Amtrak and Railroad Terms and Abbreviations – A to M
Following is a listing of the various terms and abbreviations commonly used at Amtrak Unlimited. These are not necessarily the official terms used in the industry.
A-Train – Dallas area Commuter train
AAF – Brightline (formerly All-Aboard Florida): Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando (future)
AAR - American Association of Railroads
ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act
APTA - American Passenger Transport Association
ARR – Alaska Railroad
AE – Acela Express: higher-speed train service operating between Boston and Washington DC.
AC – Assistant Conductor
Acela Business Class – Seat accommodation with no amenities. Food and beverage available for purchase.
Acela First Class – Seat accommodation with single, pair, and at-table seating, including attendant service. Tray meals and beverages (including alcoholic) are complimentary.
ACS-64 (Amtrak Cities Sprinter) – Electric locomotive used for trains in the Northeast and Keystone corridors, numbered 600-670; introduced in 2014, final delivery in 2016. Other units delivered to SEPTA.
ACSES - Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System: PTC system used in the Northeast US passenger rail network
ALC-42 (Amtrak Long distance Charger) - 4200 HP fiesel electric locomotive capable of speeds upto 125mph, produced by Siemens primarily for use in the Amtrak long distance network.
ALC-42E (Amtrak Long distance Charger Electric) - 4200 HP dual mode catenary electric and diesel-electric locomotives capable of 125mph for use in the Inter City Trainsets (ICT).
AE – Acela Express: high-speed train service operating between Boston and Washington DC.
AEM7 – Electric locomotive used for trains in the Northeast and Keystone corridors, numbered 900-953; introduced in 1978. Other units provided to MARC and SEPTA. In the process of being retired. Common nicknames: “toaster” and “meatball.”
AT – Auto Train: Passenger train and auto transport service operating between the Washington DC and Orlando FL areas.
BE - Brightline East (Brightline in Florida)
BNSF – BNSF Railway (Burlington Northern Santa Fe)
BW - Brightline West (Brightline in California/Nevada)
CA – Car Attendant or Coach Attendant (officially TA-C, Train Attendant-Coach): Staff member assigned to one or more coach cars to provide for passenger needs.
Cab Car – A passenger car with a train operation cab at one end to permit control of the train when the locomotive is at the rear of the train in “push” mode.
Cabbage – (a combination of cab car and baggage car): A decommissioned diesel locomotive with the engine and other internals removed which functions as a cab car and baggage car for trains in push mode.
Café Car / Cascades Bistro / Superliner Sightseer Lounge – Convenience store style food and beverage service with hot and cold sandwiches, snacks and beverages. Selections are ordered at a counter and seating is first-come, first served. Offerings vary by route ranging from the standardized Amtrak café menu to state-sponsored menus with regional offerings.
CAHSR – California High-Speed Rail: San Francisco to Los Angeles (future)
Caltrain – San Francisco, San Jose area Commuter rail service
CC – Capitol Corridor: California service operating between the Sacramento area and San Jose.
CFRC - Central Florida Rail Corridor (also known as SunRail in Central Florida around Orlando)
Charger – High-speed (125mph) diesel-electric locomotive ordered by several states for Amtrak-operated trains, and also being supplied to MARC, Brightline (Florida), Amtrak and VIA Rail.
CL – Capitol Limited: Operates between Washington DC and Chicago
CN – Canadian National Railway
CNOC - Amtrak's Centralized National Control Center, located in Wilmington DE
Coach – Reclining seat accommodation with no amenities. Food and beverage may be available for purchase depending on the train.
Coaster – San Diego area Commuter service
CONO – City of New Orleans: Operates between Chicago and New Orleans
CP – Canadian Pacific Railway
CR – Conrail (shared operation of CSX and NS)
Cross Country Café – Full-service, ordered off menu dining with at-table service. On-board preparation is limited to warming and finishing. Service is available at standard meal times. Sleeper passengers are provided complimentary meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
CS – Coast Starlight: Operates between Seattle and Los Angeles
CSR – Customer Service Representative: phone reservation agent
CSX – CSX Transportation (name possibly derived from Chessie System)
CTA - Chicago Transit Authority, subway system around Chicago
CZ – California Zephyr: Operates between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area
Denver RTD – Denver Area Light Rail and Commuter system
Diner Lounge – Full-service, ordered off menu dining with at-table service in one section and café service in another section. On-board preparation is limited to warming and finishing. Full meal service is available at standard times. Sleeper passengers are provided complimentary meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
Dining Car - Flex Meals. pre-plated meals heated and delivered to Sleeper accommodation or picked up at a counter for consumption in the Dining Car. Service is available at standard meal times. Sleeper passengers are provided complimentary meals, one complementary alcoholic beverage and non-alcoholic beverages. Not available to Coach passengers. On some trains available for purchase by Business Class passengers.
Dining Car – Traditional full-service meals, ordered off menu dining with at-table service. On-board preparation varies from cook-from-scratch to warming and finishing. Service is available at standard meal times. Sleeper passengers are provided complimentary meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
DMU - Diesel Multiple Unit
DEMU - Diesel Electric Multiple Unit: usually means a diesel multiple unit which has electric transmission and is powered by electric motors rather than through a mechanical or hydraulic gearbox.
EB – Empire Builder: Operates between Chicago and Portland OR and Seattle
EDMU - Electro Diesel Multiple Unit: usually means a dual mode multiple unit which can run either on diesel power or on externally delivered electric power through catenary or third rail, or even battery.
EIS - Environmental Impact Statement
EMU - Electric Multiple Unit
F59 (FF59PHI) - Diesel locomotives in service on California and Cascades routes in the Pacific Northwest: introduced in 1998 and numbered 450-470.
FECR – Florida East Coast Railway
FFGA - Full Funding Grant Agreement
FRA - Federal Railroad Administration: The Federal Agency under Department of Transportation that handles Amtrak
FrontRunner – UTA, Salt Lake City area Commter rail service
FTA - Federal Transit Agency: Federal Transit Agency which handles funding of transit agencies and some funding for Amtrak too.
GDC - Gateway Development Corporation
HHP (HHP8) – Electric locomotive once used for service in Northeast and Keystone Corridors; now retired
HEP - Head End Power, hotel power for the train delivered from the locomotive
HF - Heartland Flier runs between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City
I-ETMS - Interoperable Electronic Train Management System: PTC system used across the US
ICT (Inter City Trainset) - Siemens built semi permanently coupled train sets that are going to replace the entire Amfleet I fleet in the 2024 - 2030 timeframe.
KCS – Kansas City Southern Railroad
LAUPT - Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. Obsolete name for LAUS
LAUS - Los Angeles Union Station, Amtrak code LAX.
LIRR – Long Island Railroad (New York area)
LSA – Lead Service Attendant (food service cars): food and beverage staff member authorized to handle money, stock. Trains equipped with a diner will have two LSAs, one for the diner and one for the café/lounge.
LSL – Lake Shore Limited: Operates between New York, Boston and Chicago
MARC – Maryland Area Regional Commuter (Baltimore, Washington)
MAS - Maximum Allowed Speed
MBTA – Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Commuter Train, Subway, Bus and Light Rail (Boston Area)
Metra – (Metropolitan Rail Corporation) Chicago area Commuter service
MetroLink – Los Angles area Commuter rail service
MLV - Multi Level Vehicle
MNRR – Metro North Railroad (New York area) Commuter rail service
MPS - Maximum Permitted Speed