Summary and Route History:
It is late afternoon in Quincy Illinois 5:08pm as Amtrak’s Carl Sandburg approaches the Quincy Amtrak station to let passengers arrive and settle on board the train to ride to their destinations. Today we will ride all the way to Chicago to see what it is like to ride on the train leaving Quincy and see the night settle in going to Chicago. The train has spent the day in the west Quincy BNSF yard after coming into town earlier in the day. We departed Quincy at 5:30pm and the journey began there. It has been six months now since the Siemens SC-44 Charger went in to service on the Midwest routes and I have been awaiting some time to finally ride the train with one leading, swift moving and very smooth riding. Leading today’s train is IDTX 4615 built in 2016 for the Amtrak Midwest intercity routes. The rest of the consist included car 1, an Amfleet coach, car 2 is another Amfleet coach newly remodeled, car 3 was an Horizon fleet coach, and car 4 was a Horizon fleet café/Buissness class car. Amtrak Carl Sandburg began in October of 2006, it was an outgrowth of the Illinois Zephyr and it was the Illinois Department of Transportation’s decision along with Amtrak to create this line to give people the opportunity to have an evening train departing from Quincy as well, as a morning train departing from Chicago. Before, there was just the morning train in Quincy called 347 (380) and the evening train that departed from Chicago 348 (383). The Carl Sandburg train’s call numbers are 381 and 382. The train of course is named after the famous American poet writer Carl Sandburg, birth place, Galesburg, Illinois. It takes a little over four and a half hours to get from Quincy and Chicago traveling 258 miles on tracks owned by BNSF Railway. The line was once was once occupied by Chicago, Burlington and Quincy line (CB&Q) American Royal Zephyr and the Kansas City Zephyr. Many colleges are in the towns along this route, which creates a great advantage for transportation for many college students to travel to theses communities. Amtrak Carl Sandburg departs from Chicago at 7:35 am. After arriving in Quincy, it then spends the rest of the day at the BNSF railroad yard in West Quincy, Missouri before reloading passengers to go back to Chicago at 5:30 pm. If you live in these parts it’s a great way to travel between Chicago and Quincy.
Carl Sandburg Schedule here
381 (westbound) 382 (eastbound)
Chicago 7:35a Quincy 5:30pm
La Grange 7:55a Macomb 6:17pm
Naperville 8:10a Galesburg 6:53pm
Plano 8:34a Kewanee 7:25pm
Mendota 9:00a Princeton 7:48pm
Princeton 9:22a Mendota 8:09pm
Kewanee 9:45a Plano 8:38pm
Galesburg 10:18a Naperville 9:00pm
Macomb 10:56a La Grange 9:16pm
Quincy 11:50a Chicago 9:51pm
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Record Dates 5/20/2018 – 5/21/2018.