Springfield station (Illinois)
The former Chicago and Alton station, currently utilized as the Amtrak station in Springfield.
|Location||N. 3rd and Washington Sts.
Springfield, IL 62701
|Owned by||SPCSL Corporation (subsidiary of Union Pacific)|
|Line(s)||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Station code||Amtrak code: SPI|
|Passengers (2014)||194,762 3.6%|
Springfield is a brick railroad depot in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital. It is at mile 185 on Amtrak's Illinois and Missouri Route. As of 2007, it is served by five trains daily each way: the daily Texas Eagle, and four daily Lincoln Service schedules.
The station was originally constructed by the Chicago and Alton Railroad in 1895 and is one of three historic railroad stations still existing in the city, along with the Lincoln Depot built by the Great Western Railroad in 1852 and Springfield Union Station built by the Illinois Central Railroad in 1898. Prior to the start up of Amtrak on May 1, 1971 it was operated by a successor company, the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and was served by a variety of named trains, including the Alton Limited, the Abraham Lincoln, and the Midnight Special.
The passenger station is decorated with a small mural. Painted on the wall atop the ticket office, the mural features a route map of the post-1947 Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad and a quote from Abraham Lincoln. “May our children and our children’s children to a thousand generations continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country.” The mural and quote celebrate the reunion of the North and South; the state seals surrounding the mural are from the seven states (Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee) served by the GM&O. The mural is the work of Louis Grell of Chicago.
Springfield is applying for federal grant money to construct a new transportation hub building that could bring together Amtrak and local bus service. Estimates of the cost of this project, published in February 2007, ranged from $13 to $18 million, but this was a decrease from an earlier estimate of $50.0 million. One reason for the discrepancies is uncertainty over whether to try to accomplish a major relocation of railroad tracks that pass through downtown Springfield; the tracks have served the downtown area since the time of Abraham Lincoln.
In a 2010-2011 project, authorities supervised the railroad station's comprehensive refurbishment. Overhauled elements included the GM&O mural, trackside landscaping, passenger seating, handicapped accessibility, parking lot repaving and a new station roof. The $714,500 project was financed by the city and Amtrak. Springfield used $571,500 obtained through the Central Area Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that covers much of the downtown. Other stakeholders involved in the renovation included Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track and platform, and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which reviewed project plans to ensure that the station’s historic elements were preserved.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, State of Illinois" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Tim Landis, "Planning Mode: Transportation hub could be built for $14m-$18m", "State Journal Register", February 3, 2007
- All aboard? by Kurt Erickson - Illinois Issues
- "Upgrade of Illinois passenger station to begin this summer". Trains Magazine. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- "Renovation begins at Springfield Amtrak station". The State Journal-Register. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- Landis, Tim (17 September 2011). "Third Street Station: Dressed up depot". State Journal-Register. p. 1.
- Great American Stations. Accessed March 28, 2013.
Media related to Springfield station (Illinois) at Wikimedia Commons