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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Amtrak Chicago To St Louis

Amtrak St Louis To Chicago Beware

Amtrak Says Chicago-To-St. Louis Passenger Positive For Coronavirus

We traveled this past weekend from St. Louis to Chicago by Amtrak with confirmed, prepaid reservations. The trip to Chicago on Thursday afternoon took 8 1/2 hours instead of 5 1/2 because of heat-related issues with the tracks and multiple unplanned stops due to freight traffic. If that wasnt bad enough, our return trip on Sunday, July 1 was completely cancelled by Amtrak without explanation or notifying us. We called them to check the departure status prior to checking out of our hotel which is how we found out the train was cancelled. They told us there were no other trains available for the day, but we could go to the station to talk to customer service about our refund options and possibly get a bus trip back to St. Louis, but with no guarantees. Union Station in Chicago is chaotic and unorganizedwe were not willing to endure trying to deal with that situation, much less taking a bus back to St. Louis. We spent the next 2 hours scrambling to find a way home. We ended up having to pay $215 to rent a car one way back to St. Louis. Amtrak did this to us in 2006 because of one of the late November ice stormson that occasion we had to fly home at our own expense! Never, never, never again will Amtrak get my business!

I had no idea that Amtrak was funded by the government. This is probably exactly why they dont care about customer servicethey dont have to worry about getting repeat customers if our tax dollars are always available to bail them out!

The Journey From Chicago To Springfield

We departed on time at 5:15PM. Several announcements we made, reminding us that this was a full train and a family service .

Tickets were checked pretty much immediately. Having our party split across two rows caused a bit of confusion, especially when we moved together later. The staff spent much of their time reprimanding individual passengers for taking up two seats.

Having gone to college in central Illinois and having in-laws in southern Illinois, Ill say that the journey from Chicago to southern Illinois is one of the most boring routes you can undertake in the country. Maybe one day Ill take a great picture of a cornfield and share it here, but for now youll just have to take me at my word.

Mid-trip I swung by the Cafe Car .

There had been an announcement asking that we not use laptops or lounge unnecessarily in the Cafe Car because it was a full train.

My menu board photo came out blurry, but clear enough for me to quickly highlight some prices:

  • Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites $5.50
  • DiGiorno Pizza $9.75
  • Sabra Hummus and Pretzels $4.50
  • Liquor $7.25
  • Domestic Beer $5.50

I didnt feel the need to eat anything, as I assume were all on the same page about the cost-benefit analysis that goes into deciding whether or not to eat train food.

Business Class On Illinois Services

Enjoy an enhanced travel experience in Business Class on Illinois Services and youll have access to exclusive amenities such as a fully refundable ticket if canceled prior to departure, 25% point bonus for Amtrak Guest Rewards members, seating in a dedicated car with a service attendant, complimentary coffee and tea, and access to the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago.

The Land of Lincoln invites you to explore big cities, funky college towns, a majestic state capitol and the proud hometown of the 16th president. Shop in Chicago, get schooled in Champaign-Urbana and tour the Lincoln Library and Tomb in Springfield. Complete your mid-American excursion along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi under the glistening expanse of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

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People Are Also Reading

A longer-than-expected process of installing and testing new GPS-related safety technology called positive train control was the reason for the delay.

Amtrak runs five round trips a day between St. Louis and Chicago, including one that connects to San Antonio, Texas. The increased speed is used in open expanses outside the St. Louis and Chicago metro areas.

The changes are part of a $1.95 billion upgrade of the St. Louis-Chicago corridor that was mostly finished in 2017.

The project, largely funded by federal economic stimulus dollars allotted under then-President Barack Obama, included new rails and concrete ties, new Amtrak stations in Alton and elsewhere and improved crossing gates to keep vehicles from weaving around crossing bars.

Also added were sidewalk gates barring pedestrians from crossing while a train approaches and 3-foot-high pedestrian fences at crossings.

Other improvements were aimed at cutting delays that sometimes made trips longer than the usual 5½ hours. Second-track segments and sidings were added or lengthened so two trains could run simultaneously in more areas.

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Navigating Chicagos Union Station

Amtrak riders between St. Louis and Chicago still waiting for high ...

Ive ridden trains on six continents, and Im comfortable saying Union Station is one of, if not the, worst train stations Ive ever been to. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before your scheduled departure. We actually arrived at 4:52PM for our 5:15PM.

Union Station has two levels, a mezzanine level for eating / shopping and a concourse level primarily for actual train services . Coming from the Union Station Transit Center, youre deposited concourse level at the south concourse at the end opposite the Amtrak gates.

The south concourse has even-numbered tracks and the north concourse has odd-numbered. Certain trains use a combination letter-number system. The number is the actual track, and the letter is the gate. Gates A and B serve the north concourse and gates C, D, E, and F serve the south concourse .

