City of New Orleans-River Cities Route Guide (1991)
OF NEW ORLEANS
You're traveling on-board the City
of New Orleans-or the connecting train that joins it in
Carbondale-the River Cities, Amtrak's route between Chicago, Kansas
City and New Orleans, from the Great Lakes to the Gateway to the
on board, you'll be experiencing the upmost in the train travel,
along with some of the region's most musical cities: St. Louis,
Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans. Jazz, Ragtime, Dixie, Blues-even
Rock'an'Roll-all of America's music was born along this route.
The gleaming skyline of Chicago will give way to the heartland
of Illinois. From here, The River Cities carries you toward the
nightlife of Kansas City,and the City of New Orleans take you
through Memphis and the scenic bayou areas and spirited showboats
off New Orleans. Each of this cities is known for its unique style
of music, fabulous food and exciting nightlife. Amtrak's City
of New Orleans take you to good times and... all that jazz!
Amtrak and your crew are
proud to host you on board. We'll do every thing we can to ensure
you enjoy your trip. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate
to ask your train
attendant our On-Board Service Chief.
There's alot to see and
to do a board the City of New Orleans and a bariety of places
relax, socialize and enjoy a meal. Bingo games are conducted on
train 59 (Chicago to new Orleans in the lounge. Listen for announcements
of the specific time and location of activities, and most of all
HOSPITALITY HOUR. Join
fellow passengers in the Lounge Car for drinks and complimentary
snacks,and don't forget to ask about specialty drinks with a regional
flavor. You can place your order,play some cards and enjoy a friendly
conversation. Let the lounge be your place for games,conversation
and good times.
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS*
Explore the beauty,romance
and exciting history of the Mississippi River Basin or the heartland
of America heading for the Gateway to the West. Amtrak's service
from the Great Lakes to the Gulf exploes some of this country's
most unique and historic regions. The City of New Orleans carries
passengers between Chicago and New Orleans, crossing the Illinois'central
farmlands,the western corner of Kentucky,the forests of Tennesse
and Mississippi and the famous Bayous of Louisiana.
the train heads south in the early evening hours,look to your
left for a dramatic view of the towering city skyline.The Sears
Tower,Daley Center and domed Wrigley Building are among the many
magnificent structures you can see. Chicago is the largest marketing
and transportation center in the Midwest and the largest rail
center in the U.S. Continuing south,you'll cross the Chicago River,
famous as"the river that flows backwards"because of
course away from Lake Michigan. Engineers reversed its flow in
the early 1900's in an attempt to prevent pollution of the lake.
Next,you'll pass Soldier Field on the left. Here,you'll want to
keep an eye out for a glimpse of Lake Michigan, the largest body
of fresh water in the United States. Further along to your right
is Mercy Hospital and Medical Center,one of many that gives Chicago
the largest concentration of medical centers in the world.
CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY(30MIN./43MIN.)
Chicago is also
known for it's progressive educational institutions,and you'll
see the campus of Chicago State University to your right. On the
far South Side, watch for dramatic views of Chicago's giant steel
mills. Here,you'll cross the Calumet River which flows into Lake
Calumet, Chicago's largest harbor.
your right,our charming stucco station with its red tiled roof
sets the tone for this attractive Chicago suburb. Between here
and the next stop, you'll see many lovelyhomes and country clubs,
as well as small farms and towns.
along the banks of the Kankakee River, many vestiges of early
French influence still pervade this city. Ornate stonework,domes
and spires mark many of the town's buildings. It was once the
home of Frank Lloyd Wright,one of America's greatest architects.
He designed many houses in Chicago and its suburbs that were revolutionary
in both design and appearance. From here to Rantoul you'll begin
to see farms that dot the rolling Till Plains. This land region
extends southward through Carbondale, and is part of great corn
belt that extends westward from Ohio to Kansas and Nebraska. Corn
has been the chief crop of Illinois since
pioneer days, and grows on one of every three acres. The state
also raises more soybeans than any other.
six minutes past the station you'll catch a glimpse of Americana
on your left-"Chew Mail Pouch Tabacco"is painted on
the side of the barn!(The train stops here only going north.)
settled in 1848, Rantoul was originally named "Neipswah"
by the Illiniwek Indians, meaning"where the minks are".
This stop affords easy access to Chanute Field.
CHANUTE AIR FORCE
BASE(1MIN./40MIN.) one of the largest technical training
centers of the U.S.Air Force. Aircraft and missile exhibits are
the focus of its on-base museum.
cities appear to be one,but have retained their independence since
the mid-19th centuary. Champaign has envolved into a commercial
and industrial center,while Urbana is collegiate-oriented with
the University of Illinois campus lying
mostly within its boundaries. This university,chartered in 1867,
was the first school west of the Allegheny Mountains to offer
architectural instruction:opened the first state-supported school
of music in 1897;organized the first engineering experiment station
in 1903;and was the building site for the first betatron electron
accelerator in 1940. The Marrow Plots,established on campus in
1876,make up the oldest continuously cultivated soil experiment
areas in the U.S.
industrial community and service center for the surrounding farmlands,
Mattoon is a convenient stop for students attending Eastern Illinois
University in Charleston. If it were day when the train passed
through,you would see endless fields resembling a huge green and
brown checkerboard,broken only by small islands of trees thst
stand near the farmhouses and barns.
small town is a service center for the even smaller agricultural
communities around it. Note the grain silos that punctuate the
city was founded by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad in 1854.
