Top 10 Busiest Railway Stations in the US
The United States is the country with the largest railway network in the whole world. Although once the passenger service was the strength of the railways but now freight is the major user of the United States railway network.
However, commuter trains mainly work in major cities and with few intercity trains, the stations of the United States are very busy as well. In the following, we are going to take a look at the list of the top 10 busiest railway stations in the United States as of 2023.
1. Pennsylvania Station
The Pennsylvania Station is the busiest station in the United States. The station is also known as Penn Station. The station is located below the Madison Square Garden in the block which is bordered by the Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Read Also: Permanent Way in Railway.
Penn Station is also the busiest station in the whole of the Western Hemisphere. There are 21 tracks with 11 platforms. Amtrak owns the station. Amtrak is also responsible for the operations of the passenger rail line in the Northeast Corridor and intercity trains.
The Pennsylvania Station is in the center of the northeast corridor connecting New York with Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. with all the other stations in between. Meanwhile, the commuter rail service is operated by Long Island Rail Road(LIRR) and NJ Transit(NJT).
The station was built and owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad so, it was named after it. The construction of the station was completed in 1910. The average annual entry and exits in the station are 107.416 million. This makes the station the topper of being the busiest station in the United States.
2. Grand Central Terminal
The second busiest station in the US or USA is the Grand Central Terminal. It is also known as Grand Central. The station is located at 89 East 42nd Street, Manhattan, New York City. It is at present, owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The station is used as a commuter station. Grand Central is among the most famous railway stations in the world. What makes Grand Central so popular is its architecture due to which the station has been included in the list of National Historic Landmarks.
The Beaux-Arts design is what has made Grand Central Station among the 10 most visited tourist attractions. The annual count of visitors who come to see the station is 21.6 million as of 2018. The station is quite frequently seen in television shows and movies also.
The Grand Central Terminal was opened in 1913. The station was named by New York Central Railroad which was also the builder of the station. There are a total of 44 platforms in the station and annually about 66.952 million passengers come and go from the station as per the 2018 report. However, as of 2022, it is assumed that the number of passengers has exceeded 95 million annually.
3. Jamaica station
The Jamaica station is the third busiest station in the United States. The station is located on Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, Queens, New York. The Jamaica station is owned by the Long Island Rail Road and is one of the main railway stations under LIRR.
The station is used for commuter travel mainly. The station has six platforms with 10 tracks. There is a concourse above the station which is connected to the John F. Kennedy International Airport. The station works as a great center for people as it is connected to almost every part of New York.
The first Jamaica station was built by the LIRR in 1836, whereas the second one was built completely new in an adjacent area by the Southside Railroad of Long Island.
However, the current station was built-in 1912-13 at its current location in place of the previous two. Kenneth M. Murchison was the one who designed the current station. The annual attendance of the Jamaica Station is 59.803 million. Read Also: Busiest Ports in the USA.
4. Chicago Union Station
Chicago Union Station is the fourth busiest station in the United States. It is a commuter rail terminal which is located in the westside neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Union Station acts as the flagship station of Amtrak in the Midwest of the United States.
The station serves both long-distance trains as well as trains for the downtown for the commuters of the city. There are 30 platforms with 24 tracks in the station. The station replaced an earlier station and was opened in 1925. Chicago Union Station is the most important station of Amtrak outside of the Northeastern zone.
The station has for a long time been the face of the architectural achievement of Chicago. D. H. Burnham & Company and his successors were the architect of the station and it was designed in Beaux-Arts. Chicago Union Station has about 40 million people come and go from here annually.
5. Ogilvie Transportation Center
The Ogilvie Transportation Center comes in the fifth spot in regards to being the busiest station in the US. It is also known as Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center. The station is located on West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois.
The station is owned by Union Pacific Railroad and Metra. The station was opened in 1911-12 as Chicago and Northwestern terminal. The design of the new station was done by Frost and Granger in a Renaissance style.
During those days, the station was the starting point of the trains with the destination of Milwaukee, Minneapolis -St Paul, Madison, and many other intercity commuters.
According to the data, there were about 38 departures every day of intercity trains in 1939. Now, the Ogilvie Transportation Center has 8 platforms with 16 tracks. The station receives 31.905 million people every year. This station is also counted as the sixth busiest rail station in North America.
