Illinois Zephyr

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The Illinois Zephyr is a 258-mile (415 km) passenger train operated by Amtrak that runs between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. The train is a part of the Illinois Service rail network and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois, this train service uses the same triple track (old CB&Q) as three other Amtrak routes: the California Zephyr, the Southwest Chief, and the Carl Sandburg. The Galesburg to Quincy route (old CB&Q Quincy/Hannibal branch) is only served by the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg.

The Illinois Zephyr is a descendant of the Kansas City Zephyr and American Royal Zephyr passenger train routes operated by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad until 1968 and 1971, respectively. The state of Illinois intervened in 1971 at the request of Quincy College (now Quincy University), Western Illinois University, and residents of western Illinois. This became part of the "Illinois Service" initiative in 1971 and is partially funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Illinois Zephyr was never extended to either St. Louis or Kansas City from Quincy, Illinois. Amtrak's Southwest Chief already provided a Chicago to Kansas City route and the state of Missouri's "Missouri Service" only funded the extension of the Ann Rutledge to provide daily service between Kansas City and St. Louis with continuing services to Chicago via Springfield.

The name Zephyr is preserved in the current name of the line. Today the Illinois Zephyr enjoys strong support from the communities it passes through, and is one of the most successful Amtrak routes.[citation needed] The communities promote the train line as the fastest means of getting to downtown Chicago, and train tickets are frequently sold out. As such, the route is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, which calls for an upgrade of service from the former 1 daily round trip to 4 or more daily round trips. The addition of the Carl Sandburg train on October 30, 2006 was the first step in this Midwest Regional Rail Initiative service upgrade. The scheduled travel time from Chicago to Quincy via the Illinois Zephyr is 4 hours, 15 minutes.

Station stops

The Illinois Zephyr, ran as trains 347 (evening westbound) and 348 (morning eastbound) until October 30, 2006. On that date, the train numbers were changed, partially in anticipation of other expanded services: train 347 became train 383 and train 348 became train 380. Additionally, the Carl Sandburg service was added, running two new trains on the same route: train 381, a morning westbound, and train 382, an evening eastbound. This essentially doubled the existing service.

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