Towering above Centralia's business district is the sixth largest
carillon in the world. It sports 65 bells,the largest weighing
5 1/2 tons,and can play any kind of music from classical to pop...ragtime
FULTON This twin city to Fulton,Tennessee,separated
only by a street that runs through the two towns,is known as the
"Banana Crossroads of the U.S. " The majority of banana
shipments to middle America stopped in Fulton,while refrigerator
cars were re-iced and the fruit was prepared for distribution.
Although this practice has since been discontinued, bananas continue
to dominate Fulton's lore. The town holds the unofficial record
of the world's largest banana pudding-a two ton wonder entered
in the Guiness Book of Records!
DYERSBURG Created in 1823 following consummation
of an 1818 treaty between the Chickasaw Indians,Andrew Jackson,
and Governor Issac Shelby of Kentucky; Dyersburg was once forth
largest port in Tennessee.
also holds the distinction of being the "City of Churches"and
the "Hardwood Center of the World". Named after the
first capital of ancient Egypt,Memphis is the largest city in
Tennessee and the world's largest mule-trading market,multi-time
winner of the nation's "Cleanest City" award,and the
birthplace of "Piggly Wiggly" Supermarkets-the nation's
first self-service grocery stores. Shortly we cross the state
line of Mississippi.
BATESVILLE Before its incorporation in 1866,this
town was called "Panola," an indian word for cotton.
It was then named for Rev.Jim Bates,a conductor on the Mississippi
and Tennessee Railroad who also served as a methodist minister.
Today, his home remains a showplace on the southern outskirts
of the town.
the only town to be legally married,Grenada was created in an
actual ceremony om July 4,1836,which merged the two towns of Pittsburg
and Tullahoma!Today,the town boasts of its Grenada Lake Project,which
is operated,maintained and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Hugh White State Park is located here,offering boating, swimming,
water skiing, fishing and other recreational activities.
the train approaches town,look around for tree farms and mountains
of wood. This pulp wood is knownas "Mississippi Bananas,"
and serves as fodder for many paper mills located in the area.
on your left to Oprah Winfrey's home town-Koscuisko. Another five
minutes and you'll enter Wades Bottom,your first taste of the
eerie beauty of a southern swamp.
BIG BLACK RIVER(51MIN./1MIN.)
Just after crossing
a little tributary of the Big Black River,you'll see the domed
Madison County Court House on your left.
PECAN GROVES (3MIN./36MIN.) Leaving
Canton,you'll see flourishing pecan groves to your left. Pecans
are agricultural staple of this state. To your right, you'll see
white arch that marks the entrance to Tougaloo College.
(23MIN./16MIN.) Tougaloo College is one of the state's many universities.
Memorial Stadium,further on to your left,is the scene of fierce
gridiron rivalries bteween "Ole Miss" and the Mississippi
State universities.For the rest of the season,the field is home
to Jackson State University and Millsaps College.
(36MIN./10MIN.) Welcome to Copiah County,the "Tomatopolis
of the World!"As you head south,look to the left for the
Mississippi State University Experimental Station for Agriculture
at Gallman. From here through Hazelhurst it's turkey country.
These fertile hunting grounds draw sportsmen each year. Keep a
sharp eye out and you just may see gobblers in the woods!
HAZEL HURST This city was surveyed,laid out
by and named for George H.Hazelhurst,Chief Engineer for the railroad.
It is also the home of Anne C.Peyton, founder of Mississippi State
University for Women,the first statesupported college women in
the U.S.It is also the home of the Honorable Burnita Mathews,
the first women federal judge. About five minutes south of town,look
for Copiah Lincoln University on your left.
SUMMITT TOWN HALL
for the Summitt Town Hall on your right. If you want to know how
flat the Illinois flat-lands really are, keep in mind that this
is the highest point on the route!
Two Colonial mansions
can be seen on the right through the trees.Minutes later,you'll
cross the Tangipahoa River which then follows intermittently on
your left. Keep an eye out for big lumber yard on the right. This
is the southern edge of Osyka,and here you cross the state line
Amite(42 min./18min.) The first vestiges of French
influence can be detected in the culicues and trelliswork adorning
the town's homes. At the fire station on your left,look for the
colossal old bell enshrined out front. This entire region and
southward is known as the "Florid Parishes,"so named
because the area belonged to Florida until 1810,six years after
the Louisiana purchase.
