The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities. Founded in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to operate many U. S. passenger rail services, it receives a combination of state and federal subsidies but is managed as a for-profit organization. Amtrak's headquarters is located one block west of Union Station in Washington, D. C. Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces, operating more than 300 trains daily over 21,400 miles of track. Amtrak owns 623 miles of this track and operates an additional 132 miles of track; some track sections allow trains to run as fast as 150 mph. In fiscal year 2018, Amtrak served 31.7 million passengers and had $3.4 billion in revenue, while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly 87,000 passengers ride more than 300 Amtrak trains on a daily basis. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the 10 largest metropolitan areas.
The name Amtrak is a portmanteau of the words America and trak, the latter itself a sensational spelling of track. In 1916, 98% of all commercial intercity travelers in the United States moved by rail, the remaining 2% moved by inland waterways. Nearly 42 million passengers used railways as primary transportation. Passenger trains were owned and operated by the same owned companies that operated freight trains; as the 20th century progressed, patronage declined in the face of competition from buses, air travel, the automobile. New streamlined diesel-powered trains such as the Pioneer Zephyr were popular with the traveling public but could not reverse the trend. By 1940, railroads held just 67 percent of commercial passenger-miles in the United States. In real terms, passenger-miles had fallen by 40 % from 42 billion to 25 billion. Traffic surged during World War II, aided by troop movement and gasoline rationing; the railroad's market share surged with a massive 94 billion passenger-miles. After the war, railroads rejuvenated their overworked and neglected passenger fleets with fast and luxurious streamliners.
These new trains brought only temporary relief to the overall decline. As postwar travel exploded, passenger travel percentages of the overall market share fell to 46% by 1950, 32% by 1957; the railroads had lost money on passenger service since the Great Depression, but deficits reached $723 million in 1957. For many railroads, these losses threatened financial viability; the causes of this decline were debated. The National Highway System and airports, both funded by the government, competed directly with the railroads, who paid for their own infrastructure. Progressive Era rate regulation limited the railroad's ability to turn a profit. Railroads faced antiquated work rules and inflexible relationships with trade unions. To take one example, workers continued to receive a day's pay for 100-to-150-mile work days. Streamliners covered that in two hours. Matters approached a crisis in the 1960s. Passenger service route-miles fell from 107,000 miles in 1958 to 49,000 miles in 1970, the last full year of private operation.
The diversion of most U. S. Postal Service mail from passenger trains to trucks and freight trains in late 1967 deprived those trains of badly needed revenue. In direct response, the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway filed to discontinue 33 of its remaining 39 trains, ending all passenger service on one of the largest railroads in the country; the equipment the railroads had ordered after World War II was now 20 years old, worn out, in need of replacement. As passenger service declined various proposals were brought forward to rescue it; the 1961 Doyle Report proposed. Similar proposals failed to attract support; the federal government passed the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 to fund pilot programs in the Northeast Corridor, but this did nothing to address passenger deficits. In late 1969 multiple proposals emerged in the United States Congress, including equipment subsidies, route subsidies, lastly, a "quasi-public corporation" to take over the operation of intercity passenger trains.
Matters were brought to a head on March 5, 1970, when the Penn Central, the largest railroad in the Northeast United States and teetering on bankruptcy, filed to discontinue 34 of its passenger trains. In October 1970, Congress passed, President Richard Nixon signed into law, the Rail Passenger Service Act. Proponents of the bill, led by the National Association of Railroad Passengers, sought government funding to ensure the continuation of passenger trains, they conceived the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a private entity that would receive taxpayer funding and assume operation of intercity passenger trains. The original working brand name for NRPC was Railpax, but shortly before the company started operating it was changed to Amtrak. There were several key provisions: Any railroad operating intercity passenger service could contract with the NRPC, thereby joining the national system. Participating railroads bought into the NRPC using a formula based on their recent intercity passenger losses.
The purchase price could be satisfied either by cash or rolling stock. Any participating railroad was freed of the obligation to operate intercity passenger service after May 1, 1971, except for those services chosen by the Department of Transportation as part of a "basic system" of servic
San Martin station
San Martin is a Caltrain station located in the downtown area of San Martin, California. The station is only served during weekday peak hours, with northbound trains in the morning and southbound trains in the evening. Media related to San Martin station at Wikimedia Commons Caltrain - San Martin
Blossom Hill station (Caltrain)
Blossom Hill is a Caltrain station located off Monterey Road near the Blossom Hill Road expressway in San Jose, California. The station is only served during weekday peak hours, with northbound trains in the morning and southbound trains in the evening. Blossom Hill station has a single side platform serving one of the two tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad Coast Subdivision. A footbridge crosses the tracks at the station. Media related to Blossom Hill station at Wikimedia Commons Caltrain - Blossom Hill
Gilroy is a Caltrain station located in Gilroy, California. It is the southernmost terminus of the Caltrain system, is only served during commute hours on weekdays; the station building was constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1913 and restored in 1998. Future plans call for extended Amtrak Capitol Corridor service to stop at Gilroy; the first Gilroy station, similar to the depot still extant at Santa Clara, opened in 1869. A water tower and three-stall engine house were built in 1992; the original station was replaced with a two story Italian Renaissance structure—framed with local redwood and covered in cement plaster—in 1917 by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Service reductions began in 1929; the final service to the station was the Del Monte, which ran until April 30, 1971. Amtrak intercity service, including the Coast Starlight, passed through the station without stopping. On July 1, 1992, two daily Caltrain round trips were extended from San Jose Diridon station to Gilroy; this was increased to four daily round trips with the opening of a layover yard adjacent to the station in February 1994.
