Amtrak Saluki And Illini Schedules
Amtrak Saluki And Illini Schedules

The Amtrak Saluki and Illini: Chicago – Carbondale

Embark on an adventure through the heart of Illinois by hopping on board the Amtrak Saluki and Illini train services. These daily trains connect the bustling metropolis of Chicago to the Carbondale, weaving through different Illionise landscapes.

The Saluki and Illini run daily and travel along a scenic route spanning 309 miles, with nine intermediate stops. With two daily round trips, passengers have ample opportunities to experience the charm and beauty of Illinois at their own pace.

Let’s explore the details of this exciting journey together as you learn about the schedule for these trains, food service, and accommodations on the trains.

Chicago Union Station Train Sign
Chicago Union Station Train Sign

The Amtrak Saluki and Illini on-time performance and host railroad

Amtrak operates its trains on tracks that belong to passenger and freight railroads, also known as host railroads. These host railroads can often cause delays to Amtrak trains. 

From March 2023 to 2024, the average on-time performance for passengers was 82.6%, with an average delay time of 53 minutes. However, in March 2024, the average on-time performance improved to 89.7%, but the average delay time increased to 55 minutes. 

CN-IC, the host railroad for most of this route, is responsible for delays caused by freight train interference and slow order delays.

Amtrak Saluki and Illini accommodations

Due to CN’s train length and weight restrictions, Amtrak has been utilizing Superliner cars to activate their grade crossing signals. Some of these cars are closed for passenger use and are only there to ensure the correct number of axles. Note that Amtrak can change this arrangement based on CN’s improvements.

This could change at any time. If it does, please let me know; sometimes things change quickly!

Amtrak Coach

Coach class

I have enjoyed several hundred hours in Amtrak coach classes and find them comfortable yet functional.

The seats have a fold-down tray, leg and footrests, and individual reading lights. Additionally, 120v grounded (three-prong) electric outlets are on the wall so that you can stay connected throughout your journey. 

The restrooms are on the lower level of the train, and there are overhead luggage racks and a shelf on the lower level of your belongings. 

Business class

  • Everything coach class gives you.
  • Extra legroom
  • Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.

Additionally, Business Class customers receive a 25% bonus on Amtrak Guest Rewards points, and if you are leaving from Chicago, business class passengers can use the lounge for a fee.

Wi-Fi & entertainment on Saluki And Illini

Wi-Fi is free and available on this train, but streaming may not be. Amtrak does not entertain like other transportation, but here are some ideas for entertainment on Amtrak.

Food on the Saluki And Illini

There is a cafe on this train plus you can bring food.

Cafe car


Don’t forget to visit one of my favorite places – the Cafe Car! Here’s what you can find there:

– Hot and cold meals, including breakfast options.

– Snacks.

– Coffee, tea, and cold beverages, including adult beverages.

Please note that the cafe car may not be open immediately upon leaving the first station and may close before reaching the last station. However, the conductors and the cafe car attendant will inform you of its opening and location.

You can bring food and beverages on the train.

You may bring food and drink aboard the train.

Amtrak allows you to bring alcohol on the train, but if you do, leave it in your bags! You can’t consume the alcohol you brought on board. If you get caught drinking your own or get out of hand, the train’s next stop will be yours.

Amtrak Saluki and Illini add-ons

You can add a few add-ons to your reservations to bring those extras.


Amtrak allows bikes on the train, but spots can be limited. Check the Amtrak bike policy for the most up-to-date information and booking instructions.


Amtrak allows dogs and cats up to 20 pounds (combined weight of pet and carrier) for trips up to seven hours. You must print and complete paperwork before bringing your pet to the train. To find the paperwork and to get more information, check out Amtrak’s pet policy.

If you plan on bringing a service or comfort animal, read Amtrak’s service animal policy for instructions and restrictions. Don’t arrive at the stations without being prepared and researching the topic.

Luggage on the Saluki And Illini

This train does not offer a checked bag service.

Each passenger may carry on:

  • One personal item, 25 lbs. (12 kg) and 14 x 11 x 7 inches, and 
  • Two carry-on pieces of luggage, 50 lbs. (23 kg) and 28 x 22 x 14 inches each
  • If you transfer to the Pacific Surfliner at some point along your journey, the baggage size for that train is up to 28 x 22 x 11 inches each. 

Charges apply for additional and oversized luggage; check out Amtrak’s carry-on bag policy for more information.

Amtrak Saluki and Illini schedules

This guide uses available information from; things could change since this article was published. Check with Amtrak or your ticket to ensure times do not vary.

The departure times are below; the train may arrive a minute or two earlier than the stated time.

An alternative to these trains is the City of New Orleans, a daily long-distance train with later southbound and early northbound schedules.

Communities Served391
Read DownRead DownDaily TrainsFinal StopFinal StopMiles
7:30a4:15pCarbondale, IL (CDL)1:45p9:35p0
7:51a4:36pDu Quoin, IL (DQN)1:17p9:07p20
8:23a5:08pCentralia, IL (CEN)12:44p8:34p56
9:09a5:54pEffingham, IL (EFG)11:57a7:47p109
9:33a6:19pMattoon, IL (MAT)11:33a7:23p136
10:24a7:08pChampaign-Urbana, IL
10:38a7:24pRantoul, IL (RTL)10:20a 6:08p194
11:05a7:51pGilman, IL (GLM)9:52a5:40p227
11:31a8:14pKankakee, IL (KKI)9:27a5:15p252
12:10p8:55pHomewood, IL (HMW)8:56a4:46p285
1:00p9:45pChicago, IL
Union Station (CHI)
Final StopFinal StopStopsRead UpRead UpMiles

Printable Amtrak Saluki and Illini schedules

You can print off either schedule below, which includes Amtrak connection services. You can print routes or custom ones from to ensure you have the most up-to-date schedules. Learn how to print Amtrak schedules here.

Safe Travels,


The information for these guides comes from Amtrak, and Amtrak can change times anytime.

Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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