Busiest Train Stations in the United States

Penn Station is the busiest railway station in the US by passenger volume. Editorial credit: littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com.
Penn Station is the busiest railway station in the US by passenger volume. Editorial credit: littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com.

The railroad system in the United States is mainly comprised of freight transport. The passenger transport service, which was once used extensively, has a more limited role in comparison to countries with extensive rail travel. Amtrak is the main intercity passenger service in the country. Commuter rail networks also exist in many metropolitan areas. The rail systems are, however, not extensively connected. The notable exception is the Northeast corridor, which consists of Washington, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston. Believe is a list of the busiest train stations in the United States by passenger volume. 

Busiest Train Stations in the United States

New York Penn Station

Pennsylvania Station is ranked as North America’s busiest train station. It is also the primary intercity train station in the city of New York. Statistics obtained from the station in 2019 indicate that it serves over 600,000 passengers on weekdays. Penn Station is situated in Midtown Manhattan close to the Empire State Building and Herald Square. The station has 21 tracks that come from seven tunnels.

Grand Central Terminal 

Grand Central Terminal is among the most prominent train stations in the country. The station was opened in 1913 at a cost equivalent to $2 billion in today's money. The station occupies 48 acres in Midtown Manhattan and has the highest number of platforms in the world. Its platforms are all underground with the upper-level serving 30 tracks while the lower level serves 26 tracks. The train station also has a very distinctive interior design which makes it among the most visited tourist attractions in the country.

Jamaica Station

Jamaica Station is situated in Queens, New York City. The station is a vital transport hub on the Long Island Rail Road with a ridership of over 200,000 passengers on weekdays. Jamaica Station has five platforms and eight tracks that serve over 1,000 trains each day.

Chicago Union Station

Chicago Union station is owned and operated by Metra. The station primarily serves commuter trains from in and around Chicago. It handles an estimated 140,000 passengers per week, 93% of whom are Metra riders. The station was accorded the “America’s Great Places” award in 2012 due to its art deco architectural design.

Ogilvie Transportation Center

The Ogilvie Transportation Center is located in downtown Chicago and is the second busiest station in the city after the Chicago Union Station.

Impact of Railraods

Historically, railroads played an indispensable role in the development of the national market. Today freight railroads are used in the movement of oil and coal as well as other imports and exports. Between 1981 and 2000, American freight rail share also rose by 43%, the highest among developed nations.

Busiest Train Stations in the United States

1Penn StationNew York City10,397,729
2Washington Union StationWashington5,225,460
330th Street StationPhiladelphia4,411,662
4Chicago Union StationChicago3,388,051
5Union StationLos Angeles1,716,392
6South StationBoston1,567,627
7Sacramento Valley StationSacramento1,073,584
8Penn StationBaltimore1,063,628
10Santa Fe Depot (Union Station)San Diego777,961

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