This video is a combination of two recorded during the Downtown Springfield Farmers Market on July 14 2012. I captured the Northbound Amtrak Lincoln Service and later recorded the Southbound. The video shows the Northbound to Chicago was the more popular route that day. I’d venture a guess this is normally the case. My experience has been Southbound to St. Louis usually has less passengers board from Springfield IL. I have seen days where that isn’t always a true statement – but on average I think Northbound gets more riders.
Northbound Lincoln Service is featured first. You can see the Lincoln Home Trails & Rails volunteers deboarding and their replacements for the next part of journey boarding. Those volunteers are the people you see in the green shirts.
During the Southbound portion of the video we see at least one Lincoln Home Trails & Rails volunteer waiting to board Amtrak’s Lincoln Service. We also see less passengers heading to St. Louis compared to those shown earlier heading towards Chicago.
I’ve been a passenger on a good portion of Amtrak routes. But I have only heard U.S. National Park Service Trails & Rails in operation one other time from what I can remember. That was when I rode the Amtrak Capitol Limited to Washington DC a few years ago (2007).
Unfortunately during my most recent Lincoln Service trip – in business class we couldn’t hear the Lincoln Home Trails & Rails volunteers presentation. The car speaker wasn’t working – could barely hear the volunteer somewhat from the front snack area. Business class is located within the same car as the food / snack counter and seating. The speaker issue happens often – especially in business class.
Many people only see Amtrak locally when the train is blocking traffic. I thought it might be interesting to see the passenger locomotive in full action. With the raging debate over this set of railroad tracks – I felt it would be good to show how important Amtrak and this station are to the community. I think those that don’t use the service feel it has no value. Amtrak is a well used transportation option within our community and the other cities in our region it serves.
It is in the communities best interest to support, promote and improve Amtrak service. Any attempts to hinder this resource will have negative effects on citizens and reduce public transportation options. Unfortunately over the years many politicians and even some voters can’t seem to realize these facts.
Featured Amtrak engines are Number 26, 33, 162 and 167.
The Lincoln Service has a Trails & Rails program operating from St. Louis, Missouri to Springfield, Illinois and is operated by staff and volunteers of the Jefferson Expansion National Memorial. Another program is operated by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site from Springfield, IL and Chicago, IL.