs south to Old Saybrook (4.0 miles each way); it runs only to their boundary line/zero milepost, at the north apex of the wye - passengers cannot join/alight there.
    In addition, the Friends of the Valley Railroad run hi-rail trips, as advertised (2016 dates: Saturdays in September/October), from the entrance to the Haddam Meadows State Park [MP 16.2] to a washout at MP 17.7 and return (this is three miles north of the limit of track operated by Valley Railroad's regular passenger trains). Report updated: November 2016

    Delaware

    [Greenbank - ] Mouth Cuba - Hockessin DE1
    The 4.7 mile section of the Wilmington & Western Railroad beyond Mount Cuba is covered only by their Hockessin Flyer and weekend Autumn Leaf Special excursions, as advertised. Reported: June 2016

    Florida

    Tampa : Neve wye FL1
    Silver Star (trains 91 and 92) use Neve wye, near Gary to turn prior to arrival at Tampa. Report updated: June 2011

    Jacksonville : wye at Grand Junction FL2
    Entry deleted - no longer used in passenger service

    Auburndale : wye FL3
    The east-west main line is used by Silver Star (trains 91 and 92) as between Orlando and Tampa, the south-west connector by Silver Star (trains 91 and 92) as between Miami and Tampa, and the south-east connector by Silver Meteor (trains 97 and 98). Reported: December 2010

    Tavares - Toronto - Winter Garden FL4
    The Tavares, Eustis & Gulf Railroad operates on Florida Central Railroad track - normally beteween Tavares and Mount Dora. Occasionally, when advertised, trains run instead between Tavares, Toronto and Winter Garden. Report updated: March 2014

    Georgia

    [Grand Junction (Chattanooga) – East Chattanooga, TN – ] Chickamauga – Summerville GA1
    In addition to their frequent short trips between Grand Junction and East Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum excursions run two or three Saturdays a month from March to September between Grand Junction and Chickamauga. Beyond there, their Summerville Steam Specials run a further 31.7 miles, one or two weekends a month from March to November (more freqently during October and early November). Report updated: September 2016

    Savannah, Telfair Junction – Burroughs GA2
    There are two bi-directional routes between these points for Savannah - Jacksonville Amtrak trains: the normal route is via Savannah Yard (ex-Seaboard Air Line) but the alternative via Southover Yard (ex-Atlantic Coast Line) may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Reported: October 2013

    Illinois

    Chicago Union Station : Canal Street wye IL1
    The south-west leg of the wye is used by any trains that turn prior to arrival at the south end of Union station. There is much less wying of loaded trains, with arriving or departing short haul trains with a quick turn-round in Chicago - including the southbound Saluki (train 391) - being the most likely candidates. Report updated: October 2013

    Chicago Union Station – 16th Street IL2
    Between the south end of Union station and 16th Street, Amtrak trains can take one of four routes (given numbers here for convenience) en route to or from the CN (former Illinois Central) line to Champaign-Urbana:

    • Route 1: North arm of Amtrak Canal Street wye - Union Avenue interlocking (= Halsted Street Metra station) - change direction - 16th Street
    • Route 2: Just short of 21st Street - change direction - southwest arm of Amtrak Canal Street wye - Union Avenue interlocking - change direction - 16th Street
    • Route 3: 21st Street - 23rd Street (on the ex-Pennsylvania, now Norfolk Southern, line towards Englewood) - change direction - CN/NS (ex-IC/Penn.) Connection (857 - 877 points; also known as Amtrak wye) - 16th Street
    • Route 4: 21st Street - Cermak [on CN line towards Bridgeport] - change direction - 16th Street

    That section of routes 1 and 2 between Union Avenue and 16th Street is the St.Charles Air Line; BNSF and UP jointly own the line between Union Ave. and a point 70 feet west of the Bascule Bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River, CN owns the line from that point to 16th Street. The bascule bridge is controlled by CSX Bridge Tender. Routes 1, 3 and 4 all involve an inbound train propelling (backing) into Union station and an outbound train propelling (backing) out. The normal route for trains is route 1 but another route may be used as an alternative if that is blocked by freight traffic. Report updated: November 2013

    Granite City, WR Tower – St.Louis, MO, Gratiot Street IL4
    There are two routes between these points for Chicago - St.Louis Amtrak trains: the normal route is via Venice Yard, East St.Louis Relay (Q Interlocking) and the MacArthur Bridge. The slower alternative route is via SH Interlocking, Merchants Bridge and the former Washington Avenue station but since June 2000 this has not been the normal Amtrak route; it is used only when freight congestion prevents use of the MacArthur Bridge or to provide the opportunity for arriving southbound Lincoln Service trains to turn - using the Poplar Street / Rutger Street / Gratiot Street wye - prior to arrival at St.Louis (instead of on the wye west of the station after discharging passengers) or for turning the Texas Eagle (trains 21/22) when using the diversion under route IL16 or other diversion nrequiring the train to be turned. Report updated: June 2016

    Chicago : links at 17th Street Interlocking between Orange and Green Lines and Red Line IL5

  • A very short link between the Red Line and the elevated Orange and Green Lines - just north of Cermak-Chinatown station - is used by Red Line trains diverted over the loop elevated lines when the Red Line's tunnel section is closed for engineering work
  • A reverse connection - south of the Roosevelt stations - is used by Orange and Green Line trains - to or from the west or south - diverted through the Red Line tunnel when engineering work blocks their elevated section or by Red Line trains - to or from the north - diverted to the Green (or Orange) Lines when engineering work blocks their line south of Cermak-Chinatown station (as applied during 2013).
    Both these links were parts of the Red Line itself until its present line between Roosevelt and Cermak-Chinatown stations was opened on 21 February 1993. Report updated: October 2013

    [Chicago –] Yard Center, Thornton Junction – Villa Grove – Lenox Tower [– St.Louis, MO] IL6
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Chicago and St.Louis via Springfield, the Texas Eagle (trains 21/22) is diverted via this route - the former Chicago & Eastern Illinois (the normally freight-only element is 255.9 miles). Note that Lincoln Service trains between Chicago and St.Louis are usually replaced by bus. Such diversions (which applied during June, September, October 2016 and 23 May 2017) should appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Report updated: April 2017

    Prairie Crossing: link track between former Milwaukee and former Wisconsin Central routes IL7
    This short connecting track - north of the two Prairie Crossing stations - is used only by the last inbound North Central Service: 1902 Mon to Fri Antioch - Chicago Union Station (train 120). Current schedule -> North Central Service. Report updated: November 2016

    Gresham Junction – Blue Island, Western Avenue Junction IL8
    This 6.0 mile section of the former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific main line is not particularly "obscure", with some 12 round trips during Mon to Fri peak hours, but may easily be overlooked: it is used by trains not scheduled to call at any of the Beverly Hills stations. Current schedule -> Rock Island District. Report updated: November 2016

    Marion – Ordill IL9
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Mapleton (Pekin) – Rawalts (Canton) IL10
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    [Omaha, NE – ] East Clinton – Elburn [ – Chicago] IL11
    See IA3 under Iowa.