6. South Station
The Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center is the official name of South Station. The South Station is the largest railroad station in Greater Boston and is located on Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts.
The station was built in 1899 to replace the downtown terminals of several other railroads. At present, it is not only a railway station but also an intercity bus hub. The station is owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The present name of the station is named after former Massachusetts governor Michael S. Dukakis since 2014. In Boston, when the railroads were being laid, there were four stopped and each stopped had its own terminal.
The four terminals were New York and New England Railroad, Old Colony Railroad, Boston and Albany Railroad, and Boston and Providence Railroad. Although many were brought, the problem of separate terminals was not solved.
To solve the problem of four terminals the Boston Terminal Company was established in the year 1897. The main work of the Boston Terminal Company was to get a single terminal for the four. The South Station has a total of 13 platforms. The number of people using this station annually is about 28.875 million. Read Also: Top 10 Highest Bridges in the USA.
7. Newark Pennsylvania Station
The seventh busiest railway station of the United States is the Newark Pennsylvania Station. The station is located in Raymond Plaza West, Newark, New Jersey. It is also the fourth busiest railway station in the New York area.
The station is owned by New Jersey Transit Corporation. It is not only a busy railway station but also a busy bus hub as well. This makes this station even busier.
The Newark Pennsylvania Station was opened in 1935. The architect of the station was the renowned architect firm of that time McKim, Mead & White. Art Deco and Neo-Classical is the art that was used in this station.
The station was renovated in 2007 majorly with almost each and everything improved from what was there. There are 6 platforms in the station. About 17.811 million people annually use this station to reach their destination.
8. Hoboken Terminal
Hoboken Terminal comes in the eighth position on the list of the busiest railway in the United States. The station is used as a commuter station. It is located in Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States.
It serves as one of the most important transit hubs of New York. It is not a rail station but also provides private bus and ferry services that make the station even busier.
The station was built-in 1907. The Hoboken Terminal was designed by architect Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison. The site of the station was used for ferries for a long time. It connected Manhattan to the mainland USA.
NJ Transit bought the station from Conrail in 1983. There are a total of 10 platforms in the station of Hoboken terminal. The station receives 14.950 million passengers every year according to surveys.
9. Washington Union Station
The ninth busiest railway station of the United States is located in Washington, D.C. The name of the station is Washington Union Station. The operation of the station started in 1907.
The station connects the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. This is what makes this line the ninth busiest railway line in the United States. The station is not only a transport hub but also a shopping and tourist destination.
Before the Union station came into existence, two different railway companies used two stations. But in the year 1901, both companies agreed to build a new station which was to be known as the Union Station. The Union Station was designed by Daniel Burnham and was constructed in Classical and Beaux-Art.
The station is owned jointly by the United States Department of Transportation looking after the main building and the parking. Meanwhile, Amtrak is responsible for the tracks and platforms. There are a total of 18 platforms in the station with the annual entrance and exit being 13.665 million.
10. 30th Street Station
The 30th Street Station is also known as the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station is the tenth busiest station in the USA. The station is used as an intermodal transit station. The 30th Street Station is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The station was opened in 1933 and it is currently owned by Amtrak. The station was constructed in classical revival style and was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. The station consists of a total of 9 platforms. Nearly 12.270 million people use this station every year.
11. Los Angeles Union Station
The Los Angeles Union Station is the eleventh busiest railway station in the US. It is also the busiest railway in the Western United States. The station was opened in 1939 in the place of La Grande Station and Central Station. It is located in North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, California, United States.
The station is owned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The structure of the building was built by Robert E. McKee Inc. and designed by Parkinson, John & Donald B. in Art Deco and Modern style. There are 9 platforms in this station. The Los Angeles Union Station sees an entrance and exit of about 10.999 million people.
- 1 Top 10 Busiest Railway Stations in the US
- 1.1 1. Pennsylvania Station
- 1.2 2. Grand Central Terminal
- 1.3 3. Jamaica station
- 1.4 4. Chicago Union Station
- 1.5 5. Ogilvie Transportation Center
- 1.6 6. South Station
- 1.7 7. Newark Pennsylvania Station
- 1.8 8. Hoboken Terminal
- 1.9 9. Washington Union Station
- 1.10 10. 30th Street Station
- 1.11 11. Los Angeles Union Station
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