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List of Rhode Island railroads

A 1910 map showing nearly the maximum extent of Rhode Island's railroads

As of February 2022, a total of five railroads operate in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Freight services are largely operated by the Providence and Worcester Railroad, which interchanges with the state's only other freight railroad, the Seaview Transportation Company, a switching and terminal railroad serving the Port of Davisville. Passenger service is provided along Rhode Island's portion of the Northeast Corridor by Amtrak, supplemented by MBTA Commuter Rail service from Wickford Junction northbound towards Boston. Rhode Island is also home to one heritage railroad, the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad, which operates excursions on a segment of track on Aquidneck Island which is disconnected from the rest of the United States rail network.

Freight carriers

Name Reporting Mark Image Predecessor(s) Starting Year Description Owner Reference
Providence and Worcester Railroad PW, PWRZ P&W light engines at Pawtucket station 1844 (originally)

1973 (current system)

Originally founded in 1844, was leased by the New Haven in 1892 but continued to exist as a company. Split from NH successor Penn Central in 1973. Took over all Conrail operations in Rhode Island in 1982. Has trackage rights on the Northeast Corridor, in addition to owning its main line from Providence to the Massachusetts state line and a branch to East Providence. Genesee & Wyoming [1]
Seaview Transportation Company SVTX United States Navy 1978 Formed in 1978 to continue freight service for customers in and around Quonset Point Air National Guard Station, formerly operated by the United States Navy. Serves a major industrial park, interchanges with the Providence and Worcester. Independent [2]

Passenger carriers

Rhode Island passenger rail
Pawtucket/​Central Falls
Providence Amtrak
T. F. Green Airport T.F. Green Airport
Wickford Junction
Kingston
Westerly
Key
Amtrak
Amtrak only
MBTA Commuter Rail
MBTA Commuter Rail
Both
Name Reporting Mark Image Predecessor(s) Starting Year Description Owner Reference
Amtrak AMTK Avelia Liberty Slocum RI Penn Central 1971 National intercity passenger railroad of the United States. Took over intercity passenger service from Penn Central starting May 1, 1971. As of February 2022, operates the Northeast Regional and Acela in Rhode Island. Federal government of the United States [3]
MBTA Commuter Rail MBTX Train arriving at Wickford Junction station, June 2013 Penn Central 1976 The MBTA began subsidizing Rhode Island service on the Providence/Stoughton Line in 1976, and purchased the line's rolling stock from Penn Central that year. As of February 2022, service operates to and from Boston to a southern terminus at Wickford Junction. Massachusetts Department of Transportation [3]
Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad The Ice Cream Train, Melville RI Newport Dinner Train

Old Colony and Newport Scenic Railroad

2014 Heritage railroad operating excursions on Aquidneck Island. The railroad operates several different heritage trains, and also offers railbike rides. Seaview Transportation Company [4][5]

Defunct railroads

Name Mark System[nb 1] From To Successor Description Reference
Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad NH 1865 1874 New York and New England Railroad
Boston and Providence Railroad NH 1834 1888 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Consolidated Rail Corporation CR 1976 1982 Providence and Worcester Railroad Inherited Penn Central's operations in Rhode Island; all Rhode Island lines were sold to P&W in 1982.
Fall River, Warren and Providence Railroad NH 1862 1892 Old Colony Railroad
Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad NH 1849 1879 New York and New England Railroad
Moshassuck Valley Railroad MOV 1874 1982 Providence and Worcester Railroad
Narragansett Pier Railroad NAP NH 1868 1981 N/A
New England Railroad NH 1895 1908 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
New York and Boston Railroad NH 1853 1865 Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad
New York and New England Railroad NH 1873 1895 New England Railroad
New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad NH NH 1893 1969 Penn Central Transportation Company
New York, Providence and Boston Railroad NH 1832 1893 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
New York, Providence and Boston and Old Colony Railroad Terminal Company NH 1891 1904 Providence Terminal Company
Newport and Fall River Railroad NH 1846 1863 Old Colony and Newport Railway
Newport and Wickford Railroad and Steamboat Company NH 1870 1909 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Old Colony Railroad NH 1872 1947 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Old Colony and Newport Railway NH 1863 1872 Old Colony Railroad
Pawtuxet Valley Railroad NH 1868 1907 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Penn Central Transportation Company PC 1969 1976 Consolidated Rail Corporation
Pontiac Branch Railroad NH 1875 1885 New York, Providence and Boston Railroad
Providence and Bristol Railroad NH 1850 1852 Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad
Providence and Plainfield Railroad NH 1846 1851 Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad
Providence and Springfield Railroad NH 1872 1905 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Providence Terminal Company NH 1904 1906 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad NH 1852 1947 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Rhode Island Company NH 1902 1919 United Electric Railways Primary an electric railway company; leased the Narragansett Pier Railroad from 1911 to 1918
Rhode Island Central Railroad NH 1879 1880 New York, Providence and Boston Railroad
Rhode Island and Massachusetts Railroad NH 1872 1907 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Rhode Island Mining Railroad NH 1865 1872 Rhode Island and Massachusetts Railroad
Seekonk Branch Railroad NH 1836 1839 Boston and Providence Railroad Was located in what was part of Massachusetts before the boundary was moved in 1862
Warren and Fall River Railroad NH 1856 1862 Fall River, Warren and Providence Railroad
Warwick Railroad NH 1873 1880 New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Built a railroad from Cranston to Oakland Beach, shut down in 1879 and taken over by the NYP&B as a subsidiary. [6]
Warwick Railway WRWK 1949 1982 Providence and Worcester Railroad Took over the former Warwick Railroad line from United Electric Railways in 1949. Operated electric locomotives until 1952, provided freight service on a 1 mile length of track until 1982. [6]
Wickford Railroad NH 1864 1870 Newport and Wickford Railroad and Steamboat Company
Wood River Branch Railroad NH 1872 1947 N/A Abandoned outright, with no successor.
Woonasquatucket Railroad NH 1857 1872 Providence and Springfield Railroad
Woonsocket and Pascoag Railroad NH 1887 1907 New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
Woonsocket Union Railroad NH 1850 1853 New York and Boston Railroad
Electric
This transport-related list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (October 2021)
Not completed

Bibliography

  • Karr, Ronald Dale (2017). The Rail Lines of Southern New England (2nd ed.). Pepperell, Massachusetts: Branch Line Press. ISBN 978-0-942147-12-4. OCLC 1038017689.

Notes

  1. ^ This is one or more of the Class I railroads that the railroad became part of, if any.

References

  1. ^ Cleaves, Herb (January 22, 1982). "Boston & Maine to get some Conrail trackage". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on October 24, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Bessette, James (July 1, 2016). "All aboard! Seaview Transportation Company rides the rails to success". The Independent. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  3. ^ a b Belcher, Jonathan (December 19, 2021). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA District 1964-2021" (PDF). Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 364–366. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Baptista, Edelinda (2021-10-08). "How Rail Explorers Became the Easiest, Breeziest Daytrip in RI and Beyond". Rhode Island Monthly. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  5. ^ Flynn, Sean (August 29, 2018). "Newport rail tracks are being replaced". Newport Daily News. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  6. ^ a b Karr 2017, p. 157-160.

See also

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List of Rhode Island railroads
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