    [St.Paul, MN – ] East Dubuque – West Aurora [ – Chicago] IL12
    See WI2 under Wisconsin.

    Joliet – Streator – Cameron Junction (Galesburg) CP1705 or CP1850 IL13
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Chicago and Galesburg via Mendota, the Southwest Chief (trains 3/4) and California Zephyr (trains 5/6) are diverted to Joliet, then via this 147.5 mile section of the former AT&SF main line. Note that trains between Chicago and Quincy, IL are usually replaced by bus. Such diversions (which applied during October 2012 and November 2014) may appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Reported: October 2014

    Museum Campus/11th Street [Chicago] – 18th Street IL14
    The tracks used by the inbound and outbound Metra Electric and South Shore Line trains are separated on the 0.79 miles between these stations. Reported: November 2013

    Rosemont [Chicago] IL15
    The tracks used by the inbound and outbound Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line trains are separated on the ca. 0.5 miles west to the CN (ex-Wisconsin Central) overbridge. Reported: November 2013

    East St.Louis, MacArthur Bridge north approach - Thebes Bridge [ - Poplar Bluff, MO] IL16
    When planned engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between St.Louis and Poplar Bluff, MO - the former Missouri Pacific line - the Texas Eagle (trains 21/22) is diverted via the former St.Louis South Western route along the east bank of the Mississippi river - the normally freight-only route is 198.6 miles. Such diversions applied in May/June 2016 and January 2017 and appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices when the Arcadia stop is omitted. Such diversions may also wye (turn) by use of route IL4. Report updated: January 2017

    Monticello Railway Museum IL17
    Normal passenger operation is on former Illinois Central track between the relocated former Wabash depot (200 East Livingston Street, Monticello) and County Road 1900 North, and on a short section of former Illinois Terminal trackbed into the Nelson Crossing museum site station at 992 Iron Horse Place (a total of 3.9 "unique" miles). Railroad Days is an annual event (2016 dates: 17, 18 September) when the Museum sometimes - depending on whether cars are stored on the line - may operate various of the trains operating on those days beyond their normal route: at the north end to the wye at Commercial Street, White Heath; at the south end, past the depot to Market Street crossing; and along a short segment of former Illinois Terminal south from the Nelson Crossing station to Camp Creek Yard - a potential extra 2 "unique" miles. Prospective visitors should make enquiries of the museum. Report updated: August 2016

    Indiana

    Fishers – Indianapolis, Indiana State Fairgrounds IN1
    During the period in mid-August each year of the Indiana State Fair, the Indiana Transportation Museum operate a shuttle service over this 11 mile route in place of their normal operations northwards from Fishers. Details from the museum's website.
    All Indiana Transportation Museum train operations - including the fair trains - were suspended from 25 March 2016 until further notice - see ITM press releases on their website. Report updated: September 2016

    Jasper – Dubois – Cuzco – French Lick IN2
    The City of Jasper Park & Recreation Department operate - as The Spirit of Jasper - regular Ride & Dine services between Jasper and Dubois (8.6 miles), although Fall Foliage Ride & Dine services extend a further 6.7 miles to Cuzco. The Indiana Railway Museum operate between French Lick and Cuzco (9.5 miles) as the French Lick Scenic Railway. Only the Jasper to French Lick Express operates the whole 24.8 miles between Jasper and French Lick, and on only a few dates each year, as advertised. Report updated: April 2017

    Cincinnati (Riverside), OH – Batesville – Greensburg IN3
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    "Pumpkin Patch" – North Judson – English Lake – La Crosse IN4
    Most Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum services operate on former a Chesapeake & Ohio route between North Judson and English Lake (marked EL on timetable) (4.2 miles); those marked LC run through to La Crosse (a further 2 miles) (LC trains suspended from May 2016 until further notice). Pumpkin Trains (in October), in addition to visiting English Lake, return through North Judson and run southwards about a mile on former Erie route to the pumpkin patch. Report updated: August 2016

    South Milford - Ashley IN5
    Each summer (2016 date: 6 August) since 2009 the local Community League have chartered an excursion (operated by the Indiana Northeastern Railroad) over this 10.4 miles section of the former Wabash Railroad. Details from local press or South Milford Grain Co. Reported: July 2016

    Tell City - Lincoln City IN6
    Scenic Lincoln Way operate occasional excursions as advertised (no regular schedule) from Tell City over the Hoosier Southern Railroad's former Southern Railway line, some of which (2016 date: 10 September) run through to Lincoln City. Reported: November 2016

    Iowa

    Osceola – Woodburn and Shannon – Indianola Junction and Halpin – Frederic IA1
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the west and eastbound California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) are separated over these three sections. Either track may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Report updated: October 2009

    Coralville – Iowa City IA2
    This 5 mile section of the Iowa Interstate main line (westwards of Iowa City) is used - when advertised - by special services operated by Iowa Northern Railway for University of Iowa home games at Kinnick Stadium. Details from the Ride the Hawkeye Express website. Report updated: November 2016

    Omaha, NE – Council Bluffs – Clinton [ – East Clinton, IL – Chicago, IL] IA3
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Omaha and Chicago via Burlington, the California Zephyr (trains 5/6) are diverted via this route - the former Chicago & NorthWestern (the normally freight-only element is 444 miles, between Omaha, NE and Elburn, IL). Such diversions (which applied in late summer and early December 2011 and February and March 2012) may appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Report up-dated: March 2012

    [Boone - ] Fraser Siding - Wolf (Fraser Junction) IA4
    The 3.7 mile section beyond Fraser Siding is normally used only by the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad's dinner and picnic/dessert trains. Other trains are normally restricted to the 7.6 mile section between Boone and Fraser Siding. Report updated: January 2014

    Kansas

    [Abilene - ] Enterprise - Woodbine KS1
    The 12.7 mile section of former Rock Island Lines beyond Enterprise is used only by the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad's Silver Flyer railbus - usually the last Saturday of summer months. Other trains are restricted to the 5.2 mile section between Abilene and Enterprise. Reported: January 2017

    Louisiana

    New Orleans : wye at Clara Street tower LA1
    Arriving trains use the wye at Clara Street Tower to turn prior to arrival at New Orleans. Report updated: September 2011

    New Orleans : Canal Street connection LA2
    The link between the Regional Transit Authority's Canal Street and Riverfront streetcar lines at the foot of Canal Street (Harrah's Casino) is used by Riverfront cars proceeding from and to the depot on Canal Street. Report updated: November 2016

    Maryland

    Maryland & Delaware Railroad MD1
    The M&DRR annually participates in the Hurlock Fall Festival (held on the first Saturday in October) with train trips from Hurlock to beyond Federalsburg (total about 10 miles each way) - see Railpace Magazine, February 2012 issue, page 29) and NRHS News, December 2013 issue, page 18. Report updated: July 2017

    Cumberland - Maryland Junction, WV MD2
    See WV3 under West Virginia.

