Shelby is located where the only Interstate Highway (Interstate 15) crosses the Empire Builder route between Grand Forks, North Dakota and the Tri- Cities in Washington State. As a result, the Shelby Amtrak stop draws passengers from as far away as Lethbridge, Alberta and Great Falls and Helena in Montana as well as nearby communities such as Conrad, Choteau, and Chester.

Shelby is a crew change point for operating crews on the Empire Builder.