Boarding is well underway for Amtrak train No. 393, the Illini, at Chicago Union Station. En route to Carbondale, Illinois, the train will make intermediate stops in Homewood, Kankakee, Gilman, Rantoul, Champaign-Urbana, Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia and DuQuoin before it ties up for the night.
I’ll be getting off in Mattoon to visit my Dad. It will be my final trip to see him in my hometown for in a couple months he will move top Arizona and my method of conveyance to go see him will be an Airbus or Boeing 737.
Between April 1994 and March 2014, I would regularly ride Amtrak from my home in Cleveland to visit my Dad.
The Illini was a constant during that period of time, leaving in late afternoon at 4 p.m. and later 4:05 p.m.
Most of the time I would ride in a Horizon fleet coach similar to one although during a few trips I bought a business class seat in what was often an Amfleet food service car.
Some day the Horizon equipment might be gone from the Illinois corridor trains and this view will be dated. But as this is posted in early 2017, it remains state of the art.