In addition to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) which office in-state public transportation services, Amtrak, the U. S. National Railroad Passenger Corporation, provides direct service to from several locations in Massachusetts to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C as well as areas of Maine and New Hampshire. Amtrak operates approximately 56 trains daily in Massachusetts, including Acela Express and Regional trains on the Northeast Corridor. Boston South Station is the 6th busiest station in the national Amtrak System with 1.391 million passengers either boarding or alighting Amtrak trains. For information on nationwide Amtrak service visit www.amtrak.com
Massachusetts is serviced by 11 different freight railroads on over 1,170 miles of tracks, of which 40% shared with passenger operations and 40% in public ownership. There are both Class I railroads and associated Short lines in the state that provide direct connections between major rail terminals across the US and Canada. Massachusetts has direct access to two Class I railroads – the CSX and the Norfolk Southern. The Norfolk Southern – through its investments in the Patriot Corridor (former PanAm line) – is improving the Commonwealth’s ability to access green, high-speed, lower cost transcontinental freight transportation alternatives. The CSX has connections to the Port of Boston and intermodal yards in Allston, Framingham, and elsewhere in the Commonwealth, allowing companies to develop flexible global logistics strategies even in the midst of one of the largest American consumer markets.
According to the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works’ State Freight and Rail Plan (October 2, 2008) some of the top ten commodities being shipped via rail are Chemicals Or Allied Products (13%), Food Or Kindred Products (12%), Pulp, Paper Or Allied Products (11%), Farm Products (8%), Transportation Equipment (6%), and Lumber Or Wood Products (5%).