Riding Amtrak on the City of New Orleans Pt. 2

This is the interior of the Galesburg, Illinois Amtrak station where we de-trained from the California Zephyr. The late arrival of the Zephyr made this our only choice to connect with the City of New Orleans for the return to Memphis. Had we continued to Chicago we would have missed our connection with the City.

While we waited for the bus that would help us connect with the City of New Orleans, I noticed a small railroad museum near the station. It was started by local railfans and contains artifacts from the local railroads, plus there is a CB&Q 4-6-4, a caboose, an RPO and a 12-1 Pullman.

There was not enough time to visit the museum as our bus for Champaign Urbana, Illinois arrived to help us make our connection with the City of New Orleans

After our 2-hour bus ride we arrived at the Champaign Urbana station which serves Amtrak and commuter buses. In all about 150,000 people use this multi-purpose station every year. Although it’s 20 years old it’s so well maintained that it looked like it opened last week!

This is the spacious Amtrak waiting area on the second floor because the train track has been elevated to that level. Two Amtrak state sponsored passenger trains also use the station to serve Chicago.

Here the headlights of the City of New Orleans break the darkness as it pulls into Champaign Urbana on the advertised.

After a bumpy night in our sleeper we arrived back in Memphis where the modernization of the old Central Station is underway. The train will depart here in 15 minutes for Jackson, Mississippi the end of the line because the track farther south is closed due to a hurricane and flooding caused by heavy rains.

Before getting in our car to head home I can’t resist the fuel stop for the Amtrak power.

To wrap up our western trip, I thought this map of the Amtrak routes would help show you where we went and how we got there. As you can see Chicago is a major connecting point. If you have never taken a train trip, you should consider it. The trip is like a cruise because you get to relax and enjoy the scenery without driving.

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4 Responses to “Riding Amtrak on the City of New Orleans Pt. 2”

  1. Wade Curran

    My dad work for “chatter bounce and quiver” (CB&Q) through the 50’s,out of Galesburg,IL. We took many trips by rail as it was the best way to travel and still is. Shocked to see the beautiful Galesburg depot was raised and replaced with a shack.

  2. stephen fenton

    Rode the Southwest Chief round trip from Flagstaff to Chgo. 3 times and on one trip hfrom Flag. had 4 private coaches at the back of the train. Stop in Albq. for 4 th engine and we got to look at the private coaches. MOST MEMORABLE TRAIN RIDE EVER. (I lived in Kankakee and got to meet Arlo Guthrie in '85 when did a benefit concert and arrived on the City of New Orleans!! LOVED both experiences with AMTRAK!! THANKS AMTRAK!!

  3. B.F Jackson III

    My wife & I rode the Zephyr June 30, 2016 from Chicago to Grand Junction, Co.; had to fly from B'ham, Al. (Southwest Air, only goes to Midway Airport, arrived @ 11:15am, took 30' can ride to Union Station, we enter a decorated inside 4th July Beautiful building, a spacious redone waiting area, Amtrak had a Porter offering any California wines to drink a full buffet of club sandwiches,snacks, delicious food while waited for departure @ 4pm, had our Roomette Great service by our Porter, wonderful meals & dining(superb prime rib steak, wine , really excellent wait service by all dining staff), we got to sit w/different people each meal; delicious breakfast, then lunch about 12:30pm on July 1st, at 4pm on time in Grd Jct, Co. Where our daughter picked us up, to drive To Telluride about 2 1/2 hrs south. Can't say enough about how great trip, all the scenery thru the Rocky Mtns, crossing the mighty Mississippi River at Burlington, Is while dining with Iraqai Army Vet & his Dad, I asked him how fast we're rolling across the bridge, he googled- we're hi-ballin at 80 mph; what really great overbite 24-hr Amtrak Trip, This fall we want to go on the Empire Builder to Seattle

  4. Ed Driscoll

    Thanks! Great pictures.