With more than 4.9 million Illinoisans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 64% of residents age 18 and over receiving at least their first dose, state officials announced Wednesday (May 19, 2021) the return of full Amtrak service in Illinois beginning July 19.
In accordance with CDC guidance, face masks are still required on public transit, including trains, to prevent community spread.
With the number of positive COVID-19 cases continuing to decrease and the demand for public transportation expanding, Amtrak will resume full passenger rail service, providing another efficient transportation option to connect residents across the state.
A full long-distance interstate schedule will restore four state-sponsored lines. The Chicago-Milwaukee partnership with Wisconsin will resume next week. The three state sponsored routes connecting Chicago and Quincy, Chicago and Carbondale, and Chicago and St. Louis, will run at full capacity by mid-July. Passengers can reserve tickets for travel starting the week of July 19 on Amtrak.com beginning this week.
Amtrak previously announced a return to normal operations for the Hiawatha Service on May 23, a partnership of Illinois and Wisconsin departments of transportation that runs between Chicago and Milwaukee with a stop in Glenview.
“As Amtrak begins our 50th year of service nationally, we look forward to growing our ridership back to normal levels and celebrating this fall when our Illinois DOT partnership celebrates its 50th anniversary on Nov. 4,” said Amtrak Vice President Ray Lang, responsible for Amtrak’s state-supported services.
The increased capacity builds upon the administration’s robust efforts to safely connect communities and help lift local economies. Under Rebuild Illinois, a total of $1.1 billion is allocated for rail improvements alone. The critical investments include $78 million in new funds to upgrade rail crossings and improve safety, which will create and support opportunities for hardworking Illinoisans.
Amtrak has stations in 30 communities in Illinois, serving more than a million riders annually prior to the pandemic. For a full list of stops, schedule, and fare information, visit Amtrak.com/Midwest.
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release