Amtrak cancels two trains that stop in Galesburg this holiday season
GALESBURG — People in Galesburg will not be able to take a morning Amtrak train to Chicago this holiday season.
Amtrak trains 380 and 381 — which travel between Chicago and Quincy and stop in Galesburg — are temporarily canceled until Jan. 16, an Amtrak news release states. Train 380 typically departs from Galesburg at 7:37 a.m. each day and train 381 typically departs Chicago at 7:45 a.m. each day.
The temporary cancellation of the trains went into effect immediately on Nov. 17 and the trains have been replaced with chartered buses as alternate transportation through Jan. 16. Customers who have purchased tickets will receive full refunds.
The news release states that these buses will originate in Quincy and Chicago on the same departure times as trains 380 and 381 and will mimic the train schedules as much as possible. The buses will not leave the intermediate stops ahead of the train schedule but will be subject to highway delays.
People in Galesburg can still catch an evening rail-ride to or from Chicago with trains 382 and 383, which will continue to operate. Train 382 typically departs from Galesburg at 6:55 p.m. each evening and train 383 typically departs from Chicago at 5:55 p.m. each evening.
As reported by WGIL, Amtrak spokesperson Marc Magliari said the temporary suspension is due to staffing issues. Magliari said that the collective bargaining agreement between Amtrak and union employees allows employees to choose their work routes based on seniority and enough senior employees chose other routes.
Amtrak trains 380 and 383 are the Illinois Zephyr. Amtrak trains 381 and 382 are the Carl Sandburg.
Randy Newcomb, executive director of the Galesburg Tourism & Visitors Bureau, said the train cancellations are an inconvenience during the holiday season, but that it doesn’t completely omit travel between Galesburg and Chicago, people may just have to plan on coming into either city in the evening and staying a night before leaving another day.
“I will say it probably will hurt us a little bit. But at this point, it's a decision that Amtrak has made, and we'll just have to deal with it the best we can,” Newcomb said.
Amtrak.com and Amtrak apps have been updated to reflect these changes. People can also visit Amtrak.com, use the free Amtrak app, speak with station personnel in Galesburg, Naperville and Chicago, or call (800-972-7245) for schedules and more information.