AMTRAK ROUTES SERVING CHICAGO

At one time, intercity passenger trains terminated at 6 different stations in downtown Chicago. Amtrak was formed in 1971, and in 1972 Amtrak achieved consolidation of all of its trains into Union Station. Amtrak trains presently serve Chicago over 8 different routes, identified in the descriptions by former railroad names.

OPERATING INFORMATION/TRACK DIAGRAMS

Included are lists of stations, crossings and junctions, mileposts, number of tracks, signal systems, and track diagrams.


NEW YORK CENTRAL

(Used by Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at Porter, IN, using trackage now owned by Norfolk Southern.

Chicago-Whiting - NS Chicago Line
Whiting-Elkhart - NS Chicago Line
Elkhart-Toledo - NS Chicago Line
Toledo-Cleveland - NS Chicago Line
Cleveland-Buffalo - CSX Erie West Subdivision

Buffalo-Syracuse - CSX Rochester Subdivision
Syracuse-Hoffmans - CSX Mohawk Subdivision
Hoffmans-Poughkeepsie - Amtrak Hudson Line


PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD

(Used by Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian)

After downgrading of much of the former Pennsylvania Railroad "Fort Wayne Line" east of Chicago, Amtrak service now only uses former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage east of Cleveland. Trackage now owned by Norfolk Southern.

Cleveland-Alliance - NS Cleveland Line
Alliance-Pittsburgh - NS Fort Wayne Line

Pittsburgh-Altoona - NS Pittsburgh Line
Altoona-Harrisburg - NS Pittsburgh Line


MICHIGAN CENTRAL

(Used by Detroit trains, and Blue Water)

Route uses "New York Central" route between Chicago and Porter IN, and Amtrak owned route northeast of Porter through Kalamazoo, MI.

Porter-Kalamazoo - Amtrak Michigan Line
Kalamazoo-Detroit - NS Michigan Line
Detroit-Pontiac - CN Shore Line/Holly Subdivisions

Battle Creek-Port Huron - CN Flint Subdivision


PERE MARQUETTE

(Used by Pere Marquette)

Route uses "New York Central" route between Chicago and Porter IN, and CSX former "Pere Marquette" route northeast of Porter to Grand Rapids, MI.

Porter-Grand Rapids - CSX Grand Rapids Subdivision


MONON ROUTE

(Used by Cardinal and Hoosier State)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at Dyer, IN, involving several different railroads.

Chicago-74th Street - Metra Southwest Sub District
74th Street-81st Street - Belt Railway Of Chicago
81st Street-Dolton - UP Villa Grove Subdivision
Dolton-Thornton Jct. - UP Villa Grove Subdivision
Thornton Jct.-Munster - CSX Elsdon Subdivision

Munster-Lafayette - CSX Monon Subdivision
Lafayette-Crawfordsville - CSX Lafayette Subdivision
Crawfordsville-Indianapolis - CSX Crawfordsville Branch


ILLINOIS CENTRAL

(Used by Carbondale trains, and City of New Orleans)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at University Park via the CN former Illinois Central main line.

Chicago-Stuenkel - CN Chicago Subdivision
Stuenkel-Champaign - CN Chicago Subdivision
Champaign-Centralia - CN Champaign Subdivision
Centralia-Carbondale - CN Centralia Subdivision


GULF MOBILE AND OHIO

(Used by St. Louis trains)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at Joliet, and uses the same CN trackage as used by Metra's Heritage Corridor. Amtrak corridor service continues west of St. Louis to Kansas City, via the former Missouri Pacific.

Chicago to Joliet - CN Joliet Subdivision
Joliet-Bloomington - UP Joliet Subdivision
Bloomington-Wann - UP Springfield Subdivision
Wann-St. Louis - UP/GW Joint Line


BURLINGTON ROUTE

(Used by Quincy trains, California Zephyr, and Southwest Chief)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at Aurora, and uses the same trackage as used by Metra's BNSF trains.

Chicago-Aurora - BNSF Chicago Subdivision
Aurora-Galesburg - BNSF Mendota Subdivision
Galesburg-Burlington - BNSF Ottumwa Subdivision
Galesburg-Quincy - BNSF Brookfield Subdivision

Galesburg-Fort Madison - BNSF Chillicothe Subdivision/2nd District
Fort Madison-Marceline - BNSF Marceline Subdivision/3rd District
Marceline-Kansas City - BNSF Marceline Subdivision/4th District


MILWAUKEE ROAD

(Used by Hiawatha Service trains, and Empire Builder)

Route enters and leaves the Chicago area at Rondout over trackage now owned by CP Rail. Between Chicago and Rondout, trains use the same trackage as used by Metra's Milwaukee District North Line.

Chicago-Rondout - CP/Metra C&M Subdivision
Rondout-Milwaukee - CP C&M Subdivision

Milwaukee-Portage - CP Watertown Subdivision
Portage- La Crosse - CP Tomah Subdivision
La Crosse-St. Croix - CP River Subdivision
St. Croix-St. Paul - CP/BNSF Joint Line


AMTRAK ROUTINGS MAP

Some Amtrak trains serving Chicago share routes with Metra trains, others use different routings. This map shows all Metra and Amtrak routes in Chicago and northeast Illinois, with emphasis on the Amtrak routes.


METHODS OF TRAIN OPERATION

Descriptions of the various methods of train dispatching and signal systems, including explanations of CTC and other methods of authorizing train movements.

TRACK DIAGRAMS EXPLAINED

Explanations of the track diagrams on this Web site, which are color coded according to methods of train operation.