2 years, 6 months ago by Bob Gough
More than 265,000 passengers took the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg
Extra equipment can’t come soon enough for Amtrak if Illinois passenger trends reported Wednesday continue.
The carrier reported more than 675,000 passengers rode Lincoln Service trains between Chicago and St. Louis in the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, an 11 percent increase and a record for the route.
Passenger numbers also increased on the Chicago-Carbondale and Chicago-Quincy lines.
Amtrak ridership in Illinois for federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30 and percentage increase from prior year:
* Lincoln Service, Chicago-St. Louis: 675,295; 11 percent
* Illini & Saluki, Chicago-Carbondale: 374,268; 5 percent
* Illinois Zephyr & Carl Sandburg, Chicago-Quincy: 265,307; 4 percent
* Texas Eagle, San Antonio, Texas-Chicago: 337,973; 12.8 percent
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said growth has been accommodated up to now by refurbishing old passenger cars and returning them to service, but that no more are available.
“We do not have the capacity in the current fleet to grow ridership dramatically,” said Magliari.
New equipment is on order, including additional engines and passenger cars, but delivery is not expected for at least two years.