Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Carl Sandburg’

Illinois Trains Making Detour in Galesburg

July 13, 2017

Amtrak’s Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg are making a 5.7 mile detour in Galesburg, Illinois, due to work on the new Main Street underpass.

As part of that project, a bridge is being built under the BNSF mainline for Main Street and tracks 2 and 3 are removed until at least noon on Friday.

The regular route for Nos. 380, 381, 382 and 383, uses Track No. 2 through the Galesburg Amtrak station, thus making a detour necessary through the Galesburg yard even it is never more than a half-mile away from the normal route.

Using an eastbound train as an example, the detour route begins at Saluda, the south end of the Galesburg yard complex, and takes the lead to the Graham Cut-off Line.

At the Graham Cut-off connection, Amtrak trains continue compass north, passing beneath the Waterman lead to the Graham Cut-off.
North of the underpass, Amtrak stays on the westernmost (compass direction) track, passing west of the hump and immediately east of the locomotive tracks at the Galesburg shops.

Amtrak trains then stay to the west, pass the Prospect Street switch under the West Third Street overpass, and turns northeast to enter the Ottumwa Subdivision mainline at the west end of A-Plant.

At that point, the trains cross over from Track 3 to Track 1 to serve the Amtrak station, which is unusual for these trains. Track 1 is currently the only open track through town on the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy mainline.

Extra Trains Set for Thanksgiving Travel Period

October 19, 2016

Amtrak said it will offer extra trains between Chicago and points in Illinois and Michigan during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

Amtrak logoIn Illinois, the additional trains will operate between Chicago and Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago and Quincy. All of these trains will operate on Wednesday, Nov. Nov. 23, and Sunday, Nov. 27.

In Michigan, extra trains will operate between Chicago and Ann Arbor on Nov. 23, 26 and 27. Extra trains will also operate between Chicago and Holland on Nov. 23 and 27.

Train No. 309 will depart Chicago at 10:30 a.m. and arrive in Bloomington-Normal at 12:58 p.m., making all intermediate stops served by Lincoln Service trains.

No. 308 will depart Bloomington-Normal at 1:15 p.m. and is scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 3:39 p.m.

Train No. 385 will depart Chicago at 11:30 a.m. and arrive in Quincy at 3:53 p.m.

No. 384 will depart Quincy at 1 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:23 p.m. The Chicago-Quincy trains will operate as Carl Sandburg Extra service.

Some regularly scheduled trains will have altered schedules during the holiday period. Lincoln Service train 301 will depart Chicago at 7:30 a.m., a half-hour later than normal, on Nov. 23 and 27.

Lincoln Service train 300 will depart St. Louis on Nov. 23 and 27 at 4 a.m., a half-hour earlier than normal.

Illinois Zephyr No. 383 will depart Chicago on Nov. 23 and 27 at 6:15 p.m., which is 20 minutes later than normal.

In Michigan, the Wolverine Service Extra trains will depart Chicago at 9:30 a.m. and arrive in Ann Arbor at 3:10 p.m., operating as No. 356. Intermediate stops will be made at New Buffalo, Niles, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Jackson.

No. 359 will depart Ann Arbor at 4:05 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:47 p.m., making the same intermediate stops as No. 356.

There will no change in schedules for other Wolverine Service trains between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac).

The Pere Marquette Extra will depart Chicago at 10 a.m., operating as No. 372, and arrive in Holland at 2:11 p.m. It will make all intermediate stops also served by the regular Pere Marquette. No. 373 will depart Holland at 3:10 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:27 p.m.

There will be no change in the schedule of the daily Pere Marquette.

Amtrak said that during the holiday travel period it will operate every available passenger car in its fleet.

Chance Meeting of 2 Amtrak Trains

August 30, 2016

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Amtrak trains pass each other every day on every route, so the practice is common. It can be tricky, though, to know where two trains are going to pass on any given day.

Yes, you can determine the likely meeting places based on schedules and how the trains are operating that day. That’s easier to do on single track territory with a set number of passing sidings, but calculating a meeting point can be complicated on a double-track mainline.

Back in early August 2008 I was in Mendota, Illinois, to photograph the westbound Carl Sandburg and the eastbound Illinois Zephyr, which were scheduled into there seven minutes apart.

The Zephyr was running late and the Sandburg reached the station first. No. 381 had scarcely came to a halt when No. 380 came around the curve.

Perhaps this type of meet happens frequently in Mendota, but it was a lucky break for me.

 

Galesburg Celebrates Expanded Amtrak Station

November 24, 2015

An enlarged and spiffed up Galesburg (Illinois) Amtrak station attracted large crowds to celebrate the expansion during an open house last week.

The station was recently renovated and expanded by 1,400 feet. The project cost more than $600,000 with most of that being paid for by state and federal grants.

The station is now brighter and features additional space for passengers and a separate area for buses and luggage check-in.

“I’m really happy and pleased on how it turned out,” said Community Development Director Roy Parkin. “It’s exactly what we wanted. It provides additional space for the Amtrak customers as well as the bus company facility.”

The restrooms also were remodeled and some cosmetic changes were made to the depot.

The station is served by Burlington Trailways bus lines, which will maintain a ticket counter in the facility. City officials noted that there is an Enterprise rental car office nearby.