In 1998, the city restored the station building as the centerpiece of the $2.8 million Gilroy Transit Center, which included parking lots and a bus plaza. One waiting room was reopened for use by Greyhound. In July 2005, Caltrain reduced service to three daily round trips. Before 1992, Caltrain operated a special limited-stop train from San Francisco to Gilroy on the weekend of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, with shuttle buses between the station and the festival; this service ended in 2002 when Caltrain temporarily suspended all weekend train service for the CTX project, was not resumed when weekend service was restored in 2004. The Golden Gate Railroad Museum chartered weekend trains to Gilroy during the festival for a few years, but those charters were discontinued; the "Garlic Train" resumed service beginning with the 2013 Garlic Festival. The Road Repair and Accountability Act provided funding for an extension of Caltrain service to Salinas station, followed by Amtrak Capitol Corridor service later.
The dead-end platform track at Gilroy station will be extended south to reconnect with the mainline. The planned California High Speed Rail system will have a station in Gilroy. Two sites are under consideration: the existing Gilroy station, a undeveloped area northeast of the city center. Gilroy station is a hub for local and intercity bus service: Greyhound Monterey–Salinas Transit: 55, 86 San Benito County Transit: Caltrain Shuttle Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority: 14, 17, 18, 19, 68, 121, 168, 185 Caltrain - Gilroy VTA - Gilroy Salinas Rail Extension
Santa Clara – Great America station
Santa Clara – Great America is a train station in Santa Clara, California. It hosts Amtrak's Capitol Corridor trains and Altamont Corridor Express trains; the station is close to California's Great America. Amtrak service to Santa Clara began on May 21, 1993. Of the 74 California stations served by Amtrak, Great America was the 25th-busiest in FY2012, boarding or detraining an average of about 332 passengers daily. VTA provides connecting shuttles to various employers in the area. In addition, the station is near the Lick Mill light rail stop 1000 feet east; the light rail station named Great America is located at the theme park California's Great America 2000 feet to the west. Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach line 6 stops here between San Stockton. Media related to Santa Clara – Great America station at Wikimedia Commons Great America-Santa Clara – Amtrak ACE Great America Station Santa Clara-Great American Station Park & Ride Lots - Great America ACE Station VTA Santa Clara-Great America --Great American Stations
San Francisco 4th and King Street station
San Francisco 4th and King Street, 4th and King, or Caltrain Depot is the north end of the Caltrain commuter rail line to the San Francisco Peninsula and Santa Clara Valley, is a major area transit hub. It is next to a Muni Metro light rail station, which provides connections to downtown San Francisco and Bay Area Rapid Transit; the station is in the Mission Bay/China Basin area, bordered on the north by Townsend Street, east by 3rd Street, west by 4th Street and south by King Street. It opened on June 1975, replacing a station built in 1914 at 3rd and Townsend, one block away. 4th & King is one block from the home of the San Francisco Giants. Caltrain runs extra trains to shuttle fans to and from Giants games; the Muni extension to the station was opened in 1998. The Downtown Rail Extension project to the rebuilt Transbay Terminal includes the construction of an underground 4th and King station; the underground station will be next to the current station on the Townsend side. Until that time, California High-Speed Rail trains may utilize the existing station.
4th and King hosts a number of Muni bus lines, the E Embarcadero historic streetcar line, Muni's T Third Street and N Judah lines run to Market St downtown. The N Judah station platform is located on the median of King Street southwest of the 4th and King intersection, while The T Third Street station platform is located on the median of 4th Street southeast of the intersection. N Judah service replaced the J Church on June 30, 2007, two months after the J Church replaced the N Judah on April 7, 2007 on the Caltrain connection to downtown following the opening of the T line; the nearest BART access is the Powell Street station, a 1-mile walk up 4th street left on Market St. California Shuttle Bus runs to Los Angeles via San Jose. Service to Chinatown via Muni's Central Subway will connect to this station in 2019 after a realignment of the T Third Street line's route. Media related to San Francisco 4th and King Street station at Wikimedia Commons Caltrain - San Francisco station
Greyhound Lines, Inc. shortened to Greyhound, is an intercity bus common carrier serving over 3,800 destinations across North America. The company's first route began in Hibbing, Minnesota in 1914, the company adopted the Greyhound name in 1929. Since October 2007, Greyhound has been a subsidiary of British transportation company FirstGroup, but continues to be based in Dallas, where it has been headquartered since 1987. Greyhound and its sister companies in FirstGroup America are the largest motorcoach operators in the United States and Canada. Carl Eric Wickman was born in Sweden in 1887. In 1905, he moved to the United States where he worked as a drill operator at a mine in Alice, until he was laid off in 1914; that same year, he became a Hupmobile salesman in Minnesota. Although unsuccessful as a car salesman, Wickman used a 7-passenger car to begin a bus service with Andy "Bus Andy" Anderson and C. A. A. "Arvid" Heed in 1914. The fledgling company transported iron ore miners from Hibbing to Alice at 15 cents a ride.
