Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’s Saluki’

Amtrak Service Cancellations Continue

December 25, 2022

Amtrak has continued to cancel trains in the Midwest and East amid the effects of a winter storm that swept across the country and disrupted travel generally.

Several Midwest corridor trains did not operate on Saturday and will not operate today.

The latest service advisory posted on the Amtrak website shows the following trains will not operate on Christmas Day.

Lincoln Service Trains 300, 301, 302, 305 and 306 between Chicago and St. Louis; Missouri River Runner trains 311 and 316 between St. Louis and Kansas City; Trains 318 and 319 between Chicago and Kansas City via St. Louis; Hiawatha Service Trains 329, 332, 333, 336, 337, 340 and 343 between Chicago and Milwaukee; Wolverine Service Trains 352 and 353 between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac); Blue Water No. 365 from Port Huron, Michigan, to Chicago; the Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Chicago; Illinois Zephyr No. 382 from Quincy, Illinois, to Chicago;

Several trains did not operate on Christmas Eve and have not yet been posted as cancelled for Christmas Day.

They include Lincoln Service Train 307; Hiawatha Service Train 341; Saluki Trains 391 and 382 between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois; Wolverine Service Trains 350, 351, 354, 355, 364 and 365; and Pere Marquette Train 370 from Chicago to Grand Rapids.

Trains 318 and 319 have already been cancelled for Dec. 26.

In the East, the New York-Toronto Maple Leaf was cancelled between Syracuse and Niagara Falls on Saturday.

Empire Service Nos. 280, 281 and 283 were cancelled between Niagara Falls and Albany-Rensselaer on Saturday while No. 284 is cancelled on Sunday between Syracuse and Niagara Falls.

In the long-distance network, the Capitol Limited did not depart its terminals in Chicago and Washington on Saturday.

The Lake Shore Limited will not originate in Chicago, Boston or New York on Saturday or Sunday.

The Chicago-New York Cardinal did not operate on Saturday. Its next scheduled trip is out of New York on Christmas Day.

The Empire Builder between Chicago and Seattle/Portland continues to be suspended through Sunday.

Illini, Saluki Times to Change in January

December 22, 2022

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki rolls through Humboldt, Illinois, on Nov. 6.

Amtrak is using a time-honored trick to try to improve on-time performance in its Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridor.

Starting Jan. 16, it will reschedule some trains to operate later at intermediate points. However, the running times of those trains between Chicago and Carbondale will remain the same.

The scheduled rimes for the northbound Saluki (No. 390) and Illini (No. 392 at Effingham, Mattoon, and Champaign-Urbana will be two to 10 minutes later. Times at Rantoul, Gilman, and Kankakee will be 10 to 20 minutes later, while Homewood will be 26 minutes later.

Time for the southbound Saluki (No. 391) and Illini (No. 393) will be three to 10 minutes later at  Kankakee, Gilman, and Rantoul, and 20 to 28 minutes later at Champaign-Urbana, Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia, and Du Quoin.

The arrival and departure times at Chicago and Carbondale for all four trains will remain unchanged. Also unchanged are the schedules of the City of New Orleans which uses the corridor during its daily trek between Chicago and New Orleans.

Amtrak and host railroad Canadian National have been locked in a dispute for years over time keeping for trains in the Chicago-Carbondale corridor and it is unclear if the schedule changes are a result of that dispute.

The Saluki and Illini are largely funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Track Work to Disrupt Carbondale Trains Dec. 13

December 9, 2022

Passengers board the southbound Illini in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, on May 29, 2001

Track work being performed by host railroad Canadian National will result in bus substitutions on Dec. 13 in the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridor.

On that date, the Saluki and Illini in both directions will be cancelled and replaced by bus service.

Buses 3390 and 3392 will operate from Carbondale to Chicago in lieu of Trains 390 (northbound Saluki) and 382 (northbound Illini). Express bus 3090 will operate from Champaign-Urbana to Chicago in lieu of Train 390.

Buses 3391 and 3393 will operate from Chicago to Carbondale in lieu of Train 391 (southbound Saluki) and 393 (southbound Illini). Express bus 3093 will operate from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana.

Buses will operate on the normal train schedule, but will not serve the intermediate stations of Du Quoin, Rantoul, Gilman and Kankakee.

The track work will not affect the Chicago-New Orleans City of New Orleans, which uses the same tracks between Chicago and Carbondale as the Illini and Saluki.

CN track work also continues to affect operations of the southbound Illini through Dec. 20.

No. 393 will depart Chicago at 5:05 p.m., an hour later than scheduled, and maintain that schedule to Carbondale.

Midwest Corridor Suspensions Extended

September 20, 2022

Amtrak has extended the suspension of two Wolverine Service trains until Oct. 24.

