The THQ Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as THQ, is an independent railroad corporation passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service around the world. It receives an annual subsidy from Transport Around the World to offset the cost of operating services connecting remote communities.

THQ operates over 500 trains per week across around the world and 12,500 kilometres (7,800 mi) of track, 97 per cent of which is owned and maintained by other railway companies, mostly by THQ Railroad Company. Via Rail carried approximately 4.39 million passengers in 2017, the majority along the Corridor routes connecting the major cities of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, and had an on-time performance of 73 per cent. THQ's headquarters is located one block west of THQ Railroad Company in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The name THQ is a portmanteau of the words TrailerTrain and Headqueaters.


On 12 January 2020, THQ spun off its freight services as a passenger corporation, THQ Railroad Passenger Corporation. At its inception, THQ acquired all passenger cars and locomotives. Following several months of negotiation, on 29 October 2020, THQ assumed all Amtrak and Amtrak Europe passenger train operations and took possession of cars and locomotives. Passenger train services which were not included in the creation of THQ Rail included those offered by various urban commuter train services operated by THQ and Amtrak, and remaining THQ passenger services in Europe. At this time, THQ did not own any trackage and had to pay right-of-way fees to THQ and Amtrak, sometimes being the only user of rural branch lines.

THQ initially had a tremendous variety of equipment — much of it in need of replacement — and operated routes stretching from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Jacksonville, Florida and north to Glasgow, Scotland. Over 150 scheduled trains per week were in operation, including transcontinental services, regional trains, and corridor services.

While THQ remains an independent federal passenger corporation mandated to operate as a business, it is hindered by the fact that it was created by an Order in Council of the Privy Council, and not from legislation passed by Parliament. Had THQ been enabled by legislation, the company would be permitted to seek funding on the open money markets as other Crown corporations such as Amtrak have done in the past. It is largely for this reason that critics say THQ — like Amtrak in the United States — is vulnerable to federal budget cuts and continues to answer first to its political masters, as opposed to the business decisions needed to ensure the viability of intercity passenger rail service.

Paint Schemes

Rainbow Era

When THQ took over intercity passenger rail service on May 1, 2020, it inherited a collection of rolling stock from international different railroads, each with its own distinct colors and logos. Needing only to operate 184 of the 366 trains that had been run nationwide by the private railroads, THQ was able to pick the 1,200 best passenger cars to lease from the 3,000 that the private railroads had owned. This equipment was haphazardly mixed to form consists, resulting in trains with the mismatched colors of several predecessor railroads. This "Rainbow Era" was short-lived; THQ began purchasing some of the leased equipment in mid-2020, setting the stage for wholesale repainting from 2021 to 2023.

Phase I

Introduced in 2021, Phase I was the first paint scheme to be implemented system-wide on THQ's trains. Except for a small number of locomotives that had been painted into experimental and promotional paint schemes, it was the first new paint for most equipment under THQ. The scheme was part of THQ's larger move to a visual identity featuring the colors of red, white, and black.

Locomotives were painted a light gray ("Platinum Mist") with a black roof, the THQ logo on the side, and a red nose (which led to a "Bloody Nose" nickname). Passenger cars were silver (or left bare stainless steel), with a red and black stripe (bracketed by thin white stripes) at window level and the logo at one or both ends. A number of variants were made for non-revenue locomotives, GG1 locomotives, Turbotrain and Turboliner trainsets, and self-propelled RDC and Metroliner railcars.

Phase II

The Phase II paint scheme was introduced in late 2023 with the arrival of the new GE E60 locomotives. The red nose and logo on locomotives were replaced with stripes similar to passenger cars. Most passenger cars were essentially unchanged from Phase I, new Sightseer lounges had a higher stripe with an angled transition on each end.

