The Amtrak Saluki will take you from Chicago to Carbondale. This particular route is the same as the Illini route. You will be treated to beautiful views as you depart the Chicago station and head into the fields of rural Illinois.
The Saluki will take you from Chicago to Carbondale via Homewood, Kankakee, Gilman, Rantoul, Champaign-Urbana, Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia and Du Quoin.
On the Saluki you can purchase tickets in these categories (sample summer fares):
- Coach ($65)
- Business ($132)
The Saluki train route is part of the Amtrak Illinois Service with the Illini, Carl Sandburg and the Cardinal. This train is mainly used as a commuter train. You will mainly enjoy the city views contrasted with the rural views.
The Amtrak Saluki notable and major stations are Chicago, Homewood, Kankakee, Gilman, Rantoul, Champaign-Urbana, Mattoon, Effingham, Centralia and Du Quoin and Carbondale.
The Amtrak Saluki only travels through the state of Illinois.
The Saluki has terminus stations of Chicago on one end and Carbondale on the other. Chicago Union Station is a tourist attraction as well as a very busy inter modal station. You will want to arrive a bit early to tour the station. There are plenty of options for food and shops if you need anything while you are waiting. It also has a very nice Metropolitan Lounge as well as free baggage check. Carbondale Station has very few services available but does have baggage check and is staffed.
Chicago Union Station
Union Station in Chicago is perhaps the finest Amtrak station in the country. It offers easy access in the heart of Downtown Chicago and features the best Metropolitan Lounge you will find. There are plenty of fast food restaurants within the station where you can get food to bring back to the new 2 level Metropolitan Lounge. The entire station has a nice decor that makes you feel like you are about to take a special trip.
If you’d like to stay close to Union Station before or after your visit we recommend the Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown – The Loop, which is about a 5 minute walk from the station.
Carbondale Station is a small station and does not have a lot to offer. It is a small waiting area with a few services. You can check your bags at this station and there are also vending machines.
Tickets for Amtrak can be booked at Amtrak.com or by using their app on your phone. Reservations can also be made by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.