In 1915, Wickman joined forces with Ralph Bogan, running a similar service from Hibbing to Duluth, Minnesota, to form the Mesaba Transportation Company. The company made $8,000 in profit in its first year. By the end of World War I in 1918, Wickman owned 18 buses and was making an annual profit of $40,000. In 1922, Wickman joined forces with the owner of Superior White Bus Lines. Four years Wickman purchased two West Coast operations, the Pioneer Yelloway System and the Pickwick Lines, creating a national intercity bus company; the Greyhound name had its origins in the inaugural run of a route from Superior, Wisconsin to Wausau, Wisconsin. While passing through a small town, Ed Stone, the route's operator, saw the reflection of his 1920s era bus in a store window; the reflection reminded him of a greyhound dog, he adopted that name for that segment of the Blue Goose Lines. The Greyhound name became popular and applied to the entire bus network. Stone became General Sales Manager of Yellow Truck and Coach, a division of General Motors, which built Greyhound buses.
As president of the company, Wickman continued to expand it so that by 1927, his buses were making transcontinental trips from California to New York. In 1928, Greyhound had a gross annual income of $6 million. In 1929, Greyhound acquired additional interests in the Gray Line and part of the Colonial Motor Coach Company to form Eastern Greyhound Lines. Greyhound acquired an interest in Northland Transportation Company and renamed it Northland Greyhound Lines. By 1930, more than 100 bus lines had been consolidated into what was called the Motor Transit Company. Recognizing the need for a more memorable name, the partners of the Motor Transit Company changed its name to The Greyhound Corporation after the Greyhound name used by earlier bus lines. Wickman's business suffered during the Great Depression, by 1931 was over $1 million in debt; as the 1930s progressed and the economy improved, Greyhound began to prosper again. In 1934, intercity bus lines carried 400,000,000 passengers—nearly as many passengers as the Class I railroads.
The film It Happened One Night — about an heiress traveling by Greyhound bus with a reporter — is credited by the company for spurring bus travel nationwide. In 1935, national intercity bus ridership climbed 50% to 651,999,000 passengers, surpassing the volume of passengers carried by the Class I railroads for the first time. In 1935 Wickman was able to announce record profits of $8 million. In 1936 the largest bus carrier in the United States, Greyhound began taking delivery of 306 new buses. To accommodate the rapid growth in bus travel, Greyhound built many new stations in the period between 1937 and 1945. To unify its brand image, it procured both buses and bus stations in the late Art Deco style known as Streamline Moderne starting in 1937. For terminals, Greyhound retained such architects as W. S. Arrasmith and George D. Brown. Notable examples of Streamline Moderne stations have been preserved in Blytheville, Cleveland, Columbia, South Carolina, Washington, D. C. Greyhound worked with the Yellow Coach Manufacturing Company for its streamlined Series 700 buses, first for Series 719 prototypes in 1934, from 1937 as the exclusive customer for Yellow's Series 743 bus.
Greyhound bought a total of 1,256 buses between 1937 and 1939. By the outbreak of World War II, the company had nearly 10,000 employees. Wickman retired as president of the Greyhound Corporation in 1946 and was replaced by his long-time partner Orville S. Caesar. Wickman died at the age of 66 in 1954. Greyhound commissioned noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy and General Motors to design several distinctive buses from the 1930s through the 1950s. Loewy's first was the GM PD-3751, the Greyhound Silversides produced in 1940 - 1941. 1954 saw the debut of the first of Greyhound's distinctive hump-backed buses. In 1944 Loewy had produced drawings for the GM GX-1, a full double-decker parlor bus with the first prototype built in 1953; the Scenicruiser was designed Loewy and built by General Motors as model PD-4501. The front of the bus was distinctly lower than its rear section. After World War II, the building of the Interstate Highway System beginning in 1956, automobile travel became a preferred mode of travel in the United States.
This, combined with the increasing affordability of air travel, spelled trouble for Greyhound and other intercity bus carriers. In October 1953, Greyhound announced the acquisition of the Tennessee Coach Company's entire operation, the negotiations fo