Harsh winter weather, track construction, and low gas prices are getting the blame for a drop in ridership in Illinois on Amtrak. The three state-supported routes, connecting Chicago with Carbondale, Quincy, and St. Louis, show a ridership drop of 4 percent for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.  More than 1.3 million riders is still a “great” year, Amtrak says.
 
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“Our biggest Downstate station, our most popular station for Amtrak travel to and from Downstate Illinois, is Bloomington-Normal. We do a lot of business with the Illinois State University faculty, staff, students, and the business community there,” says Marc Magliari, Amtrak’s Chicago-based spokesman. “We do big business in places like Champaign-Urbana, where we have more people riding the trains on Amtrak than there is space for them in the waiting room.”
 
Nationally, ridership was up 0.2 percent to 30.9 million.
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Year 2014
Fiscal Year 2013
Difference
Percent Change
Chicago-St. Louis
717,565
740,275
-22,710
-3%
Chicago-Carbondale
375,443
393,231
-17,788
-5%
Chicago-Quincy
249,734
261,577
-11,843
-5%
Total
1,342,742
1,395,083
-52,341
-4%
 
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com )