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 Gulf.
While 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 have fun!
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.
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.
CHICAGO As 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 its westward
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.
HOMEWOOD To 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.
KANKAKEE. Set 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.
GILMAN About 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.)
RANTOUL First 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.
CHAMPAIGN-URBANA Illinois' "twin" 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.
MATTOON An 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.
EFFINGHAM This small town is a service center for the even smaller agricultural communities around it. Note the grain silos that punctuate the surrounding skies.
CENTRALIA This 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 to rock.
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.
MEMPHIS Memphis 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.
GRENADA Perhaps 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.
DURANT As 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.
ABERDEEN jUNCTION(5MIN./47MIN.) The crossroads 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.
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.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS (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 (18MIN./5MIN.) Watch 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!
MAGNOLIA (14MIN./46MIN.) 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 into Louisiana.
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 strawberries north.
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 and west.
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 rail center.
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 James Gang.
WARRENSBURG This lovely collegiate town is home to Central Missouri State University.
SEDALIA The "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 nickname.
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.
WASHINGTON (1:10MIN./34MIN.) Washington is 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.
KIRKWOOD The 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 home.
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.
CENTRALIA-DU GUOIN-CARBONDALE 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.
Web page by Matthew J. Melzer.