Tuesday, Sept. 26

Illinois supports addition of Carbondale-to-Chicago passenger train       Send a link to a friend

Amtrak Saluki to start running Oct. 30

[SEPT. 26, 2006]  CARBONDALE -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Monday that beginning Oct. 30, Illinois' partnership with Amtrak will more than double state-sponsored passenger rail service downstate. State-supported round trips will increase from three round trips daily to seven round trips daily between Chicago and downstate destinations -- including the Saluki, the new train for an additional round trip on the Chicago-Carbondale line. The expanded service comes after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels for Illinois' fiscal 2006. Tickets for the new routes went on sale Monday.

"Amtrak is an affordable travel option, and in many communities it's the only form of public transportation," Blagojevich said. "People want and use Amtrak; that's why we doubled our commitment to ensuring we have regular passenger rail service. During the past several years we've continued to see an increase in the people riding the Illinois state-sponsored trains."

Starting Oct. 30, daily train service between Chicago and Carbondale will increase from two round trips to three round trips, two of them state-sponsored. Under this schedule, there will be new morning departures from Chicago and Carbondale.

This spring, Blagojevich and the Illinois General Assembly increased state funding for passenger rail service by Amtrak from $12.1 million to $24 million.

"We are proud that ridership on state-supported Amtrak trains in Illinois is now nearly a million passengers and growing," said Alex Kummant, Amtrak president and chief executive officer. "We deeply appreciate the leadership of Governor Blagojevich and the state legislature in continuing the strong partnership with Amtrak to provide more frequent service for the people of Illinois."

The Illinois Department of Transportation, which is the partnering agency with Amtrak, chose Saluki as the name for the new Chicago-Carbondale train. The Illini will continue to operate on its current schedule on the route. Combined with the City of New Orleans, another train that is part of the national Amtrak network, three daily round trips will be available between Chicago and Carbondale.

Reservations and tickets for the Saluki (trains 390 and 391) and Illini (trains 392 and 393) are now available nationwide through Amtrak.com, 800-USA-RAIL, Quik-Trak, automated ticket machines, staffed Amtrak stations and select travel agents.

These state-supported trains will operate as reserved service, with the lowest fares ordinarily available with the most advance purchase, and offer food and beverages in the cafe car. Ten-ride tickets will also be available, as will business class in a two-seat, aisle, one-seat configuration with leg rests, footrests and other amenities for a slight surcharge.

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The Department of Transportation and Amtrak will soon announce schedules for increased service on the two other state-sponsored corridors, Chicago-St. Louis and Chicago-Quincy. Daily train service between Chicago and St. Louis will increase from three round trips to five round trips, three of them state-sponsored. Daily train service between Chicago and Quincy will increase from one round trip to two round trips, both of those state-sponsored as well.


Chicago-Carbondale -- southbound departures
* indicates IDOT-supported Saluki train
** indicates IDOT-supported Illini train


Train 391*

Train 393**

Train 59


9:15 a.m.

4:05 p.m.

8:00 p.m.


9:56 a.m.

4:46 p.m.

8:54 p.m.


10:22 a.m.

5:12 p.m.

9:23 p.m.


10:44 a.m.

5:34 p.m.


11:10 a.m.

6:00 p.m.


11:25 a.m.

6:15 p.m.

10:34 p.m.


12:05 p.m.

6:55 p.m.

11:13 p.m.


12:29 p.m.

7:19 p.m.

11:37 p.m.


1:16 p.m.

8:06 p.m.

12:25 a.m.


1:49 p.m.

8:39 p.m.


2:45 p.m.

9:35 p.m.

1:21 a.m.

Carbondale-Chicago -- northbound departures
* indicates IDOT-supported Saluki train
** indicates IDOT-supported Illini train


Train 58

Train 390*

Train 392**


3:16 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

4:05 p.m.


7:51 a.m.

4:26 p.m.


4:10 a.m.

8:23 a.m.

4:58 a.m.


4:57 a.m.

9:07 a.m.

5:42 p.m.


5:23 a.m.

9:31 a.m.

6:06 p.m.


6:10 a.m.

10:14 a.m.

6:49 p.m.


10:27 a.m.

7:02 p.m.


10:53 a.m.

7:28 p.m.


7:13 a.m.

11:15 a.m.

7:50 p.m.


7:44 a.m.

11:44 a.m.

8:17 p.m.


9:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m.

9:35 p.m.

[News release from the governor's office]


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