Shawnee (train)

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Amtrak Shawnee at Centralia, June 1978.jpg
The Shawnee at Centralia in June 1978
First serviceJune 3, 1969
Last serviceJanuary 2, 1986
Former operator(s)Illinois Central Railroad

The Shawnee was a passenger train operated first by then Illinois Central Railroad and then by Amtrak between Chicago, Illinois and Carbondale, Illinois. It operated from 1969 until 1986. The train was one of the few Illinois Central trains Amtrak retained after the end of most private-sector passenger service in the United States on May 1, 1971. The Shawnee operated until January 12, 1986, when budget cuts led to its consolidation with the Illini.

The Shawnee took its name from the Shawnee, an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America who formerly lived in southern Illinois.[1]:100 The train made its first run on June 3, 1969. It replaced the Seminole, a long-distance train which had operated between Chicago and Jacksonville since 1909.[2]:20 At the dawn of Amtrak the Shawnee was one of several trains the Illinois Central operated over the Chicago—Carbondale corridor, including the Southern Express, Creole, and Louisiane.[1]:93 Along with the Panama Limited, also retained from the IC, the Shawnee continued to use Central Station instead of Union Station in downtown Chicago.

Its rolling stock consisted of inherited Illinois Central Gulf locomotives and passenger cars, but in 1976 they were replaced with GE P30CHes and Amfleets and for a brief time, they used Superliner cars. The 1980s most likely saw introduction of EMD F40PHes and retaining of Amfleets, as the Superliners were sent on other routes. On 12 October 1979, a northbound train was involved in an accident at Harvey, Illinois, when the train colided with a stationary ICG freight train due to misaligned switches, claiming the lives of 2 people.


  1. ^ a b Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34705-3.
  2. ^ Lind, Alan R. (1986). Limiteds Along the Lakefront: The Illinois Central in Chicago. Park Forest, IL: Transport History Press. OCLC 20171887.

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