In announcing the suspensions earlier this month, the passenger carrier had said that Nos. 350 and 355 were being suspended due to lack of crews and equipment.

At the time, the trains were to have been reinstated on Sept. 17.

No. 350 is the early morning departure from Chicago while No. 355 departs Pontiac, Michigan, in suburban Detroit in late afternoon.

Two other Wolverine Service roundtrips are unaffected by the service suspensions.

Service suspensions also remain in effect on two other Midwest corridor routes.

Lincoln Service Trains 300 and 305 remain suspended through at least Oct. 23.

No. 300 is scheduled to depart St. Louis at 4:35 a.m. while No. 304 is scheduled to depart Chicago at 5:20 p.m.

The Chicago-St. Louis route continues to field three other Lincoln Service roundtrips plus the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

Suspended until at least Dec. 5 is the Saluki from Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois, and the Illini from Carbondale to Chicago.

The former departs Chicago in the morning while the latter leaves Carbondale in late afternoon.

The trains were suspended last January due to shortages of operating crews and equipment.

One factor keeping the trains sidelined is the insistence of host railroad Canadian National that all trains on the Chicago-Carbondale route use Superliner equipment.

Until about two years ago, the State of Illinois-sponsored Chicago-Carbondale trains used Horizon and Amfleet equipment.

Other trains in the Chicago-Carbondale corridor include the northbound Saluki, which departs Carbondale in the morning, and the southbound Illini, which departs Chicago in late afternoon.

The City of New Orleans between Chicago and New Orleans also covers the corridor but is operating just five days a week. Nos. 58 and 59 are slated to resume daily operation on Oct. 8.

Rushing Through Arcola

August 24, 2022

Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Saluki rushes through Arcola, Illinois, and past the town’s massive grain elevator complex on Canadian National’s Champaign Subdivision. On the point is SC-44 Charger No. 4619. The train was running about 20 minutes late and incurred another short delay at Tuscola due to Union Pacific running a train across the diamonds. When the Amtrak locomotive engineer reported the delay to the CN rail traffic controller, he replied that he told his UP counterpart not to run a work train out in front of Amtrak. “But I guess they don’t care about that,” the CN dispatcher said.

Coming Into Rantoul

July 8, 2022

As a southbound Canadian National manifest freight waits in the siding, Amtrak’s northbound Saluki approaches the station in Rantoul, Illinois. Train 390 has is usual consist of an SC44 locomotive and seven Superliner cars. The conductor can be seen in the window of a vestibule looking at the platform for boarding passengers.

Classic Scene in Arcola

June 2, 2022

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki charges through Arcola, Illinois, as it race toward Chicago. Perhaps few, if any, passengers noticed passing this former service station located next to the tracks.

Although it has the herald of Marathon Oil Company, information I found online indicated that it actually used to be a Sinclair station. It was cosmetically restored in the early 2000s and has been a town landmark ever since.

It is not difficult to imagine some customers from bygone days sitting in their cars as the attendant fills there tank and taking note of a passing Illinois Central Railroad passenger train. What a sight that must have been.

CN Bridge Work Affects Saluki, Illini

March 19, 2022

A bridge project being conducted by host railroad Canadian National will affect the operation of Amtrak trains in the Chicago-Carbondale, Illinois, corridor March 19-21.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said Nos. 390 and 393 will not operate between Chicago and Homewood, Illinois, on all three days.

Passengers will be transported by bus between those two stations.

Train 390, the northbound Saluki, and Train 393, the southbound Illini, will originate and terminate in Homewood.

Train 390 will depart Carbondale at 8 a.m., 30 minutes later than normal while Train 393 will depart Homewood at 5:16 p.m., 30 minutes later than normal.

The bridge work will not affect operations of the City of New Orleans, which operates between Chicago and New Orleans.

Not Charging Today

March 13, 2022

Amtrak’s northbound Saluki had a surprise as it ripped through Arcola, Illinois, on Sunday, Feb. 20. A P42DC was on the point of the Chicago-bound train rather than the usual SC-44 Charger. I don’t know the reason for the motive power substitution. Perhaps the assigned Charger had mechanical difficulties and was swapped out the day before when the equipment went south as the Illini. Note that pulling the train is No. 58, which is the road number for the northbound City of New Orleans, which also uses these same former Illinois Central rails. The train is shown passing the former Illinois Central passenger station in Arcola.

Clear Platform at Gilman

January 4, 2022

Amtrak has said that the weekend before Christmas is one of its busiest travel days of the year. Yet on the Sunday before Christmas 2021 I was the only person on the boarding platform at Gilman, Illinois, to greet the southbound Saluki. No one got off train 391, either, and its stay here was brief. Gilman is located 25 miles south of Kankakee and served only by Chicago-Carbondale trains that are funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.