Night of Change in September 1995


It’s the evening of Sept. 9, 1995. Train No. 50, the Cardinal, is boarding passengers at Chicago Union Station to go to New York for the final time.

It has been more than a decade since the administration of Thomas Downs engaged in a massive Amtrak route restructuring that had it been fully implemented would have wiped out far more service than it did.

As part of that restructuring, Amtrak cut back the eastern terminus of the Cardinal to Washington, D.C., and assigned Superliner equipment to the tri-weekly train.

Later this evening, the Broadway Limited would depart for New York for the last time, leaving Amtrak with just one Chicago-New York train.

You are looking at the last Cardinal to depart Chicago with Heritage Fleet equipment although Amfleet II coaches had been regulars for some time.

The Cardinal would eventually resume going to New York and the Superliner equipment was assigned elsewhere. But on this day, the changes about to occur had the appearance of being permanent.

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One Response to “Night of Change in September 1995”

  1. Philly Amtrak Fan Says:

    As you said, the Cardinal wound up back to New York but the Broadway Limited/Three Rivers has been gone since 2005 and most of PA is still looking for a direct train to Chicago since.

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