A union station or union terminal is a train station where tracks and facilities are shared by two or more railway companies, allowing passengers to connect conveniently between them. Often the station is used by all passenger trains serving the city, but this is not necessarily true; in particular, commuter trains in Chicago, Illinois still use four different terminals.
In North American practice a union station is usually owned by a separate corporation whose shares are owned by the different railways which use it, so that the costs and benefits of its operations are shared proportionately among them. This contrasts with the system of trackage rights or running rights, where one railway company owns a line or facility, but allows another to company to share it under a contractual agreement. However, the company that owns the union station and associated trackage does assign trackage rights to the railroads that use it.
List of Union Stations
Many union stations use Union Station or Union Terminal as their name, or part of it. These include:
This is an incomplete list. You can help Wikipedia by expanding or completing it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Union_Station&action=edit)
Trackagerights or running rights is an arrangement where the company that owns the line retains all rights, but allows another company to operate over certain sections of its track.
Temporary rights agreements are typically made when some kind of disaster affects one railroad while a parallel railroad line is fully operational.
A union station typically involves trackagerights; the company that owns the station and associated trackage is typically owned in part by the railroads that use it, which operate over it by trackagerights.
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