The Washington Terminal Company (reporting mark WATC) is a corporation created in Washington, D.C., United States, to provide support to railroads using Washington's Union Station. It was established in 1901 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad-controlled Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad. Today, Amtrak owns a 99.9% interest in WTC.
The Washington Terminal Company owned and operated Union Station (opened in 1907) and about 5 miles (8.0 km) of track in the Washington area, providing switching services for passenger trains using the station or passing through the area:Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O)
Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O)
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P)
Southern Railway (SOU)
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL)
Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL)
In 1981, Amtrak took over the terminal company's operations. Still, the Washington Terminal Company remains a separate legal entity, and unlike Amtrak, it is not exempt from the Interstate Commerce Act. This allowed Virginia Railway Express to threaten a filing to the Surface Transportation Board to enforce its right to access when Amtrak tried to oust VRE from Union Station after VRE said they would not automatically re-hire Amtrak as its operating contractor. Faced with this action, Amtrak backed down.