“In 1999 our passengers just wanted to go from point A to point B,” said Marty Bradley of Burlington Trailways. “Now today they want outlets at every seat, Wi-Fi on the bus and seamless transportation to and from one mode of ground transportation to another. Today it’s possible with the partnership between Burlington Trailways and Amtrak, with the thru-way agreement to get their passengers across the Interstate-74 corridor.”

Galesburg is served by the Chicago-San Francisco Bay California Zephyr, the Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief, and the Chicago-Quincy Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg.

Amtrak’s Illinois Pet Program Made Permanent

April 22, 2015

A trial program allowing passengers to carry pets aboard Amtrak trains in Illinois is being made permanent.

The program allowed small pets aboard the Chicago-Quincy Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, and the Chicago-Carbondale Illini and Saluki.

Some 200 animals have ridden with their masters without a single complaint or incident.

“I am proud that Illinois is the first state in the country to work with Amtrak to offer this convenient service for pet owners, while also taking into account the considerations of other passengers,” said acting IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “By allowing pets on trains, Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation are making it that much easier for people to experience so many of our great communities throughout the state.”

Ticketing and travel with pets originates throughout the day in Chicago, Carbondale, Champaign, and Galesburg, while the service is only available during afternoon departures in Homewood and Naperville due to staffing.

Reservations are required and a surcharge of $25 is assessed for travel. Dogs or cats up to 20-pounds each are accepted in carriers that can be placed under the seat of each pet owner.

3 Illinois Corridor Trains Using Superliners

February 17, 2015

Passengers riding the Illini, Saluki and Carl Sandburg trains in Illinois can expect to be accommodated in Superliner equipment through the end of February.

Amtrak said the usual equipment assigned to business class service on those trains has temporarily removed.

Passengers who purchase business class tickets will receive most if the amenities normally offered on the single-level Horizon and Amfleet cars, including priority boarding, use of the Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station, complimentary beverages and a newspaper.

Half of the upper level of the of the Superliner food service car will be curtained off for Business Class passengers.

Amtrak said in service advisory that the primary difference in business class on Superliner equipment is two-by-two seating, rather than a row of single seats on one side of the aisle.

The Saluki and Illini operated between Chicago and Carbondale, Ill., while the Carl Sandburg operates between Chicago and Quincy, Ill.

In the meantime, Amtrak has discontinued business class service on the quad-weekly Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State. Also disconnected was AmtrakConnect® Wi-Fi. Light refreshments are not longer available on Nos. 850 and 851.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said those services, which were made available on the Hoosier State last October have been removed because  the Indiana Department of Transportation has chosen not to fund their continuation.

Trains Canceled in Illinois due to Snow Drifts

February 2, 2015

Drifting snow prompted BNSF to close a part of its Mendota Subdivision in Illinois on Monday, which resulted in the cancellation of some Amtrak services.

Canceled were the eastbound Illinois Zephyr to Chicago from Quincy, Ill., and the westbound Carl Sandburg from Chicago to Quincy.

No alternative transportation was provided to Quincy or the intermediate stop at Macomb, Ill.

Passengers for those trains at stops between Chicago and Galesburg, Ill., were accommodated by the Southwest Chief and the California Zephyr

The evening westbound Illinois Zephyr and eastbound Carl Sandburg were still expected to operate.

BNSF Bridge Work to Force Detour of Nos. 3/4, 5/6

October 29, 2014

Due to bridge work by BNSF near Princeton, Ill., during the weekend of Nov. 15-16, the Southwest Chief and California Zephyr will be detouring over the former Santa Fe mainline route between Chicago and Galesburg.

The trains will get back on their original route via the Cameron Connection near Galesburg.

The westbound California Zephyr will operate combined with the westbound Southwest Chief and depart Chicago at 3 p.m., the scheduled departure time for the Chief.

Passengers ticketed aboard the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, will be transported by bus between Chicago and Galesburg. The trains will operate between Galesburg and Quincy.

 

Pets Can Ride Amtrak in Illinois Test Project

May 8, 2014

Pets can now ride Amtrak trains in Illinois as part of a pilot program being conducted in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation

Dogs and cats will be permitted aboard the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, which both operate between Chicago and Quincy, Ill.

Animals cannot weight more than 20 pounds each, advance registration is required and there will be a $25 handling fee will be charged.

“Amtrak is supportive of accommodating pets on trains, and through direct collaboration with the Illinois Department of Transportation and a working group led by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham of California, we are optimistic a plan can be reached to address the needs and concerns of all our passengers,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

The pilot will run between May 5 and Nov. 2.

Amtrak Gets New Route Through Galesburg

January 28, 2014

Some Amtrak trains are getting a new route in Galesburg, Ill., as a result of a congestion relief project on the BNSF.

The railroad has opened a third mainline to the south of the two existing mainlines. This allows freight trainss to bypass the Amtrak station.

However,  Amtrak trains to and from Quincy can no longer use the old curvy route into the station because of the new third track.

Therefore, as a part of a rebuilding of the yard in Galesburg  that added three additional mainline holding tracks, a new route was established for Amtrak’s Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr trains.

Trains heading to Quincy from Chicago still stop on track No. 2, then head west and crossover to the new track No. 3.

Shortly after the crossover, the trains take a switch to the south that loops through the old roundhouse area and connects back to the original route south of the Peoria wye. Total new trackage is just over 0.5 miles.

However, work continues on the yard and it appears that there are plans to extend this track further through the yard. A check of Google Maps for Galesburg has it showing the route’s construction last summer, but not the completed track.