So, a Metra information board will give you Metra trains and track numbers without gates.

While a separate Amtrak board gives Amtrak gate-track combinations for departures.

This isnt intuitive, because why would anyone think E 18 is right next to 16. Especially when something like C 26 also exists. C26 — E18 16 is not an intuitive way to arrange tracks.

All that said, the staff at Union Station are incredibly helpful. They get that its way too busy of a place, and they are more than willing to quickly direct you to your track number.

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Which Stations Can I Use To Travel From St Louis Mo To Chicago Il

Depending on the type of transport, and the provider you decide to use for your journey, you will be able to depart St Louis, MO from the following stations: St. Louis, MO. Arriving at Chicago, IL, your route will pass through all or some of the following stations: Chicago, IL. Not all transport providers serve every station, so check in advance to see exactly where your route takes you. You may need to use another form of transport to get from one station to another or to your final destination when you arrive in Chicago, IL.

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Faqs For Booking Trains From Chicago To St Louis

Do I need a passport to travel from Chicago to St. Louis by train?

Passengers are not required to present a passport at Chicago to St. Louis stations, although it is advisable to have it on them as identification. Unaccompanied youngsters below 18 years and travelers aged 18 and older should present valid identification papers such as drivers licenses, military IDs, school IDs, or government-issued IDs. No passenger will be allowed on Chicago to St. Louis trains without your train ticket. Train tickets are obtained on trains from conductors, online, or at train stations. You must produce valid identification and be at least 16 years old to purchase tickets from conductors. Keep your ticket safe the entire voyage as ticket checks are performed randomly aboard.

What train stations are used when traveling from Chicago to St. Louis?

There are about six Chicago to St. Louis trains leaving Chicago Union Station for Gateway Station in St. Louis every day. Chicago Union Station is within walking distance from downtown Chicago. It is easily accessible via bus lines 28, 125, 126, and 151. Also, the Chicago L Blue Line and Purple Line stop near the station, as well as train lines MD-N, UP-N, UP-NW, and ME. On the other hand, Gateway Station can be accessed via bus lines 4, 10, 31, 40, 94, 97, and 30 as well as metro lines MLB and MLP.

Do trains from Chicago to St. Louis have Wi-Fi?

What luggage is allowed on Chicago to St. Louis trains?

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What Time Does The Lincoln Service Train Arrive

When does the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Train line come? Check Live Arrival Times for live arrival times and to see the full schedule for the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Train line that is closest to your location.

LINCOLN SERVICE train line operates on everyday. Regular schedule hours: 4:35 AM – 5:30 PM

Day
2 hr 5 min

Taking The Bus To Chicagos Union Station

Amtrak returns to full service includes 5 daily roundtrips between St. Louis & Chicago

There are so many buses making so many stops within walking distance of Union Station that we cant mention them all. We recommend using Google Maps to get the best route to or from Union Station. Check out our guide to taking the CTA bus system.

In 2016, a new Union Station Transit Center opened, and a number of buses, including the one we took this day, stop there.

It drops you off right across the street from Union Station. The station is hard to miss

From the Union Station Transit Center, you can follow the signs toward Union Station

and youll reach an underground passageway to the station itself.

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Plan Your Trip To Chicago And Save With These Discounts And Deals

Amtrak ticket deals can range from saving on business and coach class seats for booking early, buy one get one free ticket sales on select routes, discounted rates for traveling to major occasions around the country like Pride celebrations or sporting events, and so many more great deals that come and go throughout the year. Even without deals and promotions, an Amtrak train to Chicago can cost as little as $7 .

For the lowest prices Amtrak has to offer:

Looking to catch the latest Broadway shows in Chicago? If youre an Amtrak Guest Rewards member, you can earn thousands of points by planning your Broadway trip through our car rental and hotel partners on trips.amtrak.com. With over 300,000 hotels and over 29,000 car rental locations to choose from in the network, Amtrak Guest Rewards simplifies the travel planning process without the hassle of scouring the web to plot out the details of your trip.

For the ultimate way to save time and money on your trip planning, Amtrak Vacations has package deals for vacation getaways including a 3-day Chicago Getaway starting at $359.

Welcome To St Louis Mo The Vibrant Heartland Of The Great Plains

Renowned for its bowling and baseball, St Louis is a welcoming city bursting with attractions. You’ll find impressive historical museums and a vibrant cultural scene alongside an unmissable musical tradition. Dont forget to loosen your belt buckle and enjoy some fine beer and a diverse dining scene with a local twist.

Fine museums and history

St Louis’ crown attraction is Forest Park, a magnificent 19th-century public center that covers 1,326 acres. Host of the 1904 Summer Olympics and Worlds Fair, today it boasts fine greenery and museums. Missouri History Museum does a fine job outlining the park’s rich history, while St Louis Art Museum hosts world-renowned works. The parks big-hitting attraction, however, is its zoo. St Louis Zoo is vast and encompasses themed enclosures covering arctic and tropical ecosystems.