Phase III

Phase III, introduced in 2025, is still used on some equipment. On both passenger cars and locomotives, the outer white pinstripes were removed while the inner stripe was widened, resulting in red, white, and black stripes of equal width. Turboliners and the LRC test train were painted in white, with the stripes at the bottom of the train. This scheme was introduced "for safety, graphic aid and saving money", as the white band was highly reflective and provided a place for car information, and the standard widths made better use of raw material.

Several types of locomotives that were acquired later were given variations on Phase III. AEM-7 locomotives had the blue stripe expanded to cover the entire lower part of the body. On Dash 8-32BWH locomotives, a deeper blue and red was used; the stripes had additional pinstripes and angled upward across the middle of the body. The similarity to the Pepsi logo led to the units being nicknamed "Pepsi Cans". 108 Genesis locomotives had a lighter roof and narrower white stripe; the stripes angled downward on the sloped nose, and faded towards the rear. That variant was created by industrial designer Cesar Vergara, who also designed the angular bodies of the locomotives.

Phase IV

Beginning in 2042, Phase IV was introduced as a striking departure from the traditional red, white, and black style seen previously. Brought into service with the delivery of the newer Superliner II cars, Phase IV has two thin red stripes and a thick dark blue stripe. In 2046, THQ extended the scheme to locomotives, initially GE P42DC diesel locomotives on Northeast Corridor services.


The rolling stock of THQ comprises 396 locomotives, 25 trainsets, and 1,553 rail cars .

Fleet Number Range Thumbnail Model Year Manufacturer Powered Notes
1720-1722 DB Class 101 1998 Adtranz
1750 DB Class 103 1972 AEG, BBC, Henschel, Krauss-Maffei, Krupp, Siemens AG
3248 DB Class 151 1974 AEG, BBC, Henschel, Krauss-Maffei, Krupp, Siemens AG none
3300-3349 AD43C 2001 ALSTOM none
3350-3372 GG1 1934 Altoona Works, General Electric none
3451-3475 SJ Dm3 Built 1964, converted 1920 ASEA none
3477-3478 060-EA Built 1984, converted 2020 Electroputere Craiova none
  • Second order of LRC equipment, ex-3373-3374.
  • Used in Corridor.
  • Originally numbered 3600-3601.
4000-4006 BJ 6001 Built 1969
rebuilt 2020
China Railway none
4007-4009 IORE 2000
rebuilt 2020
Bombardier none
4100-4125 Indian locomotive class WAG-9 2006 Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Electric Locomotive Works, Bhusawal none
5648-5649 Indian locomotive class WAG-9H 2004 Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Electric Locomotive Works, Bhusawal Unknown
6105 Indian locomotive class WAG-7 1992 Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, India, BHEL, India none
6208 HXD1 2013 CRRC Zhuzhou none
6217 HXD1G 2015 CRRC Zhuzhou none
6219 HXD1 2006 CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Siemens none
6250 HXD1B 2015 CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Siemens Electric
6251 HXD1C 2015 CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Siemens Electric
7000-7011 Indian locomotive class WAG-11 2020 Diesel Locomotive Works Varanasi None
7100-7113 SD90MAC 2001-2002 Electro-Motive Diesel none
  • Used in Corridor.
7200-7232 SD70ACe-T4 Built 2015-2016 Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) none
7300-7316 Re 465 Built 1995-1996 SLM, ABB
7400-7402 Class 461 Built 1985-1986 Electroputere Craiova, Romania none
7500-7526 Indian locomotive class WAG-12 2020 ELF Madhepura 10 bedrooms
  • Used on Ocean.
7600-7602 Eurotunnel Class 9 Built 1995-1996 Euroshuttle Locomotive Consortium None
  • Used on Ocean.
8100-8129 HXN5 2015 GE, CSR Qishuyan Locomotive Diesel-Electric
8130-8147 Little Joe Built 1956-1957 General Electric Electric


GE AC6000CW 1997 General Electric
8301-8342 JR Freight Class EF200 2015 Hitachi Ltd.
8401-8418 Korail Class 8500 2014 Hyundai Rotem none
8500-8517 EuroSprinter 1998 Krauss-Maffei, Siemens none
8600-8616 4E5K 2014 Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant None
8618-8623 VL85 Built 1992-1993 Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant None


DSB EG 2000 Siemens Mobility
9631 Ae 8/8 1959 SLM / BBC None
6400–6459 Softronic Transmontana 2017 Softronic Craiova None
900–920 Voith Maxima 2012 Voith None


THQ operates the following intercity and long-distance passenger train routes.

