Amtrak service between St. Louis and Chicago will be interrupted starting Friday.
This is due to track, bridge, crossing and culvert work north of Normal, as the line is upgraded to accommodate faster trains. For eight days, through Aug. 23, there will be no trains, says Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.
“There are four Lincoln Service round trips every day between Chicago and St. Louis. Two of those will be entirely replaced by buses; the other two will be a combination of train and bus via Champaign,” he said. In the case of the combination trips, passengers may use the regular Illini and Saluki trains between Chicago and Champaign, whereupon buses will connect them to their Downstate origin or destination, or St. Louis.
The daily Texas Eagle round-trip will make no Downstate stops, because it’ll be re-routed via Pana along a line with no Amtrak stops on it. There will be replacement bus service between St. Louis and Joliet.
This will be the first of three construction periods this year as the rail facility is improved so that train speeds can be increased from 79 to 110 mph.