CHICAGO – Amtrak schedules on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, served by Lincoln Service trains and the Texas Eagle, will undergo changes during the next several weeks, while Union Pacific Railroad makes track improvements at Springfield, Ill., through the end of June.
During the first phase of the work, Train 301, the morning Lincoln Service departure from Chicago to St. Louis; and Train 306, the evening Lincoln Service departure from St. Louis to Chicago; are both canceled. Passengers are being directed to the four other round-trips on the corridor as alternate transportation from May 23 through May 31, including Train 300, the early morning Lincoln Service departure from St. Louis to Chicago, and Trains 305 & 307, the evening Lincoln Service departures from Chicago to St. Louis, which will operate normally.
Trains 302 & 304, morning and mid-afternoon Lincoln Service departures from St. Louis to Chicago, and Train 303, the mid-morning Lincoln Service departure from Chicago to St. Louis will operate on modified schedules during the period May 23 through May 31. Trains 302 & 303 will operate between Bloomington-Normal and Chicago and be represented by chartered motorcoaches between Bloomington-Normal and St. Louis, making scheduled stops in Lincoln, Springfield, Carlinville and Alton.
During the same period, Trains 21/321/421 & Trains 22/322/422, Texas Eagle, will use a detour route that will bypass the Springfield station. Passengers with travel on the Texas Eagle in Illinois on the above dates will be provided alternate transportation from the Carlinville and Lincoln stations to Springfield. Delays of an hour or more are likely on the detour route and space for checked baggage normally handled at Springfield will be limited in number and size.
Schedules for each of these trains are posted at stations on the route and are subject to further changes as conditions warrant through the end of June. You can also check availability online using the fare finder on Amtrak.com.
Amtrak, which operates Lincoln Service Trains 300-302 & 305-307 under a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation (Ill. DOT), regrets any inconvenience. Amtrak and Illinois DOT appreciate the assistance of the Illinois and Midland Railroad and CN for facilitating the detour of the Texas Eagle on their lines around Springfield.
Union Pacific plans to install 10,000 new concrete ties and replace 25 road crossings in Springfield, making for a smoother ride for trains and motorists, while improving reliability on the railroad.
Amtrak ridership between Chicago and St. Louis topped 477,000 last year, up by 42 percent from the previous year, largely due to the addition of two Illinois DOT-sponsored Lincoln Service round-trips in October 2006. Since October 2007, ridership has risen by 19 percent on the corridor, going into the summer travel season with momentum to exceed a half-million passengers by the time the Amtrak fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.