Illini (Amtrak)

From TrainSpottingWorld, for Rail fans everywhere

The Illini is a 310-mile (499 km) passenger train operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois. The train is a part of the Illinois Service rail network and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation and by local governments along the route. The train service uses the same track as another Amtrak route, the City of New Orleans. As of [2006], an additional train, the Saluki, serves the exact same route at an alternate time.

The Illini is a descendant of the Seminole Limited, a train operated by the Illinois Central Railroad from 1909 that ran from Chicago to Jacksonville, Florida via Carbondale. In 1969 declining numbers of passengers forced the ICRR to cancel the service to Jacksonville, leaving only the Chicago-to-Carbondale segment of the route. It was renamed the Shawnee, after the Shawnee tribe.

In 1971 Amtrak took over all ICRR passenger service and kept only two passenger trains on the Chicago-Carbondale route, one of which was the Shawnee. Amtrak eventually renamed it the Illini, named for the Illiniwek, the same Native American confederacy that gave Illinois its name. The Illini service was nearly cancelled in 1996, but local communities along the route pledged funds to keep it running.

University students make up a significant portion of the Illini's passengers. The train has stops near three major Illinois state universities: Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Eastern Illinois University in Charleston (near Mattoon), and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The Champaign station may be a source of the train's name: UIUC's sports teams are called the Fighting Illini.

Station stops

The Illini, trains 393 southbound and 392 northbound, makes the following station stops:

Amtrak routes

Ann Rutledge - Blue Water - California Zephyr - Capitol Limited - Cardinal - Carl Sandburg - City of New Orleans - Empire Builder - Hiawatha - Hoosier State - Illini - Illinois Zephyr - Lake Shore Limited - Lincoln Service - Mules - Pere Marquette - Saluki - Southwest Chief - Texas Eagle - Wolverine

External links