Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg

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Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg
Amtrak Train No. 383 the Illinois Zephyr pulled by AMTK 17.jpg
The Illinois Zephyr westbound on the BNSF Chicago subdivision
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail
Locale Illinois
Predecessor American Royal Zephyr and Kansas City Zephyr
First service
  • November 14, 1971 (1971-11-14) (Illinois Zephyr)
  • October 30, 2006 (2006-10-30) (Carl Sandburg)
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Route
Start Chicago, Illinois
Stops 8
End Quincy, Illinois
Distance travelled 258 miles (415 km)
Average journey time 4 hours 22 minutes
Service frequency Twice daily
Train number(s) 380-383
On-board services
Class(es) Reserved Coach and Business Class
Seating arrangements Airline-style coach seating
Catering facilities On-board café
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) BNSF Railway
Route map

Dist.
Station
0 mi
0 km
Chicago
14 mi
23 km
La Grange Road
28 mi
45 km
Naperville
38 mi
61 km
Aurora
discontinued
1985
52 mi
84 km
Plano
83 mi
134 km
Mendota
104 mi
167 km
Princeton
131 mi
211 km
Kewanee
162 mi
261 km
Galesburg
202 mi
325 km
Macomb
258 mi
415 km
Quincy
West Quincy, Missouri

The Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are a pair of 258-mile (415 km) passenger trains operated by Amtrak that run between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. The trains are a part of the Illinois Service rail network and are partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, the services share the BNSF, (ex-CB&Q main line) with the California Zephyr and Southwest Chief. The Galesburg to Quincy section (ex-CB&Q Quincy/Hannibal branch) is only served by the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg. Started in November 1971, the Illinois Zephyr is the "longest continuously operated state-sponsored train."[1]:241 The Carl Sandburg was added as a second daily round trip in 2006.

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.[2] The two trains had a total revenue of $5,287,029 in fiscal year 2015, a 4.2% decrease over fiscal year 2014.[2]

History[edit]

Postcards of the Kansas City Zephyr and American Royal Zephyr, predecessors to the Illinois Zephyr

The Illinois Zephyr is a descendant of the Kansas City Zephyr and American Royal Zephyr passenger train routes operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad from 1953 until 1968 and 1971, respectively. The state of Illinois intervened in 1971 at the request of Quincy College (now Quincy University), Western Illinois University, and residents of western Illinois. This became part of the "Illinois Service" initiative in 1971 and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.[1]:242 Service on the Illinois Zephyr began on November 14, 1971, between Chicago and West Quincy, Missouri. The name "Zephyr" is preserved in the current name of the line. Today the Illinois Zephyr enjoys strong support from the communities it passes through, and is one of the most successful Amtrak routes.[3]

Service to Plano began on April 30, 1972. Service to Quincy proper began on April 24, 1983. The suburban stop at Aurora, was discontinued on April 28, 1985, in favor of Naperville.[1]:251–252 Passenger service was cut back to Quincy, Illinois on May 1, 1994, after a major flood in 1993 destroyed the original station at West Quincy. The Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg trainsets continue to cross the Mississippi River to layover at the BNSF West Quincy railyard in between runs.

On October 30, 2006, a second round trip, the Carl Sandburg was added as part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative. The train's name honors Carl Sandburg, whose birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois lies just a few hundred feet from this train's route. The morning westbound/evening eastbound schedule complements the opposite schedule of the Illinois Zephyr.

During 2010, Amtrak contacted officials from communities in northeastern Missouri and western Illinois regarding the feasibility of extending the Illinois Zephyr, plus 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 both federal and state money.[4]

Route and stops[edit]

Amtrak Carl Sandburg / Illinois Zephyr route (interactive map)
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, 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 Metra: BNSF Railway Line
Pace: 302, 304, 330
Naperville Naperville Amtrak: California 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
Mendota Mendota Amtrak: Southwest Chief
Princeton Princeton Amtrak: California Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Kewanee Kewanee
Galesburg Galesburg Amtrak: California Zephyr, Southwest Chief
Burlington Trailways
Galesburg Bus Transit: Route 2.
Macomb Macomb Go West Transit: Routes 5, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19
Quincy Quincy Quincy Transit Lines: Route 4

Consist[edit]

A typical Carl Sandburg in 2010

Today, a normal Amtrak Illinois Zephyr or Carl Sandburg consists of:[5] [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3. 
  2. ^ a b "Amtrak FY15 Ridership & Revenue" (PDF). Amtrak. November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  3. ^ Gray, Jessica (February 24, 2007). "More climb aboard". BCRNews.com. Retrieved July 17, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Hannibal rails for Amtrak". ConnectTristates.com. October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "ILLINOIS ZEPHYR CARL SANDBURG". TrainWeb. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Amtrak touts new locomotives for local passengers". The Whig. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata

Media related to Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg at Wikimedia Commons