Carl Sandburg (train)
The Carl Sandburg on the BNSF Chicago Subdivision.
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|First service||October 30, 2006|
|Distance travelled||258 miles (415 km)|
|Average journey time||4 hours 28 minutes|
|Train number(s)||381, 382|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Carl Sandburg is a 258-mile (415 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. This train began operation on October 30, 2006 and is an addition to the existing Illinois Service rail network created in 1971 and partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, this train service uses the same triple track (old CB&Q) as three other Amtrak routes: the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief and the Illinois Zephyr. The Galesburg to Quincy route (old CB&Q Quincy/Hannibal main line via Macomb) is served by the Carl Sandburg and the Illinois Zephyr.
During fiscal year 2011, both the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg carried a combined 225,000 passengers, a 6.9% increase over FY2010. The two trains had a total revenue of $5,580,227 in FY2011, a 10.6% increase over FY2010.
The Carl Sandburg is an outgrowth of the Illinois Zephyr, which, along with the rest of the Illinois Service trains, posted record ridership levels in the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Combined with strong support from the communities through which the Illinois Zephyr runs, this made the addition of a second train an obvious decision.
The Carl Sandburg can trace its heritage to the Kansas City Zephyr and American Royal Zephyr, passenger train routes between Kansas City and Chicago along these routes which were operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad from 1953 until 1968 and 1971 respectively. The Chicago to Quincy route is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, which calls for an eventual upgrade of service from the former one daily round trip to four or more daily round trips. The addition of the Carl Sandburg was the first step in this Midwest Regional Rail Initiative service upgrade. With its addition, the train service schedule from western Illinois to Chicago has now been restored to CB&Q's 1968 levels.
The train's name honors Carl Sandburg, whose birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois lies just a few hundred feet from this train's route. The scheduled travel time from Chicago to Quincy via the Carl Sandburg is approximately 4 hours, 15 minutes.
During 2010, Amtrak contacted officials from communities in northeastern Missouri and western Illinois regarding the feasibility of extending the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg southwards to Hannibal, Missouri and St. Louis. While a study for the expansion was not conducted, the project could be funded with a mix of federal and state money.
Today, a normal Amtrak Carl Sandburg consists of:
- One GE Genesis P40DC or P42DC locomotive
- Three to five Horizon Fleet or Amfleet 1 coaches
- One Horizon Fleet or Amfleet I club lounge car
- "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Our Proposal: Link The Entire State By 2015". Midwest High Speed Rail Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- "Hannibal rails for Amtrak". ConnectTristates.com. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- "ILLINOIS ZEPHYR CARL SANDBURG". TrainWeb. Retrieved 19 October 2010.