Amtrak Permit Process


Safety First

Safety is the first and foremost priority of Amtrak. Any access to or impact on Amtrak property or operations requires express written permission from the Railroad via a Temporary Permit (“PTE”). A PTE must be obtained through a formal application available here.

Preparing Your Application

Most PTE applications require that an agreement be in place between Amtrak and the applicant. Agreements are required for environmental work, soil disturbance, design reviews, large or complex construction projects, work that temporarily or permanently impacts Amtrak property or operations, utility occupancy and real estate rights. If you're unsure whether an agreement with Amtrak is needed, contact before submitting your PTE application and non-refundable application fee. 

Application Requirements

Ensure you have an existing, fully signed agreement with Amtrak for design review, construction work, environmental, occupancy, access or other agreements related to the work.

In limited cases, no agreement is needed with Amtrak such as for visual inspections, tree trimming and field surveys. Obtain confirmation from Amtrak prior to submission. Amtrak reserves the right to require a separate agreement at its sole discretion for any work.

When a design review agreement is in place for the work, Amtrak must have completed its design review prior to submission of a PTE application. Ensure any drawings or plans have been submitted to and reviewed by Amtrak, and all comments incorporated. Verify that Amtrak has issued a letter of no exception or other documentation that the design and/or environmental review is complete.

Required information includes the exact location of the work, distance from the centerline of the track, specific work activity being performed, dollar value of work and duration.


Impacts to the Railroad

Work on or near the Right of Way requires railroad protective services. The level of impact and proximity to the tracks or other infrastructure will determine the type and quantity of services required. Amtrak will prepare an estimate of the costs for railroad protection services payable at the time of signature. Notwithstanding, the Permittee is responsible for paying for all costs incurred in relation to the PTE. 

Railroad protective services are extremely limited in availability. Early PTE submission and coordination with Amtrak is highly recommended.

Submitting Your Application

Applicants must submit the completed application along with payment for the non-refundable application fee. Exact location and scope of work must be included and all fields must be completed. Incomplete applications or applications without payment will not be processed. 

Upon receipt of your application, applicants will receive an email from Amtrak to confirm receipt of the submission and request any additional information if needed. If the application is approved, Amtrak will prepare the PTE and related documentation and transmit it for signature within eight (8) weeks of receipt of all materials. Each project is reviewed by Amtrak independently to determine, at its sole discretion, the insurance requirements and the need for railroad protective services. The signed PTE must be returned to Amtrak with proof of payment for all Amtrak costs and proof of insurance coverage prior to execution by Amtrak. Application does not guarantee approval.


 PTE Checklist

  • Completed online application
  • Signed PTE (no revisions or edits permitted)
  • Payment of $2,000 non-refundable application fee
  • Site map
  • Proof of insurance
  • Railroad Protective Liability Insurance
  • Payment of Amtrak costs

Process Summary

  1. Submit your completed PTE application
    A complete application includes location, duration, scope of work and impact on railroad property. Failure to provide all information will result in delays in processing or rejection of your application.

  2. Send documents to Amtrak’s permit inbox
    Relevant attachments include, but are not limited to: letters of no exception, site survey maps, and related design, construction or real estate agreements. Where an agreement is needed, do not submit a PTE application prior to finalization of that agreement.

  3. Pay the nonrefundable application fee
    A $ 2,000 application fee is required for Amtrak to process your application. Payment does not guarantee approval of your application.

  4. Amtrak sends the PTE for signature
    Amtrak will email the PTE for signature with the insurance requirements and applicable fees.

  5. Obtain Railroad Protective Liability Insurance
    Amtrak requires Railroad Protective Liability Insurance for access to Amtrak property. This may be purchased from an insurance agent of your choice or you may be eligible for inclusion in Amtrak’s insurance program.

  6. Sign the PTE and send all required documentation
    In addition to a signed PTE, you are required to email insurance documents demonstrating coverage and proof of payment of all applicable fees. The PTE terms are non-negotiable. Edits are not permitted.

  7. Amtrak counter-signs the PTE
    Amtrak will review the signed PTE and documentation to confirm that all requirements have been met before signing the PTE.

  8. Schedule access to Amtrak property to perform the work
    Amtrak will provide a point-of-contact for scheduling access. Entry is permitted only when accompanied by Amtrak personnel with an approved site safety work plan and completion of safety training.


For any questions concerning the permitting process, email us at