    Walkersville - Woodsboro MD3
    The Walkersville Southern Railroad operates heritage service south of Walkersville to Route 26 on former Pennsylvania Railroad, and are working to restore three miles northwards towards Woodsboro. Occasional "Railfan Specials" are run on available track on the northern section as advertised (2017 dates: 20 May and 3 June). Reported: March 2017

    Massachusetts

    This series of "MA" entries should not be confused with those for Morocco, above.

    Walpole – Foxboro / Bay State Stadium – Mansfield MA1
    This 8.5mile long CSXT line, linking two MBTA routes, is used - when advertised - for New England Patriots National Football League games at Foxboro/Gillette Stadium by two special services: (a) between Boston South Station and the stadium station, and (b) between Providence (T F Green Airport), RI and the stadium station. Details from the MBTA website. Report updated: September 2016

    Wilmington – Wilmington Junction, CPW WJ MA2
    The 3 mile Wildcat Branch - linking the Lowell and Haverhill commuter lines - is used by all Amtrak trains between Boston, MA and Portland, ME. It is also used by MBTA commuter services (Mon to Fri) endorsed "Via Lowell Line" or, in red, VIA LOW in the Haverhill line timetable (see current schedule). Report updated: September 2016

    Boston : Government Center – Bowdoin MA4
    Entry deleted - service no longer restricted

    South Worcester – Providence, RI MA5
    The Providence & Worcester Railroad in conjunction with Kiwanis Club of Worcester have, in recent years to 2016, usually operated a Saturday excursion each mid-June from Worcester to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, RI [South Worcester - Providence 42.4 miles]. This trip was not ran in 2017, following the company's acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming from 3 January 2017. Report updated: July 2017

    Providence & Worcester Railroad MA6
    In addition to the trips in MA5, other excursions had been operated from time to time until 2016 but no information is available on the company's own website (or that of Providence & Worcester Railfan Club & Museum, Inc.) of any excursion activity after the company's acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming from 3 January 2017. However, MBRRE (see MA8) report two excursions planned for October 2017. Report updated: July 2017

    Readville MA7
    The MBTA Franklin line has links with the main line and with the Fairmount line here. Most Franklin line train use platform 5 on the ramp track on the west side, while most Fairmount line trains terminate at high level platform 4, on the east side of the station. A few Mon to Fri trains access the Franklin branch by high level link from the Fairmount line - they are endorsed, in red, VIA FAIR LINE in the Franklin branch timetable and use platform 4 at Readville (see current schedule). Note that although there are platforms (2 and 3) on the main line, there are no trains booked to stop at them. Report updated: September 2016

    Various MA8
    The Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts run a number of public charter excursions over non-passenger lines. Report updated: September 2016

    Kingston / Plymouth MA9
    The outer end of the Kingston/Plymouth MBTA branch has two "arms": Kingston Route 3 (a park and ride station) and Plymouth (former North Plymouth station). Some trains serve both locations, by reversing at the junction near the former Kingston station. No "unusual" track is involved but careful reading of the current schedule does enable both to be ridden on one train. Report updated: September 2016

    Michigan

    Grand Rapids : wye at Sunnyside MI1
    Entry deleted - no longer used in passenger service

    [Coldwater –] Quincy – Hillsdale MI2
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Owosso – Ithaca – Alma – Cadillac MI3
    In addition to their regular excursions over Great Lakes Central Railroad between Owosso and Chesaning, Steam Railroad Institute also run longer autumn excursions as advertised in October. Report updated: September 2016

    Minnesota

    Newport – St.Croix Junction MN1
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the Empire Builder (trains 7 and 8) are separated (10.4 miles via north Track 1 (former Milwaukee); 11.7 miles via south Track 2 (former Burlington)). Either track may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Report updated: October 2009

    Minneapolis, University - St.Anthony MN2
    The Empire Builder (trains 7 and 8) has two available routes - the former Great Northern line via Union Yard (4.4 miles) or the former Northern Pacific line to Park Junction (3.5 miles) and then the Minnesota Commercial Railway's link to St.Anthony. Either route may be used at dispatcher's discretion, although the doubling of the former Great Northern has largely obviated the need to use the former Northern Pacific alternative. East of St.Anthony, both use the Minnesota Commercial Railway through the former Amtrak Midway Station and Merriam Park. Report updated: June 2016

    Missouri

    Granite City, WR Tower – St.Louis, MO, Gratiot Street MO1
    See IL4 under Illinois.

    Camden, CA Junction - Hardin (west end) MO2
    Over this 12.8 mile section there are three bi-directional tracks (two BNSF ex-AT&SF, one NS ex-Wabash which diverges slightly in places), all now available for Amtrak use at BNSF dispatcher's discretion, although for line speed reasons the ex-AT&SF tracks are preferred. Reported: March 2014

    Hardin (east end) - Carrollton, WB Junction MO2
    Over this 16.7 mile section there are two bi-directional tracks (one BNSF ex-AT&SF, one NS ex-Wabash), all now available for Amtrak use at BNSF dispatcher's discretion, although for line speed reasons the ex-AT&SF track is preferred. Reported: March 2014

    [East St.Louis, IL, MacArthur Bridge north approach - ] Thebes Bridge - Poplar Bluff MO3
    See IL16 under Illinois.