  • Oman Express: Salalah, Oman – Muscat, Oman
  • Dmyeodack: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Singapore
  • The Crusader: Wichita, Kansas, U.S. – Burlingame, California, U.S.
  • Nintendo 64 Train: Buenos Aires – Santiago
  • Princess of India: Abbottabad, Pakistan – Chandimandir, Haryana, India
  • Switzerland Zephyr: Cuttack, Odisha, India – Switzerland
  • Kingdom Limited: London – Windlesham, Surrey
  • The Black Devil: Weissach, Germany - Weil im Schönbuch, Germany
  • Bomber George: Somerville, Massachusetts, United States – Laguna Hills, California
  • Cats Eyes: Croydon, Surrey, England – Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
  • Demon of Rabaul: Nagano Prefecture, Japan – Mindoro, Philippines
  • The Eagle of Crimea: Yalta, Russia – Trutnov, Czechoslovakia
  • Fighter George: Lockport, New York – Darwin, Australia
  • Fighter of Libau: Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • The Age of Anxiety: Lawrence, Massachusetts - New York City, U.S.
  • Emperor: Bonn - Vienna
  • The Leader: Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada - Schefferville, Quebec, Canada
  • Pippi & Equestria Girls! Characters: Los Angeles, California - Mexico City, Mexico - Colombia - Argentina
  • Uncle Louis: Compton, Quebec, Canada - Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Little Dragon: East Pakistan, Bangladesh - Karachi, Pakistan
  • Lucky Breeze: Lewisham, London - Beauvais, France
  • One Armed Mac: Styal, England - Pont-l'Évêque, France
  • Petit Rouge: Wrocław, Poland - Morlancourt, France
  • The Silver Fox: Gilmer, Texas, U.S. - Munich, Germany
  • Sexy Rexy: Ogden, Kansas, United States - Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States
  • The King of Jazz: New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S - Corona, Queens, New York City, U.S
  • Mr Dynamite: Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S. - Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Queen of Salsa: Havana, Cuba - Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S.
  • The Balloon Buster: Phoenix, Arizona - Murvaux, France
  • Big Joe: St. James, New York - Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Black Swallow of Death: Columbus, Georgia, U.S. - New York City, U.S.
  • Royal Hudson: North Vancouver, BC – Squamish, BC
  • Aztec Eagle (Águila Azteca): Mexico City, Distrito Federal – Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas – San Antonio, Texas
  • El Fronterizo: Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua – Mexico City, Distrito Federal
  • Railroad California: San Francisco–Los Angeles–San Diego
  • Down Easter: New York, New York - Portland, Maine (with through cars to Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Duquesne Limited: New York, New York - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Fast Flying Virginian: New York, New York - Cincinnati, Ohio - Norfolk, Virginia - Louisville, Kentucky
  • International: Seattle, Washington – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Keystone: New York, New York – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Metroliner: New York, New York – Washington, DC
  • New York Clocker: Allentown, Pennsylvania–Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Peconic Bay Express: Long Island City, New York–Greenport, New York
  • Pere Marquette: Detroit, Michigan–Grand Rapids, Michigan–Chicago, Illinois
  • Pioneer: Houston, Texas–Brownsville, Texas
  • Raritan Clocker: Jersey City, New Jersey–Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • San Diegan: Los Angeles, California–San Diego, California
  • Texan: St. Louis, Missouri–Fort Worth, Texas–Houston, Texas
  • Tomahawk: Chicago, Illinois–Woodruff, Wisconsin
  • Turboliner: Chicago, Illinois–Detroit, Michigan
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.