In historic St Louis, you’ll find the fine Old Courthouse & Museum. The museum focuses on local history and the infamous Dred Scott slavery case. This played a critical role in the outbreak of the Civil War. Other landmark institutions include the City Museum, a fun and frenetic attraction for young ones. The citys iconic Gateway Arch has its own sleek museum, too, outlining the US’ historical western expansion.

City of music

Wining and dining

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Boarding And Our Horizon Fleet Car

Boarding commenced right at about 5PM for our 5:15PM train, and our queue was directed right onto the train. In the past, weve had ticket check occur before boarding the train, but that didnt happen this time.

Heading to Springfield, we were sent nearly to the end of the platform. We had our choice between an older Amfleet car and a newer Horizon Fleet car and chose the Horizon.

Unfortunately this was a full train and there were no more double seats left, so we were split between two aisle seats.

The only inconvenience of this is that the outlets are on the window side, so we would need to awkwardly ask permission if we needed to charge anything.

Ive never had any issue with the seats on this route. At 57 I find the seats sufficiently spacious. They arent the definition of comfort, but Id be fine in them for anything but an overnight trip. The tray tables are a good size and comfortably fit my Macbook.

I switched seats mid-trip and my new tray table was defective and didnt come all the way down. This led to awkwardly cramped writing with my laptop on top of my lap.

Every seat has a reading light.

And as I said, the window side has outlets. Theyre horizontally oriented and dont have any sort of support, so I wouldnt be surprised to see some chargers struggle with them. Our large, 61W Macbook Pro charger did fine for a short bit, though.

Amtrak Chicago To St Louis Beware

Amtrak has suspended traffic between St. Louis and Kansas City due to ...

We traveled this past weekend from St. Louis to Chicago by Amtrak with confirmed, prepaid reservations. The trip to Chicago on Thursday afternoon took 8 1/2 hours instead of 5 1/2 because of heat-related issues with the tracks and multiple unplanned stops due to “freight traffic”. If that wasn’t bad enough, our return trip on Sunday, July 1 was completely cancelled by Amtrak without explanation or notifying us. We called them to check the departure status prior to checking out of our hotel which is how we found out the train was cancelled. They told us there were no other trains available for the day, but we could go to the station to talk to customer service about our refund options and “possibly” get a bus trip back to St. Louis, but with no guarantees. Union Station in Chicago is chaotic and unorganized…we were not willing to endure trying to deal with that situation, much less taking a bus back to St. Louis. We spent the next 2 hours scrambling to find a way home. We ended up having to pay $215 to rent a car one way back to St. Louis. Amtrak did this to us in 2006 because of one of the late November ice storms…on that occasion we had to fly home at our own expense! Never, never, never again will Amtrak get my business!

Union Station is right downtown and a maximum of a $10 cab fare to get you to your hotel!

Amtrak offers no customer support whatsoever!

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Amtrak Hits New Top Speeds Between St Louis And Chicago

A project that won funding from federal stimulus programs during the Obama administration is finally paying off on the Amtrak route between Chicago and St. Louis.

Focused Adventures/Shutterstock

Amtrak trains traveling between St. Louis and Chicago can now reach speeds of 90 miles per hour, thanks to new brakes installed after three years of delays.

According to an article reporting the news by Mark Schlinkmann for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the new top speeds are one step closer to a final goal of top speeds of 110 miles per hour, which is expected in another year and half. The new top speed trims 15 minutes off the 284-mile journey.

The new top speeds were delayed after the 2017 completion date due to a “longer-than-expected process of installing and testing new GPS-related safety technology called positive train control,” adds Schlinkmann.

“The changes are part of a $1.95 billion upgrade of the St. Louis-Chicago corridor that was mostly finished in 2017,” according to Schlinkmann. “The project, largely funded by federal economic stimulus dollars allotted under then-President Barack Obama, included new rails and concrete ties, new Amtrak stations in Alton and elsewhere and improved crossing gates to keep vehicles from weaving around crossing bars.”

Planetizen picked up the news of the high speed rail funding that included the Chicago-to-St. Louis improvements in 2010.

Information About This Train Trip

Daily Trains

The average bus ticket from Chicago to St Louis costs around CA$46 for departures 61 days prior.

Over the last 85 days, ticket prices from Chicago to St Louis vary, and during peak season, ticket prices are around CA$121 while at other times, you can expect to pay around CA$33.

To save money and be sure you have the best seat, it’s a good idea to buy your bus tickets from Chicago to St Louis, as early as possible. The best time to find and book cheap bus tickets is to book at least 61 days in advance.

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