    Nevada

    Winnemucca, Weso – Alazon NV1
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the west and eastbound California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) are separated: the westbound normally uses the original Southern Pacific route (track 1, Elko and Shafter Subdivisions, 182.7 miles), the eastbound the original Western Pacific route (track 2, Elko and Shafter Subdivisions, 178.5 miles). Reported: August 2006

    [Virginia City - ] Gold Hill - Eastgate Siding - Eureka (Canyon) NV2
    The 10.2 mile section of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad between Gold Hill and Eastgate Siding is covered only by their Sisters in History excursions, as advertised on summer Fridays and weekends. The 1.9 mile section from Eastgate Siding to Eureka (towards Carson City) is covered only by their Toast of the Canyon excursion, as advertised on the last Saturday evening of summer months. V&T's "Carson City" is actually Eastgate siding, near Mound House. Report updated: July 2016

    [Keystone - ] East Ely Junction - Lavon NV3
    On that section of the Nevada Northern Railroad that is still operational, most excursions from East Ely run west to Keystone, turning on the wye there (7.1 miles from East Ely Junction). However, those marked "Lavon" instead run east towards McGill using the main line to Hiline Junction and the Mill (a.k.a. Adverse) branch thence to Lavon (7.2 miles from East Ely Junction). The 0.4 mile section between East Ely Junction and East Ely station is common to both trips. For patrons participating in the the Shops walking visit, both excursions start or finish at the Shops (0.1 miles west of East Ely station, on the original main line). Report updated: July 2016

    Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City NV4
    The layout consists of a 0.4 mile circuit, used by all passenger trains. Additionally, a wye and its reversing siding (tail track) (a further 0.4 miles) are used only by steam trains, operating as advertised. Reported: July 2016

    New Hampshire

    [Lincoln – Woodstock – ] Plymouth – Meredith [ – Lakeport] NH1
    The Hobo Railroad (including its subsidiary trading entity, the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad) operate regular seasonal tourist services - normally restricted to two elements of the line:
    (a) Lincoln (Hobo Junction station, not the original Lincoln station) to Jack o'Lantern, between Woodstock and West Thornton, about mile 14.6 (6.7 miles). The Café Lafayette Dinner Train operates over the same route but from North Woodstock (about ¾ mile south of Hobo Junction) to between West Thornton and Thornton, about mile 12.75 (7.8 miles) [mile posts measure up from zero at Plymouth], and
    (b) Meredith via Weirs Beach to Lakeport (8.7 miles).
    As advertised on Saturdays and Sundays at the end of September/beginning of October, they run additionally a round trip over part of the intervening section: from Meredith to The Common Man Inn, one mile north of Plymouth (14.6 miles) - the only advertised use made of this section. Details from their website or the Foliage Trains website.
    There does not appear to be any advertised operation on the remaining intervening section. Report updated: September 2016

    [Conway – North Conway (ex-B&M station) - Mountain Junction (near Intervale) - Bartlett - ] Crawford Notch (a.k.a. Crawford's) - Fabyans – Hazens,
    also Mountain Junction – Kearsarge platform (a.k.a. Depot Street, North Conway) - Redstone NH2
    The Conway Scenic Railroad operate regular seasonal tourist services - normally restricted to North Conway - Conway (5.3 miles) and North Conway - Bartlett - Crawford Notch (25.7 miles), extended between mid September and mid October, to Fabyans (a further 4.0 miles).
    In early-September the railroad operates an annual Railfans' Day, including an excursion from North Conway to the northern limit of their line, Hazens (11.7 miles beyond Fabyans) also (although not advertised as such) via reversal at Mountain Junction visiting Redstone (4.5 miles). There are also shorter runs, originating in North Conway and reversing at Mountain Junction, to "Depot Street" and Redstone. Details at their website.
    The 470 Railroad Club and The Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts occasionally run public charter excursions which may run beyond Crawford Notch.
    Conway - Mountain Junction is part of the former Boston & Maine line from Boston to Intervale; Redstone - Mountain Junction - Hazens is part of the former Maine Central Mountain Division line from Portland to St. Johnsbury. Report updated: September 2016

    New Jersey

    [Secaucus Junction – ] Sport interlocking – Meadowlands NJ1
    This 1.9 mile branch from a junction with New Jersey Transit's Pascack Valley line serves major events at the sports complex, when advertised by New Jersey Transit. Report updated: September 2016

    County, Millstone Junction - Jersey Avenue [New Brunswick] NJ2
    New Jersey Transit arriving and starting trains here use a turn-back platform on the Millstone (now Clyde) freight branch. There is also a southbound platform on the through lines used by trains continuing to Trenton but none for northbound trains. Reported: November 2007

    [Newark Penn Station – ] Kearny – Meadows [ – Hoboken] NJ3
    This link line - the Waterfront Connection (previously known as Gold Coast Connection) - between the North East Corridor and the New Jersey Transit Hoboken line is used by about 7 or 8 North Jersey Coast line trains (mainly rush hours), Mon to Fri. Report updated: October 2009

    [Newark Broad Street Station – ] Kearny, NJ – Allied Junction [ – Secaucus] NJ4
    The two tracks of this link line - the Midtown Connection - between the North East Corridor and the New Jersey Transit Morris & Essex line, used by NJT trains direct between Newark Broad Street and New York, are separated on either side of the North East Corridor. Although both tracks are reversibly signalled, they are generally used uni-directionally. Reported: October 2009

    Lambertville – Ringoes [ – Flemington] NJ5
    Black River & Western Railroad excursions run regularly between Ringoes and Flemington (5.0 miles). The first section of their intended extension from Ringoes south to Lambertville (opposite New Hope) reopened in 2016 and extended in 2017 to Browne station (2.5 miles) as advertised. Excursions north-eastwards from Flemington to Three Bridges have ceased. Report updated: June 2017

    New Mexico

    Anapra – El Paso, South Line Junction NM1
    The two tracks used by the west and eastbound Sunset Limited (trains 1 and 2) are separated for 3.7 miles of the Lordsburg Subdivision: one uses the original Southern Pacific alignment, the other the original El Paso & Southwestern alignment. Reported: August 2006

    New York State

    Queens Village – Belmont Park NY1
    This Long Island Rail Road branch, ca.¼ mile long, is used only when so advertised for access to events at the Belmont Park racetrack, by special service from New York Penn station or Jamaica. Two round trips operate Wednesday to Sunday during NYRA horse racing seasons [Spring-Summer Meets: late April to mid July; Fall Championship Meet: early September to late October]. The LIRR website carries timings nearer the relevant dates. Report updated: October 2016

    Mott Haven : wye NY3
    The third side of the triangle (wye) at Mott Haven junction (MO interlocking) is used by Metro-North Railroad special trains - when advertised during the baseball season - linking the New Haven and Harlem Lines with the Yankees-East 153rd Street station, serving the Yankees' Stadium. Train service details at MNR website. Report updated: October 2016

    Bethpage, BETH (Bethpage Junction) – Babylon, Belmont Junction NY4
    The Central Branch is an 8.2 mile link between the Main Line and the Montauk branch, providing an alternative route for the latter west of Babylon. It is the normal route for through trains between Jamaica or beyond and stations Bay Shore or beyond - those trains in timetable not marked with T note.
    The following Monday to Friday trains are exceptions (as in timetable September to November 2016) which run non-stop via the western section of the Montauk Branch (now also known as Babylon Branch) via Freeport and so do not use the Central Branch:

  • 2764 0852 Jamaica - Patchogue
  • 2706 1130 Jamaica - Montauk
  • 2736 1243 summer Jamaica - Speonk
  • 2720 2053 Jamaica - Montauk
  • 2733 0508 Speonk - Penn Station
  • 2735 0530 Speonk - Long Island City
  • 2745 1505 summer Speonk - Jamaica
  • 2747 2107 Speonk - Jamaica
    (note: there may be other exceptions routed via the Babylon Branch instead of the Central Branch, particularly trains timed more than the usual 35/36 mins non-stop between Jamaica and Babylon, such as 8710 1210 Sat/Sun Jamaica - Montauk).
    Report updated: July 2017

    Buffalo : Erie Canal Harbor – Special Events Station NY5
    For Buffalo Sabres games and the some other events at the HSBC Arena, a train departs from the Special Events Station (also referred to as the Events Only Station) 30 minutes after the end of the event, and uses this short section of line at the southern end of the NFTA-METRO line. Reported: March 2010

    Long Island City – Fresh Pond – Jamaica, Jay Tower NY6
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Long Island City – Hunterspoint Avenue – Harold Tower NY7
    This 1.8 mile section of the Main Line has only Mon to Fri peak-hour service, of which the 0.6 mile section between Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue has only the five or six trips each way through from/to Long Island City. Current schedule ("Jamaica - L I City" table).
    Note: trains starting or terminating at Hunterspoint Avenue run without passengers between there and Long Island City. Report updated: October 2016

    Buffalo: CP2 - CP437 NY8
    The normal route of Lake Shore Limited (trains 48/49) between the above points is by the Buffalo Creek line (CSX Buffalo Terminal Subdivision tracks 1 or 2, via CP Draw and the former FW Tower: 2.9 miles). When that is not available, the alternative CSX Buffalo Terminal Subdivision track 3 (former New York Central line via CP 1: 2.5 miles) may be used instead. Reported: October 2014

    Lakeville - Industry NY9
    Once a year on a Saturday in early October (2017 date: 7 October), the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum (which normally operates short trips on their own trackage at Industry) operate four fall foliage trips over this section of the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad (former Erie RR). Report updated: July 2017

    South Buffalo (Tifft Yard) - Hamburg - Eden NY11
    Buffalo Cattaraugus & Jamestown Scenic Railway operate occasional excursions as advertised (no regular schedule) from Hamburg over parts of the Buffalo Southern Railroad's former Erie Railroad line. The trip north to South Buffalo Tifft Yard is expected to be annual (2016 dates: 12 and 13 November). Reported: November 2016

    North Carolina

    Dillsboro – Bryson City – Nantahala NC1
    The regular Great Smoky Mountain Railroad tourist services between Bryson City and Dillsboro (15.8 miles) and Bryson City and Nantahala [run round loop at Hellards Court Circle] (23.0 miles) (the latter returning to Nantahala Outdoor Center = Wesser for stop-over) are normally scheduled in such a way that both services cannot be ridden on the same day. The exception seems to be a photographers' special - usually in late October/early November each year - check their website under Events - although it is believed that this train (unlike earlier years) does not go beyond the terminii reached on the ordinary trains. Report up-dated: November 2016

    Red Springs – Parkton NC2
    The Red Springs and Northern Railroad operate at least one annual Railfan Day Ride over their 12.1 mile line. Report updated: September 2016

    Various NC3
    The North Carolina Transportation Museum run a number of public charter excursions over non-passenger lines. Check their website for 611 excursions and other events. Report updated January 2016

    North Dakota

    [Minot – ] Surrey – New Rockford – Nolan – KO Junction – Casselton – West Fargo – Fargo ND1
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Minot and Fargo via Grand Forks, the Empire Builder (trains 7/8) is diverted via BNSF Railway's freight line via New Rockford, 228.4 miles (sometimes referred to as the "Surrey cut-off") (as applied during late October / early November 2012). Similarly, when pressure of freight traffic (crude oil movements) requires "directional running", in one direction the train operates by the diversionary route while in the other direction it runs the regular route (as applied during much of 2014). Such diversions may appear under Service Alerts & Notices [use the Amtrak journey planner to check whether a replacement bus is serving intermediate points]. Report up-dated: September 2015

    Ohio

    Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway / Orrville Railroad Heritage Society OH1
    Entry deleted - service withdrawn

    Cleveland Tower City/Public Square – South Harbor OH2
    Entry deleted - service no longer restricted

    Cincinnati (Riverside) – Batesville, IN – Greensburg OH3
    See IN3 under Indiana.

    Oregon

    Portland : Rose Quarter Transit Center – Interstate/Rose Quarter OR1
    On MAX [Metropolitan Area Express - TriMet's light rail system] is a junction between the Blue and Yellow lines. A linking curve, forming a triangle, is used for depot workings at beginning and end of service on the Yellow (Expo Center) line, daily. Such journeys at beginning of service are marked Y from Ruby Junction in the Blue Line westbound timetable and those at the end of service are marked Y in the Yellow Line southbound timetable, at the TriMet website. Report updated: September 2016

    [Garibaldi – Rockaway Beach – ] Haddon - Wheeler – Batterson – Salmonberry OR2
    Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad's Coastal Excursion train runs between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach (4.8 miles) and their regular dinner trains normally operate to Wheeler (a further 7.3 miles). East of Wheeler, Fall Splendor trains run to Batterson (8.5 miles) each weekend in October and Salmonberry Excursions run to Salmonberry (a further 5.4 miles) on a few Saturdays as advertised in July and August. Because of damage to the line, Salmonberry Excursions have not been able to operate since 2015, while even dinner trains during 2017 have been restricted to the section between Haddon and Bay City (south of Garibaldi). Fall Splendor trips are advertised to operate to Wheeler in autumn 2017 but it would be advisable to enquire locally for current situation. Report updated: July 2017

    Pennsylvania

    Reading Outer Station - Port Clinton – Nesquehoning Junction (former PQ Tower) [– Jim Thorpe], also Pottsville - Port Clinton PA2
    Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad operate various excursions as advertised on their Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway and R B M & N Passenger Division Special Events pages. Note that, apart from the Nesquehoning Junction - Jim Thorpe section, these are not the same route as their Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway regular tourist excursions from Jim Thorpe. The railroad are operating from a new passenger terminal in Reading from the 2017 season - see their web page. Report updated: March 2017

    Yeadon – Darby PA3
    This 0.75 mile section of SEPTA "subway-surface trolley" (= streetcar or tram) route 13 is only used (as advertised) at shift change-over times by cars proceeding to or from Elmwood depot (they are unadvertised between Darby Transportation Center and Elmwood). Report updated: September 2016

