Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Midwest Corridor trains’

BNSF Track Work to Disrupt Carl Sandsburgs

November 16, 2019

Train 381 will terminate at Macomb, Illinois, with alternate transportation being provided between from Macomb to Quincy.

Train 382 will originate at Macomb with alternate transportation provided from Quincy to Macomb.

Eastbound Bus 3382 will depart Quincy at 4:30 p.m. and operate 60 minutes earlier than the normal train schedule.

2 Midwest Routes Get Extra Trains at Thanksgiving

November 13, 2019

Amtrak will be operating additional trains on two Midwest Corridor routes during the Thanksgiving travel period.

On the Lincoln Service route a pair of extras will operate between Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

Lincoln Service No. 309 will depart Chicago Union Station at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1 and arrive in Normal at 12:58 p.m.

The equipment will turn and become Train No. 398 scheduled to depart Normal at 1:15 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 3:41 p.m.

Additional Carl Sandburg trains will operate on the same dates between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois.

No. 385 will depart Chicago at 11:30 a.m., using the equipment of inbound regularly scheduled Illinois Zephyr No. 380. No. 385 is scheduled to arrive in Quincy at 3:53 p.m.

The equipment from regularly scheduled Chicago to Quincy Carl Sandburg No. 381 will turn and operate as No. 384, departing Quincy at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 5:22 p.m.

The equipment that ran to Quincy as No. 385 will become the regularly scheduled Carl Sandburg No. 382, which is scheduled to depart Quincy at 5:30 p.m.

All of the trains are funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

CN Track Work to Disrupt Saluki on Nov. 19

November 12, 2019

Amtrak’s Saluki will operate only between Chicago and Champaign, Illinois, on Nov. 19 due to Canadian National track work.

Nos. 390 and 391 normally operate between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois.

In a service advisory, No. 391, which is scheduled to depart Chicago at 8:15 a.m. and arrive in Champaign-Urbana at 10:25 a.m. will turn back there to become No. 390.

No. 390 will depart Champaign at 10:45 a.m., which is 31 minutes later than its normal schedule and operate on that schedule through to Chicago.

Passengers boarding or disembarking at Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia, DuQuoin and Carbondale will ride a bus to and from Champaign.

Illinois Gets Extension to Use Grant to Develop Route

November 8, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation has extended the deadline for the expenditure of a grant awarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2010 to help launch an Amtrak route between Chicago and the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa.

The grant, which was awarded by the Federal Railroad Administration, received a multiyear extension.

The project has been delayed multiple times due to numerous issues.

Plans are to operate the route within Illinois on BNSF and Iowa Interstate tracks from Chicago Union Station to a multimodal station in Moline.

A major source of delay occurred during the administration of former Gov. Bruce Rauner, who “paused” development of the route after taking office in 2015.

Rauner was defeated in the 2018 election by J. B. Pritzker who after becoming governor earlier this year renewed the state’s support of the route by providing $225 million in state funding.

Additional delays have occurred as IDOT and the Iowa Interstate have negotiated the project’s scope and infrastructure upgrades needed to convert the former Rock Island Railroad tracks for passenger service. Those negotiations remain ongoing.

In the meantime the City of Moline has converted a downtown warehouse into a multimodal transportation center and hotel.

The original grant awarded by the FRA was for $177 million.

Hiawatha Trains Reserved for Thanksgiving Travel

November 5, 2019

Monthly and ten-ride ticket holders will not need reservations.

Wisconsin OK’s Funding for New Passenger Equipment

November 5, 2019

A Wisconsin legislative committee has approved added funding for additional equipment for Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee.

A budget committee approved $13.2 million to match a $25.7-million Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant the state had received earlier this year.

The money will be used to purchase six coaches and three cab coaches that will be built by Siemens at its plant in Sacramento, California.

This equipment is an add on to an order for 137 cars in production that will be assigned to corridor trains in the Midwest and California.

Wisconsin Passenger Rail Manager Arun Rao said the cab cars have 58 to 62 revenue seats and will replace converted locomotive cabs that have no revenue seating.

The new equipment is expected to arrive in about three years and enable Amtrak to create a third train set for use in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor.

That equipment is expected to allow for an expansion of Hiawatha Service, although one of the host railroads in the corridor, Canadian Pacific, has said it won’t approve additional Amtrak service until capacity expansion projects are undertaken.

The latter has triggered fierce opposition in north suburban Chicago, particularly the plan to build a holding siding for CP freight trains waiting to get onto the Union Pacific, which CP uses to reach its yard in Bensonville, Illinois.

Wisconsin had planned to buy new Talgo Series 8 equipment for Amtrak service, but that equipment has yet to enter revenue service.

The Talgos are sitting at Amtrak’s Beech Grove shops in Indianapolis.

Amtrak currently operates seven weekend Hiawatha Service roundtrips using Horizon and Amfleet equipment.

Amtrak Plans Extra Trains, Added Capacity for Holiday

October 14, 2019

Amtrak plans to operate extra train service and added capacity in the Midwest and other regions of the country during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

In the Midwest, this will primarily mean extra trains to some downstate Illinois cities.

Additional capacity will be added to other Amtrak Midwest corridor routes in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Passengers traveling on the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service trains will need reservations for travel between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2.

In a news release, Amtrak said it expects to operate every available rail car in its active duty fleet.

Additional trains are planned for the Northeast Corridor while additional cars will be added to corridor routes in the Midwest and West.

Added capacity will expand consists of Amtrak’s Keystone Service and the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian.

Keystone trains and the Pennsylvanian will require reservations for travel between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

Pacific Surfliner trains will require reservations between Nov. 27 and Dec. 2 for travel between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, California, via Los Angeles.

Last year Amtrak said it carried over 846,000 passengers systemwide during the Thanksgiving travel period include 160,000 customers the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Jefferson City Waiting Room Temporarily Closed

October 7, 2019

The waiting room of the Amtrak station in Jefferson City, Missouri, has been temporarily closed.

Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner trains will continue to stop at the station platforms to board and discharge passengers.

The closure does not affect the station platforms.

During the closure Amtrak said passengers will not have access to the inside of the station or restrooms.

City volunteers will be on site to help with questions or directions during scheduled train times.

Amtrak did not explain in its service advisory why the waiting room is closed or how long the closure will last.

Buses to Replace Missouri Trains on Sept. 9

September 7, 2019

Union Pacific track work will result in Missouri River Runner passengers riding the bus on Sept. 9 between Hermann, Missouri, and Kansas City.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Trains 311 and 313 will operate from St. Louis to Herman with Buses 3111 and 3113 continuing on to the missed station stops of Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lee’s Summit and Independence.

The service advisory said the buses may operate later than the train schedules.

Trains 314 and 316 will originate in Hermann with passengers riding Buses 3314 and 3116 from Kansas City and making the intermediate stops at Independence, Lee’s Summit, Warrensburg, Sedalia and Jefferson City.

The buses will depart earlier from Kansas City, but Amtrak did not say how early.

Make Way for the Saluki

September 4, 2019

In the nearly 50 years that Amtrak trains have used the former Illinois Central mainline between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois, a wide range of motive power and passenger equipment has traveled these rails.

It began in 1971 with Illinois Central E units and progressed through E units of other railroads painted in Amtrak colors to SDP40Fs to P30CHs to F40PHs to the P40 and P42DC units of more recent years.

Now the Chicago-Carbondale trains are pulled by Siemens SC-44 Charger locomotives that have entered service in the past two years.

Shown is the northbound Saluki racing through Pesotum, Illinois.