The 7 Largest Train Stations in America (2024 Edition)

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: February 24, 2024
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As America grew during its Manifest Destiny phase, the Industrial Revolution was happening at the same time. New technologies were being pumped out throughout the world at a faster pace. Trains were one of the products that came out of the Industrial Revolution that completely revolutionized travel and shipping. Train stations started popping up all over the nation and all over the world. They were expanded because of the number of people traveling and the number of shipments. There are big train stations and small ones. The big ones accommodate many passengers and a lot of cargo. Let’s take a look at the seven largest train stations in America in 2024. We’ll look at how many platforms the train station has and how many passengers per year the train station services.

7. Los Angeles Union Station

Los Angeles Union Station is the busiest in the Western United States.

©Frank Fell Media/Shutterstock.com

Replacing two train stations in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Union Station opened in 1939. It was constructed with several architectural Styles including Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Mission Revival. The train station is quite popular with tourists because of its various architectural styles. It serves about a million passengers per year. Furthermore, it has nine platforms and 16 tracks. Because of its architectural beauty and historic value, it was designated as a historic place in 1980.

6. Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken Train Terminal

Located in Hoboken, NJ, the Hoboken Terminal is the second busiest rail station in New Jersey.

©Catherine Scotton/iStock via Getty Images

Hoboken Terminal may be the second busiest train station in New Jersey, however, it is larger than Newark Penn Station. The terminal serves the New York metropolitan area as well as the surrounding regions. It is the ninth busiest rail station in North America, with 50,000 people coming in and out of Hoboken Terminal. Opening in 1907, Hoboken Terminal has a total of 10 platforms and 18 tracks. Lastly, nearly 15 million people use Hoboken Terminal every year.

5. New York Penn Station

The North River Tunnels and Penn Station.

New York Penn Station services approximately 107 million passengers per year.

©iStock.com/Francois-roux

Penn Station is New York’s main station and it is also the busiest station in the United States (and in actuality, the entire Western Hemisphere). Although it may only have 11 platforms and 21 tracks, it still services more than 600,000 passengers every day. It also connects with the local subway system. Named after the Pennsylvania Railroad which built and owned the station, it opened in 1910 and immediately became a major hub in the city and region.

4. South Station

South Station was renamed in November 2014 after Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

©Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock.com

The largest rail station in the Northeast, South Station was constructed in 1899, replacing several railroad stations located throughout Boston. It has since been the major hub of the northeastern United States region. Its official name is The Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center at South Station. Moreover, it connects to the subway system in Boston. It has a total of 8 platforms, 13 tracks, and services more than 1.2 million passengers per year.

3. Washington Union Station

Located in Washington DC, the train station services the nation’s capital and surrounding area.

©Kamira/Shutterstock.com

Washington Union Station opened in 1907 and it is North America’s 10th busiest train station. The train station serves Washington DC in the surrounding region and it is the headquarters of Amtrak. Washington Union Station is one of the most visited in the United States with approximately 40 million tourists per year. Moreover, it has been featured in many movies throughout the years including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Collateral Damage. Lastly, the train station has 18 platforms, 22 tracks, and services over 3.6 million people per year.

2. Chicago Union Station

Union Station in Chicago

Chicago’s main train station is a commuter rail terminal, as well as an Intercity rail station.

©rarrarorro/iStock via Getty Images

Chicago Union Station opened in 1925. It replaced an older train station that had been built on that particular site in 1881. The train station is the fourth busiest in the United States. In 2022, it serviced approximately 2.3 million passengers. The train station is in a Beaux-Arts architectural style and features a Great Hall that has marble floors and columns. Furthermore, Chicago Union Station has 30 platforms and 24 tracks, and connects to the local Chicago L lines, too.

1. Grand Central Terminal

Located in Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal is also called Grand Central Station.

©spyarm/iStock via Getty Images

Grand Central Terminal is the largest terminal in the world. It is also a unique train station whose architecture has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. It has a Beaux-Arts architectural style and it is one of the most visited train stations in the world. Furthermore, the train station’s main concourse has been featured in many films and television series. Grand Central Terminal is the second busiest train station in the United States. The train station opened in 1913, has 44 platforms and 67 tracks, and consists of 48 acres.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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