    [New Hope – ] Lahaska – Warminster PA4
    In addition to their regular tourist services throughout the year between New Hope and Lahaska (4.1 miles), New Hope & Ivyland Railroad has operated Fall foliage excursions over the full length of their line to Warminster SEPTA station (a further 14 miles) each recent year, every Saturday and Sunday in October. Fall foliage operation in 2016 limited to New Hope - Wycombe section: check their website for future years (they hope to resume running to Warminster in future). Report updated: October 2016

    [Honesdale – ] Hawley – Lackawaxen PA5
    In addition to weekend seasonal tourist services between Honesdale and Hawley (9.0 miles), the Stourbridge Line (Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad Co.) operate fall foliage excursions - as the Foliage Limited and Two River Picnic excursions - over the full length of their line to Lackawaxen (a further 15.8 miles) as advertised, during September and October. Report updated: September 2016

    [Latrobe – ] CP Conpit – Johnstown PA6
    Track 3 follows a different alignment from tracks 1 and 2 over much of this 15.5 mile section; all are reversible. Track 2 is normally used by the Amtrak Pennsylvanian (trains 42/43/44) as it serves the platform at Johnstown, although track 3 (which has a slower track speed) may on occasion be used by the westbound train (train 43). Reported: August 2011

    [Johnstown – ] Interlockings AR and UN – Benny [ – Altoona] PA7
    Track 1 (signalled for eastbound trains) follows a different alignment from tracks 2 (reversibly signalled) and 3 (signalled for westbound trains) over this 2.1 mile section. Track 1 is normally used by the eastbound Amtrak Pennsylvanian (trains 42/44), while tracks 2 or 3 are used by the westbound train (train 43). Reported: August 2011

    Dureya or Tunkhannock – Pittston Junction – Glen Summit – Old Penn Haven [– Jim Thorpe] PA8
    Reading & Northern Railroad operate occasional passenger excursions (latterly as chartered specials) over this route - as advised on their website (look through their special events page). Note that south of Old Penn Haven this is also the route of their Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway regular tourist excursions from Jim Thorpe. Report updated: September 2015

    Valley – Cynwyd PA9
    This 2.1 mile section of the former Pennsylvania Norristown line is not particularly "obscure" but it only operates Mon to Fri peak hours (up to 10 round trips), apart from one Mon to Fri mid-day round trip. Current schedule -> Cynwyd line. Report updated: March 2017

    Bellefonte – Sayers Dam, Lemont and Tyrone PA10
    The Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society operate Fall Foliage / Halloween excursions one weekend at the end of October each year over former Pennsylvania RR lines to Sayers Dam (near Howard) (ca.9 miles); to Lemont (9.2 miles (this branch not available beyond Pleasant Gap Junction - line blocked by stored cars)); and to Tyrone (33.5 miles). Santa train run from Bellefonte to Pleasant Gap Junction (Lemont branch) one weekend each December. Report updated: March 2017

    SEDA Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority PA11
    In addition to the trains mentioned under PA10, other opportunities in central Pennsylvania are operated by the North Shore Railroad over track owned by SEDA Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority - excursions are listed at their link "Passenger Excursion Information". Report updated: April 2016

    Scranton - Carbondale PA12
    Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area sponsor their Annual Heritage Explorer Train - usually on a mid-August Saturday (2016 date: 16 August) - operated by Steamtown, over this 16.0 mile former Delaware & Hudson line. For other Steamtown-operated tourist trains from Scranton, see their own website. Report updated: September 2016

    Minersville - Cressona ("towards Schuylkill Haven") PA13
    Railway Restoration Project 113 sponsor occasional trains in conjunction with Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway over this 6.3 mile former Reading section of Reading & Northern Railroad. Report updated: March 2016

    Panhandle interlocking (Monongahela river bridge south end) - Allentown - South Hills Junction PA14
    This 1.91 mile section of the Port Authority of Allegheny County light rail system - former route 52 (closed to regular traffic from 27 March 2011) - is only used for infrequent diversions when Mount Washington Tunnel is closed for engineering work. Such diversions applied in January and October 2016, and appear on the Port Authority's detours webpage. Report updated: October 2016

    Rhode Island

    Providence & Worcester Railroad RI1
    See MA5 and MA6 under Massachusetts.

    Davisville Junction - Quonset Point (North Kingstown) RI2
    For the annual Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show (2017 dates: 20 and 21 May) at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station, shuttle services are operated over this ca. 3 mile branch both from Providence and from Wickford Junction (the latter reversing at Davisville Junction), as advertised.Reported: May 2017

    Tennessee

    Chattanooga : ChooChoo (former Terminal Station site) TN1
    Entry deleted - regular excursions no longer operate

    [Nashville – ] Lebanon – Monterey – Crawford sand plant TN2
    The Regional Transportation Authority operate the regular commuter service over the Nashville & Eastern Railroad (former Tennessee Central) between Nashville and Lebanon. Beyond there, the Tennessee Central Railway Museum operate excursions through from their Nashville museum site, of which two a year are to Monterey (76.4 miles beyond Lebanon), usually on the first Saturday in May for Spring on the Mountain Festival and the second Saturday in October for Standing Stone Day.
    The train usually continues as a separate, locally ticketed excursion from Monterey to the Crawford sand plant (ca. 2 miles) - for this extension, check MontereyTN.com or Monterey Depot Historical Society web pages. Report updated: March 2017

    Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum steam excursions on Norfolk Southern lines TN3
    Entry deleted - Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum excursions over NS no longer operate

    Texas

    San Marcos, CP Q212 UP Junction – San Antonio TX1
    There are two bi-directional routes between CP Q212 UP Junction (just south of San Marcos), and San Antonio (approx. 53 miles), both now UP-owned as part of their Austin Subdivision:

  • track 1 (formerly International - Great Northern (Missouri Pacific)) (the Amtrak platform at San Marcos is on this line, north of CP Q212)
  • track 2 (formerly Missouri-Kansas-Texas)
    These run broadly parallel but approach San Antonio on the west and east sides of the city, respectively. The scheduled routing is:
  • southbound Texas Eagle (train 21/421) track 1, giving a head-on move into San Antonio Amtrak station by the Tower 109 (Apache Junction) - Tower 112 (CP SA 211) link
  • northbound Texas Eagle (train 22/422) backs out to Tower 112 (CP SA 211) thence track 2 to Conrads, thence track 1 (note: the spur from East Yards to Travis no longer exists)

