Governor Blagojevich announces Amtrak Carl Sandburg train
to start running October 30th
Building on momentum of record passenger
growth, Additional Quincy to Chicago passenger train added
Tickets on sale today at Amtrak.com or 800-USA-RAIL
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that
beginning October 30th, Illinois’ partnership with Amtrak will include an
additional train on the Quincy-St. Louis corridor. The expanded service comes
after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels
for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2006; the expansion also includes an additional
round-trip on the Chicago-Carbondale line. Tickets for the new trains are now on
This expansion is part of a plan to more than double
state-sponsored passenger rail service. Round-trips between Chicago and
downstate will increase from three daily to seven daily by the end of October.
“Amtrak is an affordable travel option, and in many communities
it’s the only form of public transportation,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “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 October 30, daily state-sponsored train service between
Chicago and Quincy is being doubled to two round-trips.
Under this schedule, there will be new morning and evening
departures from Chicago and Quincy. Combined with the other trains on the Quincy
route that are part of the national Amtrak network, there will be four daily
round-trips on the Chicago-Galesburg segment, two of them state-supported.
“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 Gov. Blagojevich and the state legislature in continuing the
strong partnership with Amtrak to provide more frequent service for the people
This spring, Gov. Blagojevich and the Illinois General Assembly
increased state funding for passenger rail service by Amtrak from $12.1 million
to $24 million.
The additional frequency on the Quincy route will be known as
the Carl Sandburg and both it and the current Illinois Zephyr will carry new
Reservations and tickets for the Carl Sandburg (Trains 381 &
382) and Illinois Zephyr (Trains 380 & 383) are now available nationwide through
Amtrak.com, by calling 800-USA-RAIL, using Quik-Trak automated ticket machines,
visiting a staffed Amtrak station, or through select travel agents.
These state-supported trains will operate as reserved service,
with the lowest fares ordinarily available with the most advanced purchase, and
offer food and beverages in the café car. Ten-ride tickets will also be
available, as will Business class in a two-seats/aisle/one-seat configuration
with leg rests, foot rests and other amenities for a slight surcharge.
Gov. Blagojevich recently announced the new schedules, train
numbers and ticket availability for the state-sponsored Chicago-Carbondale
trains, the new Saluki (Trains 390 & 391) and the current Illini (Trains 392 &
393). Starting October 30, daily train service between Chicago and Carbondale is
increasing from two roundtrips to three roundtrips, two of them state-supported.