The Saluki on the St. Charles Air Line,
heading for Carbondale in 2010
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Distance travelled||310 miles (499 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Track owner(s)||IC (CN)|
The Saluki is a 310-mile (499 km) passenger train line operated by Amtrak, running between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois. The train is a part of the Illinois Service rail network and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The train service uses the same track as two other Amtrak trains, the City of New Orleans and the Illini, providing one additional daily round trip on the route.
The Saluki is an outgrowth of the Illini, 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 Illini runs, this made the addition of another train an obvious decision. Service on the route began on October 30, 2006.
The trains are typically made up of the engine, three or more coach cars, and the combination cafe/lounge car.
During fiscal year 2011, both the Illini and Saluki services combined carried over 310,000 passengers, an 18% increase over FY2010. During FY2011, the two trains had a total revenue of $8,802,288, an increase of 14.7% over FY2010.
The Saluki, trains 391 southbound and 390 northbound, stop at 11 stations in Illinois, including the originating and terminating stations, Union Station in Chicago and Carbondale. The southbound Saluki is scheduled to depart Chicago at 8:15 a.m. and arrive in Carbondale at 1:45 p.m. The northbound Saluki is scheduled to depart Carbondale at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 1 p.m.
Today, the Amtrak Saluki consists of:
- 1 GE Genesis P40DC or P42DC locomotive
- 3-5 Amfleet I or Horizon Fleet Coaches
- 1 Amfleet I or Horizon Club-Dinette (half café-half business class seating)
- "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Hikki Nagasaki. "Illini / Saluki". USA Rail Guide. Retrieved 2010-10-22.