    By following the scheduled route, the inbound train forms the outbound train without wyeing (turning). However, Amtrak trains can (and occasionally do) take either track or switch tracks at any of three places intermediately at dispatcher's discretion. Report updated: October 2013

    Houston, Tower 26 – Beaumont, Langham Road TX2
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the west and eastbound Sunset Limited (trains 1 and 2) are separated: the westbound normally uses the original Southern Pacific (Texas & New Orleans) route, Layfayette and Terminal Subdivisions (78.4 miles), the eastbound the former Missouri Pacific (Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western) route, Houston West Belt, Houston East Belt and Beaumont Subdivisions (84.9 miles) (involving a back-up movement in Houston, from Carr Street to Lyons, or - occasionally - from the Amtrak depot to Chaney Junction, to reach Tower 26, thence Tower 210 and Belt Junction). Report updated: May 2017

    [Cedar Park – ] Bertram – Burnet and Austin Junction wye TX3
    The Austin Steam Train operates regular year-round tourist services over the tracks of the Austin Area Terminal Railroad - normally Cedar Park - Bertram (23.3 miles). However, from March to May and again from late September to December the railroad operates Saturday excursions on to Burnet (a further 11.3 miles) when advertised as The Hill Country Flyer. The occasional Capital City Express runs in the opposite direction, to Austin city; without layover there, it uses the three sides of the wye at Austin Junction - although the remainder of the route is that used by MetroRail commuter trains. In-bound and out-bound trains at Cedar Park may use different legs of the wye there. Report updated: June 2016

    Taylor – Hearne – Palestine (northbound) / Corsicana (southbound) – Longview, Junction TX4
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Longview / Dallas / Fort Worth / Taylor, the Texas Eagle (trains 21/421/22/422) is diverted northbound via the Union Pacific (former International - Great Northern, later Missouri Pacific) line (the normally freight-only element is 226.1 miles) and southbound via the Union Pacific (former St. Louis South Western and Houston & Texas Central) route via Corsicana; the intermediate stops - particularly Dallas and Fort Worth - are omitted. Although both routes are useable in either direction, the different routings reflect "directional running" on UP lines in Texas, and the actual location of the engineering work may have a bearing on whether or not this applies. Such diversions (which applied in autumn 2013, April/May 2014 and May/June 2017 but are unlikely to apply often) appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Report updated: May 2017

    Texarkana - Big Sandy TX5
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Texarkana and Big Sandy [- Mineola], the Texas Eagle (trains 21/421/22/422) is diverted via the Union Pacific (former St.Louis South Western) line (106.5 miles); the intermediate stops at Marshall and Longview are omitted. Such diversions (which applied in May 2016 and 2017 but are unlikely to apply often) should appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Report updated: April 2017

    Houston - Rosenberg TX6
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between Houston and Rosenberg, the Sunset Limited (trains 1 and 2) is diverted - west of Houston - via Tower 26 (Carr Street), T&NO Junction and Alvin (with reversals at Houston Amtrak station, at Carr Street and at Rosenberg). Such diversions (which applied in June 2016) are unlikely to apply often and, as there are no intermediate stops, they are unlikely to appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices. Reported: June 2016

    Utah

    Salt Lake City : Library – Courthouse UT1
    Entry deleted - service no longer restricted

    [Denver, CO – ] Wasatch – Ogden 31st Street – Salt Lake City UT2
    See CO6 under Colorado. Between Ogden Bridge Junction and Salt Lake City the trains run on UP tracks, parallel to the UTA FrontRunner tracks.

    [Castilla – ] Mapleton – Springville UT3
    The two bi-directional tracks used by the west and eastbound California Zephyr (trains 5 and 6) are separated between mileposts approx. 690 and 695.8, the more westerly track 2 being longer than track 1. Either track may be used at dispatcher's discretion. Reported: October 2013

    Provo Central - Salt Lake City Central - Ogden [ - Pleasant View] UT4
    UTA's FrontRunner service operates on its own dedicated tracks, parallel to Union Pacific's (used by Amtrak on regular route and on diversion route UT2), but diverging between Provo and Orem. Between Ogden and Pleasant View the very limited (four southbound, two northbound) FrontRunner services use UP track for the ca. 3 mile section between Cecil Junction (G002) and Randall (G005). Reported: July 2016

    Vermont

    Vermont Rail System VT1
    Vermont Rail System, as Green Mountain Railroad, operate seasonal tourist services between Rockingham (near Bellows Falls), Chester and Ludlow, with occasional trips from Burlington, as advertised on their website each year. Report updated: April 2014

    Virginia

    Dillwyn – New Canton VA1
    Old Dominion Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, operate excursions over 16.1 miles of the Buckingham Branch Railroad on six Saturdays each year (three in May and three in October), plus Santa trains over the shorter section between Dillwyn and Alpha in December. Details from their website. Report updated: September 2016

    Alexandria : CR Tower – Val Interlocking VA2
    Over this 1.5 mile section Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express trains normally use the CSX line, except VRE train no. 338, 1710 Mon to Fri Broad Run - Washington Union Station, which uses Norfolk Southern's North Passing Track to avoid a conflicting movement. Val interlocking is at about the location shown as AF interlocking on the SPV Railroad Atlas. Report updated: November 2016

    Various VA4
    The Virginia Museum of Transportation run a number of public charter excursions over non-passenger lines. Check their website. Reported January 2016

    Washington State

    Tacoma Tideflats yard trackage WA1
    Tacoma Rail usually have an annual open day on a Saturday late in August when they offer free passenger train rides, in the Port of Tacoma industrial area. See their website.
    There is no evidence of such facility since 2014 so this entry is deleted. Report updated: August 2017

    Spokane, Sunset Junction – Lakeside Junction WA2
    There are two bi-directional routes between these locations, both part of BNSF's Northwest Division:

  • Lakeside Subdivision ("Low Line") (formerly Northern Pacific - 10.6 miles)
  • Spokane Subdivision ("High Line") (formerly Spokane, Portland & Seattle - 10.9 miles)
    In normal operation, the Lakeside Subdivision is used by eastbound freight trains, the Spokane Subdivision by westbound freight trains. However, the Portland sections of the Empire Builder (trains 27 and 28) normally use the "Low Line" in both directions. That portion of the Spokane Subdivision between Sunset Junction and Latah Junction (0.8 miles) is also used, in both directions, by the Seattle sections of the Empire Builder (trains 7 and 8). Report updated: July 2017

    West Virginia

    Hawks Nest, MA interlocking – Sewell, MJ interlocking WV1
    Although there are two bi-directional tracks - separated by the New River - available at dispatcher's discretion, the speed limits on the line on the west bank (Track 2) dictate that the Cardinal (trains 50 and 51) normally runs via the line on the east bank (Track 1) in both directions. Report updated: October 2011