HAMMOND is one of the "Strawberry
Capitals of America"and the town from which the old "Crimson
Flower" used to make its run to Chicago,racing the fresh
NEW ORLEANS Welcome to "Nawlins,"
the Cresent City-one of this nation's greatest ports and more
popular places to visit. New Orleans has existed under four different
flags since it was founded in 1723-the French,the Spanish,the
Confederate States,and the United States. Often called the "City
That Care Forgot," its people are always ready to lay aside
their business and have a good time! Mardi Gras is perhaps the
most famous example of this...but as the birthplace of Jazz and
the home to some of the best restaurants in the world-New Orleans
is the city that never sleeps! Visitors will have much to see
and do in town. Shop at the beautiful Riverwalk,where you can
see the lights of the Greater New Orleans Bridge cross the "Ol
Miss"into Algiers. Take a ride on the St.Charles Streetcar-the
last conventional cars in continuous service in the U.S. Visit
Jackson Square at the heart of the French Quarter,where the gray
spires of the St.Louis Cathedral tower high in the air. Canal
Street is the area's business district, running northward from
the river. The street ends in an area called the Cemeteries,which
houses some of the city's oldest and most historic graveyards.
To the right lies the French Quarter,the oldest and most famous
section of town. The area looks much as it did in the 1700's and
1800's, which buildings crowding the edge of narrow sidewalks.
Here is in the famous Bourbon Street,where the music never stops!
The Garden District is an area filled with flowers, trees and
some of New Orleans'grandest homes. Uptown New Orleans is a pleasant
residential area centering around Audubon Park and the campuses
of Tulane and Loyola universities. Here is the zoo,a golf course
and other attractions. Other areas of interist include City Park
and Lake front in the northern section of New Orleans.
This train takes you
on a beautiful and scenic ride along the Missouri River,beginning
in Kansas City and serving St.Louis, linking with the City of
New Orleans in Carbondale. Along this route,you'll pass the Eads
Bridge,the first ever built across the Mississippi. Prior to its
construction,the steamboat companies had been responsible for
carrying most of the region's commerce and trade. These companies
tried to prevent railroad expansion by contending that bridges
threatened their boats and thus,the economy. It was Abraham Lincoln
who sucessfully defended the railroads, and made it possible for
railroads to "bridge the gap"between north and south....east
KANSAS CITY Kansas City is graced with 140
miles of tree-lined boulevards and has more fountains than almost
any other city in the world except Rome, Italy. Industry and agriculture
are as well-balanced mix,as Kansas City is number one in greeting
card publishing and is a major grain-milling and livestock exchange
center. Meat packing is an important industry to this city,as
is manifacturing. Kansas City is the country's second largest
LEE'S SUMMIT Named
for the town's founder,this sprawling suburb of Kansas City is
near the final resting place of Cole Younger,one of the infamous
lovely collegiate town is home to Central Missouri State University.
"Queen City of the Prairies" is home to the Missouri
State Fair,attended by more then 300,000 people each year. Five
major recreational lakes within a short drive of Sedalia.
CALIFORNIA (41MIN./35MIN.) Located
in an area of rolling prairie,California is said to have been
named for "California" Wilson,who gave a barrel of whiskey
to fellow settlers when they agreed to vote for perpetuating his
JEFFERSON CITY Jefferson
City is the capital of the state of Missouri. The walls of the
state penitentiary and the great dome of the capitol building
can be seen as you pass through town.
known as the "Corn Cob Pipe Capital of the World." The
town's red brick houses built flush with the sidewalks give it
a distinct old-world flavor.
PACIFIC (1:24MIN./20MIN.) Looking
right,what appears to be caves are actually man-made tunnels cut
into the sandstone bluffs while mining silica.
passengers station here is on the National Register of Historic
Places. Kirkwood was named for the first chief engineer of the
Pacific Railroad, James P. Kirkwood. The National Museum of Transport
is nearby, featuring a large display of historical railway equipment,
autos and airplanes.
ST.LOUIS Founded in 1764 and located at
the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The rivers
are still important to the business of the city,but of greater
importance is the large railroad network spreading out from St.Louis,a
major rail center for industry,trade and transportation. St.Louis
is the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States. It
is the second largest inland river port and the third largest
rail center. mcDonnel Douglas,Anheuser Busch
and Ralston Purina,as well as baseball's Cardinals,call St,Louis
BELLEVILLE Entering Illinois,we stop at Belleville.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is located here and
is acclaimed for its "Way of Lights" display at Christmastime.
Browsing is the popular pasttime of the restored and renovated
downtown shopping area,and just beyond,the National Register District
of Historic. Places home to more than 700 historic structures,both
residential and commercial. St.Peter's Cathedral,resting on its
1843 cornerstone, is a magnificent edifice and a most distinguished
town landmark. Belleville is also the home of the Scott Air Force
Base,housing more than 7,000 military personnel,and McKendree
College,the oldest Methodist college in the U.S. and the oldest
college in the state.
The train follows
the same route as the City of New Orleans,stopping in Centralia
and Du Guoin before linking with the City of New Orleans
in Carbondale. Please refer to the entries under the City of New
Orleans for listings and information on these and other stops
through New Orleans.
trips call 1-800-USA-RAIL
Web page by Matthew J. Melzer.
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