The Erie Railroad merges with competitor Delaware, Lackawanna & Western to form the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
New England's troubled Rutland Railroad is abandoned. Sections of the line soon reopen as the Vermont Central Railroad and the Green Mountain Railroad.
Pennsylvania Railroad and New York Central merge to form Penn Central.
The Pullman Company's staffing of sleeping cars ends as of January 1.
The Interstate Commerce Commission reluctantly allows the demise of the legendary California Zephyr.
Amtrak takes over most passenger-train operations in the United States.
A fleet of French-built Turboliners are delivered to the United States, marking fledgling Amtrak's first new equipment acquisition.
Conrail begins operation as a result of the consolidation of Penn Central; Erie-Lackawanna; Reading; Lehigh Valley; Jersey Central; Lehigh & Hudson River; and Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore lines on April 1.
The first double-deck Superliner cars enter service for Amtrak.