AMTRAK® PRESENTS

Great American Stations

Helping communities discover and develop the
economic power of America's train stations.

Start Your Station Project

Champaign - Urbana, IL (CHM)


Station Facts

Champaign - Urbana, IL Station Photo

Champaign - Urbana, Illinois

45 East University Avenue 2nd floor Champaign, IL 61820

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2014)
$4,841,754
Annual Station Ridership (2014)
178,487

Ownerships

Facility Ownership Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
Parking Lot Ownership Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
Platform Ownership Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad
Track Ownership Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad

Features

30 Short Term Parking Spaces 50 Long Term Parking Spaces Accessible Payphones
Accessible Platform Accessible Restrooms Accessible Ticket Office
Accessible Waiting Room Accessible Water Fountain Baggage Storage
Bike Boxes Checked Baggage Dedicated Parking
Elevator Elevator Accessible Enclosed Waiting Area
Help With Luggage Pay Phones Quik Trak Kiosk
Restrooms Shipping Boxes Ticket Office
Wheelchair Wheelchair Lift

Routes Served

  • City of New Orleans
  • Illini
  • Saluki

Contact

Derrick James
Regional Contact
governmentaffairschi@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Local Community Links:

Station History

Opened in 1999, the Illinois Terminal in Champaign provides intermodal service to both Champaign and nearby Urbana. Funding for this $9 million project came from the Federal Transit Administration, Illinois Department of Transportation, the Champaign-Urban Mass Transit District and the city of Champaign.

The Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach, Greyhound Lines, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit, and other shuttles and express busses all stop at this station. The large, modern, multi-story station building, constructed with classical line, houses Amtrak on the second floor. A school, the local Junior League, a state senator’s district office, as well as banquet and meeting spaces are also in the building, which was named for the Illinois Terminal Railway, an electric interurban route that operated from Champaign and once stretched as far as St. Louis.

Up until 1998, Amtrak served the historic Illinois Central Railroad (IC) depot across University Avenue. This depot was built in 1898 by Francis T. Bacon, who also designed the depots for IC in Illinois at Carbondale, Springfield, and Decatur. Both the IC passenger station and its freight house in Champaign have been redeveloped.

The first pioneers came to the Urbana area in 1822, when William Tompkins built a home near Boneyard Creek, which runs through both cities. Urbana was founded as the county seat for Champaign County in 1833 with a grant of forty acres from Col. M.W. Busey, who had settled there two years before. Both the county and the two cities took their names from Champaign County, Ohio, as State Senator John Vance, who represented the area, came from Urbana, the seat of Ohio’s Champaign County.

IC laid rail here, two miles west of Urbana, as it was easier to construct in 1854 than passing through Urbana itself—and it gave the railroad an area to develop and sell. The community around the depot grew up on land platted by the railroad and bought by speculators; however West Urbana (as it came to be known) was somewhat marshy and there was resistance to the notion of moving the county seat westward. A plank road that covered the drainage of Boneyard Creek helped matters between Urbana and West Urbana. However, there remained fierce local contention as to which would be the real Urbana. In 1860, the city around the depot was finally chartered as Champaign, and the two cities have remained conjoined but separate since.

After a fierce bidding war between a number of Illinois cities, Urbana was selected as the site for the new "Illinois Industrial University" in 1867, supported by a federal land grant offered in the Morris Act of 1862. When it opened in March 2, 1868, the university had only two faculty members and a handful of students; today it is the oldest and largest campus of the University of Illinois, a major research university and the hub of the “Silicon Prairie,” as it is a center of advanced engineering and applied sciences. In 1885, the Illinois Industrial University changed its name to the University of Illinois, reflecting it’s agricultural, mechanical, and liberal arts curricula. The university, a member of the Big 10, straddles the city boundaries, and its 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students and their professors make the two cities in an otherwise rural part of Illinois their home.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has had profound effect upon digital culture in the United States. In 1952, the university built the ILLIAC (Illinois Automatic Computer), the first computer built and owned entirely by an educational institution. Mosaic, the first popular graphical web browser, was created there by Marc L. Andreessen and Eric J. Bina at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in 1993. When it was released to the public, Mosaic gave Internet users their first easy access to multimedia information, transforming the exchange of information forever. The NCSA also developed the Apache web server and NCSA Telnet, two fundamental applications in creating the modern world-wide web.

Other UIUC alumni have created or founded such diverse companies and products as Netscape Communications, AMD, PayPal, Playboy, National Football League, Siebel Systems, Mortal Kombat, CDW, YouTube, THX, Oracle, Lotus, Mosaic, Safari, Firefox, W. W. Grainger, Delta Air Lines and BET.

Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage services at this facility, which is served by six daily trains. The Illini and Saluki are financed primarily through funds made available by the Illinois State Department of Transportation.