Northeast Regional in Odenton, Maryland, 2014.

(Ryan Stavely, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Northeast Regional service mark.


The Northeast Regional is an intercity rail service operated by Amtrak in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. In the past it has been known as the NortheastDirect, Acela Regional, or Regional. It is Amtrak's busiest route, carrying 8,686,930 passengers in fiscal year (FY) 2018, a 1.4% increase over the 8.57 million passengers in FY 2017. The Northeast Regional service earned over $613.9 million in gross ticket revenue in FY 2016, a 0.4% increase over the $611.7 million earned during FY 2015.

The Northeast Regional offers daily all-reserved service, usually at least every hour. Trains generally run along the Northeast Corridor between Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., via New York City. Extensions and branches provide service to Newport News, Norfolk, and Roanoke, Virginia, and Springfield, Massachusetts, with intermediate stops.

Trains cover the most popular stretch between Pennsylvania Station (New York City) and Washington Union Station in approximately 3.5 hours. The section between New York and Philadelphia takes 1.5 hours, while the part between Philadelphia and Washington takes 2 hours. North of New York, the travel time to Boston is 4 hours, while trips to Springfield take 3.5 hours. South of Washington, trains take 4.5 hours to reach Newport News, 4.5 hours to reach Norfolk, or 5 hours to reach Roanoke.


The NortheastDirect branding was used for most Northeast Regional services between 1995 and 2003. (Hikki Nagasaki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

An HHP-8 locomotive and Amfleet I cars in Acela Regional branding at South Station, Boston, in 2002. (Peter Van den Bossche from Mechelen, Belgium, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The services along the line, as inherited from Penn Central, once had their own names, such as the "Yankee Clipper" and the "Federal"; typically a name applied to at most one train and its "twin" in the opposite direction. Electrification ended at New Haven, Connecticut, requiring an engine change. On October 28, 1995, Amtrak introduced the "NortheastDirect" brand for all trains on the Northeast Corridor (and its extension to Newport News, Virginia) except for the express Metroliner and hourly Clocker services. The November 10, 1996, timetable restored the old names in addition to the NortheastDirect brand. The names (except the Twilight Shoreliner) were dropped with the May 16, 1999, schedule.

In 2000, Amtrak completed electrifying the route from New Haven to Boston in preparation for the introduction of the Acela Express, thereby eliminating the engine change at New Haven. The first two all-electric round-trips to and from Boston were branded Acela Regional and equipped with refurbished Amfleet cars painted in the Acela-like "Phase V" livery. All-electric service began on January 31, 2000. The NortheastDirect branding continued to be used for trains which changed from electric to diesel traction in New Haven.

Due to customer confusion with the Acela Express, the name was changed again on March 17, 2003, to simply "Regional." As part of rebranding and service improvements, the name was changed to "Northeast Regional" on June 23, 2008 (though it also appeared on schedules several months beforehand).

On May 12, 2015, Northeast Regional Train 188, traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City, derailed in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200 people. The train derailed along a curve and was determined to have been traveling at a speed of about 100 mph, exceeding the limit of 50 mph on that curve. This speed limit was not posted; engineers on that route are expected to rely on memory to control the speed of the train. Additionally, the train was suspected to have been hit by a projectile, as was a commuter train in the area shortly before the derailment.

Private sleeping rooms on overnight trains 65/66/67, last available in 2004 on the Federal, were made available effective April 5, 2021. The overnight trains were temporarily cancelled in January 2022; they resumed in July 2022 without sleepers. They were temporarily cancelled north of New York City effective April 4, 2023, due to Penn Station Access construction.


A Northeast Regional crosses the James River near Lynchburg, Virginia in 2011.

(jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Virginia service

Some Northeast Regional trains continue into Virginia, serving three branches to Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, serving points in between. These tracks are not electrified and are partially owned by both freight railroads and the State of Virginia.

Virginia and Amtrak partnered in 2009 under the brand Amtrak Virginia to expand passenger rail service within the Commonwealth, making Virginia the 15th state to fund state services in addition to federally funded routes.

One daily Northeast Regional round trip was extended to from Washington to Lynchburg via Manassas and Charlottesville on October 1, 2009, supplementing the existing Crescent service. Service was extended from Lynchburg to Roanoke starting October 31, 2017. A second daily Roanoke round trip was added on July 11, 2022. An extension from Roanoke to Christiansburg, Virginia, near Virginia Tech, is in planning, as is an infill station in Bedford, Virginia.

On July 20, 2010, Amtrak added an additional Northeast Regional frequency from Washington to Richmond Staples Mill Road station, increasing the Washington-Richmond corridor to eight daily round trips with hourly northbound morning service. One round trip was extended from Richmond to Norfolk starting December 12, 2012. A second daily Norfolk round trip on weekdays was added on March 4, 2019. One round trip was extended from Staples Mill to Main Street in September 2021. Service changes on July 11, 2022, added an additional Norfolk weekday round trip (making three round trips on weekdays and two on weekends).


A typical Northeast Regional with an ACS-64 locomotive and Amfleet I passenger cars at New London Union Station.

(Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)




As of 2018, most Northeast Regional trains consist of 7 to 9 passenger cars hauled by a locomotive.

The passenger cars are the Amfleet I series passenger cars built by the Budd Company in the mid-to-late 1970s. Most trains include a Business Class car, a Café car (food service/lounge), and up to seven Coach Class cars, one of which is designated the Quiet Car, where passengers are asked to refrain from loud talking and mobile phone conversations.

