Carl Sandburg (train)

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Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg train.jpg
The Carl Sandburg on the BNSF Chicago Subdivision.
Service type Inter-city rail
Locale Illinois
First service October 30, 2006
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Start Chicago, Illinois
Stops 8
End Quincy, Illinois
Distance travelled 258 miles (415 km)
Average journey time 4 hours 28 minutes
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 381, 382
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) BNSF Railway
Route map

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La Grange Road
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167 km
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258 mi
415 km

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 2015, both the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg carried a combined 208,961 passengers, a 2.8% decrease over fiscal year 2014.[1] The two trains had a total revenue of $5,287,029 in fiscal year 2015, a 4.2% decrease over fiscal year 2014.[1]


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. There was also strong support from the communities through which the Illinois Zephyr runs.

The Carl Sandburg traces 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.[2] 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 and St. Louis, Missouri. While a study for the expansion was not conducted, the project could be funded with a mix of federal and state money.[3]

Amtrak Carl Sandburg (interactive map)

Station stops[edit]

State Town/City Station Connections
Illinois Chicago Chicago Union Station Amtrak: Blue Water, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, California Zephyr, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Hiawatha Service, Hoosier State, Illini, Illinois Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Lincoln Service, Pere Marquette, Saluki, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine, Thruway Motorcoach
CTA Buses: 1, 7, 14, 19, 20, X20, X28, 56, 60, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 128, 129, 130, 151, 156, 157, 192
Megabus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7
Metra: North Central Service, Milwaukee District/North Line, Milwaukee District/West Line, BNSF Railway Line, Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service
La Grange La Grange Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr
Metra: BNSF Railway Line
Pace: 302, 304, 330
Naperville Naperville Amtrak: California Zephyr, Illinois Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Metra: BNSF Railway Line
Pace: 530, 676, 677, 678, 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, 714, 781
Plano Plano Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr
Mendota Mendota Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Princeton Princeton Amtrak: California Zephyr, Illinois Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Kewanee Kewanee Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr
Galesburg Galesburg Amtrak: California Zephyr, Illinois Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Burlington Trailways
Galesburg Bus Transit: Route 2.
Macomb Macomb Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr
Go West Transit: 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26
Quincy Quincy Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr
Quincy Transit Lines: Route 4


Today, a normal Amtrak Carl Sandburg consists of:[4]


Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b "Amtrak FY15 Ridership & Revenue" (PDF). Amtrak. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "Hannibal rails for Amtrak". 18 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "ILLINOIS ZEPHYR CARL SANDBURG". TrainWeb. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 

External links[edit]