    Green Spring – Wappocomo (Romney) – Sycamore Bridge – Petersburg WV2
    The Potomac Eagle "Trough trip" excursions of the South Branch Valley Railroad normally run over the 17 miles south from Wappocomo (Romney) to Sycamore Bridge. On the last Saturday of every month during the season "All-day trips" extend a further 22 miles to the southern end of the line at Petersburg. Once a year, at the end of the season (2017 date: 29 October), a trip covers the 15.2 miles north from Wappocomo to Green Spring (as an "All-day trip" runs the previous day, it is possible to cover the complete line this weekend). Check their website. Report updated: January 2017

    Cumberland, MD - Maryland Junction WV3
    Western Maryland Scenic Railroad excursions normally run west (in Maryland) from Cumberland to Frostburg. However, very occasionally short trips run south from Cumberland to Maryland Junction wye (1.6 miles; normally used for turning locos., line almost entirely in WV). For 2017 it appears that only the Ridgeley Shop Tours will use any part of this line (2017 date: 6 May). Report updated: March 2017

    Wisconsin

    Elm Grove – Brookfield WI1
    The two tracks used by the west and eastbound Empire Builder (trains 7 and 8) are separated in the western environs of Milwaukee. Reported: August 2006

    [St.Paul, MN – ] St. Croix Junction, MN – Prairie du Chien – East Dubuque, IL [ – Chicago] WI2
    When planned major engineering work blocks the regular Amtrak route between St.Paul and Chicago via Milwaukee, the Empire Builder (trains 7/8) are diverted via BNSF Railway's former Chicago Burlington & Quincy "twin cities" main line. The normally freight-only element is 369 miles. Such diversions (which applied in July 2008 and December 2012) may appear on Amtrak's website -> Service Alerts & Notices when the intermediate calling points are omitted. Report updated: December 2012

    Wyoming

    [Denver, CO – ] Speer Junction – Evanston [ – Salt Lake City, UT] WY1
    See CO6 under Colorado. Note that there are two prospective routes within Wyoming between West Speer and Laramie.

    [Denver, CO – ] Speer Junction – Cheyenne WY2
    See CO1 under Colorado.

    URUGUAY

    Victor Sudriers – Verdum UY1
    On the Día del Patromonio weekend in October, and often also during Semana del Turismo early in April, special trains from Montevideo may be advertised over this 79km section beyond Victor Sudriers; they sometimes continue a further 3km to Minas. Reported: January 2012

    Toledo – San Ramón UY2
    On the Día del Patromonio weekend in October, and often also during Semana del Turismo early in April, special trains from Montevideo may be advertised over this 25km section from the junction at Toledo; they sometimes continue to Cerro Colorado, a further 71km. Reported: January 2012

    Florida – Durazno UY3
    In conjunction with the Pilsen rock festival (not held every year), special trains from Montevideo have in the past been advertised over the 96km section beyond Florida. Reported: January 2012

    ZAMBIA

    New Kapiri Mposhi [Tazara] - Kapiri Mposhi / Kapiri North [ZRL] ZM1
    The only through passenger trains between the two systems at Kapiri Mposhi are the Rovos Rail cruise trains between South Africa and Dar es Salaam. On the Dar-bound journey trains use the south leg of the triangle at Kapiri Mposhi, on the return (to turn the train) they use the north leg. Report updated: March 2016

    Livingstone - Victoria Falls bridge [- Victoria Falls, ZW] ZM2
    The only through passenger trains between the Zambian and Zimbabwean systems are the Rovos Rail cruise trains between South Africa and Dar es Salaam. Report updated: March 2016

    ZIMBABWE

    Bulawayo avoiding line (Mpopoma - Nketa) ZW1
    Rovos Rail cruise trains between South Africa and Victoria Falls / Dar es Salaam - when using the route via Botswana rather than via Beit Bridge - use this curve to run between the Plumtree and Victoria Falls lines, to avoid Bulawayo station. Reported: February 2014

    Bulawayo avoiding line (Luveve - Northolt) ZW2
    Rovos Rail cruise trains between South Africa and Victoria Falls / Dar Es Salaam - when using the route via Beit Bridge rather than Botswana - use this curve to run between the Harare and Victoria Falls lines, to avoid Bulawayo station. Reported: February 2017

    Somabhula balloon loop ZW3
    Rovos Rail cruise trains between South Africa and Victoria Falls / Dar Es Salaam - when running via Beit Bridge rather than Botswana - use this loop to run between the Chicualacuala and Bulawayo lines, to avoid reversal. Reported: February 2017

    Dabuka northern balloon loop ZW4
    Shongololo Southern Cross cruise trains between South Africa and Victoria Falls use this loop to turn the train, to avoid reversal. This is instead of at Somabhula, to facilitate an off-train excursion. Reported: February 2017



    Contributions

    The compiler is always grateful for contributions, up-dates or comments, and is very pleased to thank the following (in alphabetical order) who, over the years, have provided information:

    Dave Arthur, John Atherton, Gregory Beecroft, Tom Binger, David Boone, Tom Box, Tim Bruno, Alan Butler, Dan Carter, Ian Cliff, Rich Copeland, Brian Cutter, Tom DeJoseph, Otto Dobnick, Bob Douglas, Nigel Eacock, John Emery, Jim Fetchero, John Friedmann, David Giles, John Godfrey, Paul Griffin, Jörg Hänsel, Clive Haines, John Harmon, Mike Harris, Robert Heavenrich, Brian Higgins, Robert Holliday, Stan Hunter, Victor Isaacs, Andrew Jennings, Bart Jennings, Kevin Keefe, Geoff Lillico, Joe Maloney, William Marsh, Karl McKinney, Gregor McNeil, Ian Mortimer, Ron Newman, Steve Patterson, Samuel Rachdi, Sy Reich, Bill Schafer, Roderick Smith, Paul Steane, Pete Stonitsch, Walt Stringer, Carol Sulanke, Christian Teufel, Ian Umpleby, Don von Devon, Chris Walker, Mark Waller, Chuck Weinstock, Rodger Wilkinson.

    Copyright © 2006-2017. All rights reserved. Copies of this document, whether made electronically or otherwise, must be for personal use only and shall not be used for commercial purposes. The information supplied in this document is for general reference only and should not be relied upon without further specific enquiry. You may alter the formatting and content of this document only to suit your own computer or printer.



    There is no pay-wall for this facility - but if you use it, and find it helpful, you are urged to donate generously to a railway related charity: we suggest RBF - The Railway Benefit Fund is worthy of your consideration for donations - or a charity of your choice.



    Return to the introduction page