The overnight Northeast Regional service (trains 65, 66, and 67) have a different configuration with fewer Coach Class cars, a combination Business Class/Café car, a baggage car for checked baggage service, and a Viewliner sleeping car which travels the full route to and from Newport News, VA but is only open to passengers between Boston and Washington.

Between Boston and Washington, the service has overhead electric wires and is pulled by Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotives at speeds up to 125 mph (201 km/h). Northeast Regional trains operating south of Washington, D.C., into Virginia and on the New Haven–Springfield Line use GE Genesis diesel locomotives which have a slightly lower top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h).

In the coming years all equipment will be replaced with Amtrak Airo trainsets, the railroad's branding of its combination of Siemens Venture passenger cars and a Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotive. The trainsets for the Northeast Corridor will have eight passenger cars, which will include a food service area and a mix of 2x2 Coach Class and 2x1 Business Class seating. The car closest to the locomotive will be a specialized "Auxiliary Power Vehicle" which will include a pantograph to collect power from overhead lines and will feed it to four traction motors in the car, and via a DC link cable, to the four traction motors in the locomotive. Outside of electrified territory, the locomotive's diesel engine will generate power for the traction motors. The arrangement will offer a near seamless transition between power sources on through trains to Virginia and Springfield, Massachusetts, a process that currently requires a time-consuming locomotive change.


Classes of service

All classes of service include complimentary WiFi, an electric outlet (120 V, 60 Hz AC) at each seat, reading lamps, fold-out tray tables. Reservations are required on all trains, tickets may be purchased online, from a station agent, a ticketing machine, or, at a higher cost, from the conductor on the train.

Coach Class: 2x2 seating. Passengers self-select seats on a first-come, first-served basis.
Business Class: 2x2 or 2x1 seating with more legroom than coach. Passengers receive a complimentary soft drink. Seats are assigned in advance.
Sleeper Service (overnight trains only): Viewliner Roomette, Bedroom or Accessible Bedroom. Passengers receive a complimentary alcoholic beverage upon boarding, a continental breakfast before arrival, and lounge access in Washington, D.C. and Boston.


Amtrak Northeast Regional.

(Jkan997, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Most Northeast Regional trains operate over the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington (via New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore). The corridor is owned, in part, by Amtrak, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Metro-North Railroad (MNRR), and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT).

MBTA Attleboro Line: Boston to MA/RI state line (dispatched and maintained by Amtrak)
Amtrak Northeast Corridor: MA/RI state line to New Haven, Connecticut
CDOT New Haven Line: New Haven to CT/NY state line (dispatched and maintained by MNRR)
MNRR New Haven Line: CT/NY state line to New Rochelle, New York
Amtrak Northeast Corridor: New Rochelle to Washington, D.C.
Some trips diverge at New Haven and turn north to serve Springfield, Massachusetts, operating over Amtrak's New Haven–Springfield Line. For trains that don't, Amtrak's Hartford Line trains provide connecting service along the line, with timed transfers to and from many Northeast Regional trips.

Several trips continue south of Washington D.C. to Virginia, running to either Roanoke, Richmond, Newport News, or Norfolk. All Virginia services use the northernmost portion of the ex-Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (now owned by CSX Transportation) between Washington and Alexandria, Virginia. South of Alexandria, trains to Roanoke use the Norfolk Southern Railway (ex-Southern Railway, ex-Virginia Midland Railway). Trains to Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News use the CSX RF&P, Richmond Terminal, and Bellwood subdivisions between Alexandria and Richmond.

South of Richmond, trains to Newport News use the CSX Peninsula Subdivision (ex-Chesapeake and Ohio Railway). Trains to Norfolk use the CSX North End Subdivision and Norfolk Southern's Norfolk District (ex-Norfolk and Western Railway).


Station Stops

For Station Stops and Connections click: HERE



Amtrak receives federal funding for its operations between Boston and Washington, D.C. Northeast Regional operations south of Washington are funded in part by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Operations along the New Haven–Springfield Line are funded by the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.



Service type: Inter-city rail, higher-speed rail
Locale: Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States
First service: 2008 (renamed from Regional)
Current operator: Amtrak
Annual ridership: 7,091,325 (FY22) Increase 102.1%
Route Termini: Boston, Springfield, Mass., or New York City / Washington, D.C. or Newport News, Norfolk, Roanoke, or Richmond, Virginia
Stops: 55 (including all branches)
Distance traveled: 682 mi (1,098 km) (longest distance: Boston–Roanoke)
Average journey time: 14 hours (greatest travel time: Boston–Roanoke)
Service frequency: 50+ trains per day
Train number(s) 65–67, 82, 84–88, 93–96, 99, 120–127, 129–130, 132, 134–135, 137–141, 143, 145–180, 182–186, 189–190, 192–196
On-board services
Classes: Coach Class, Business Class
Sleeper Service
Sleeping arrangements: Roomette (2 beds), Bedroom (2 beds), Bedroom Suite (4 beds), Accessible Bedroom (2 beds)
Catering facilities: Café
Baggage facilities: Overhead racks, Checked baggage at selected stations
Rolling stock: Amfleet coaches, Viewliner sleepers and baggage cars, Siemens ACS-64 locomotives, GE Genesis locomotives
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead line: 25 kV AC at 60 Hz (Boston–New Haven), 12.5 kV AC at 60 Hz (New Haven–New York), 12 kV AC at 25 Hz (New York–Washington)
Operating speed: 125 mph (201 km/h) (top)