top of page



Chicago - Champaign/Urbana - Carbondale

The Illini/Saluki service offers a rich and varied experience, capturing the essence of Illinois from its global city to its small towns, universities, agricultural heartlands, and natural beauty. Passengers are treated to a journey that not only covers the geographic diversity but also touches upon the historical, cultural, and social fabric of the state. From Chicago's towering skyline to Carbondale's lush landscapes, this route presents a multifaceted view of Illinois, encompassing both its heritage and its modern-day vibrancy.

Relax in comfortable seating and enjoy amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and power outlets. With the Illini and Saluki services, Amtrak offers a reliable and comfortable way to travel between Chicago and Carbondale while experiencing the beauty of the Midwest.

6 hours

Trip Time

310 mi (500 km)

Trip Length

Twice Daily


Route Highlights

Chicago, Illinois: The journey begins in Chicago, the Windy City, home to iconic attractions like the Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and an array of world-class museums and galleries. The city's architecture and culinary scene are equally celebrated.

Homewood, Illinois: South of Chicago, Homewood offers a blend of urban and suburban living. Nearby, Ravisloe Country Club's historic golf course and the beautiful Izaak Walton Preserve offer outdoor enjoyment.

Kankakee, Illinois: Named after the river that winds through it, Kankakee boasts charming parks and gardens. The historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bradley House and the Kankakee County Museum are cultural landmarks.

Gilman, Illinois: This small town offers a glimpse into the rural heart of Illinois. Nearby, the Iroquois County State Wildlife Area provides opportunities for birdwatching and enjoying the natural scenery.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois: Home to the University of Illinois, these twin cities boast a lively academic and cultural scene. The Krannert Art Museum, the Virginia Theatre, and Morrow Plots, an experimental cornfield, provide unique attractions.

Mattoon, Illinois: Rich in history, Mattoon is known for the "Mad Gasser" events of the 1940s. The Douglas-Hart Nature Center and Lake Paradise provide beautiful opportunities for outdoor exploration.

Effingham, Illinois: The train then reaches Effingham, often dubbed "The Crossroads of Opportunity." The town's claim to fame is a 198-foot cross, known as the "Cross at the Crossroads," visible from the train and symbolizing faith.

Centralia, Illinois: In Centralia, visitors can explore the Centralia Carillon, one of the largest and grandest bell towers in the nation. Centralia's Foundation Park offers a mix of recreational activities and beautiful landscapes.

Du Quoin, Illinois: Known for its State Fair, Du Quoin is a hub of entertainment and agriculture. The town's rich equestrian history and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds reflect the local traditions and community spirit.

Big Muddy River: As the train nears Carbondale, be sure to look for the views of the Big Muddy River, a meandering tributary that adds to Southern Illinois' diverse landscape.

Carbondale, Illinois: The journey concludes in Carbondale, home to Southern Illinois University. Visitors can explore the nearby Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park, or indulge in the region's blossoming wine trails.


bottom of page