Centralia, IL (CEN)
Through local initiative, a new brick depot was constructed in 2003 to replace a simple shelter. Named after the Illinois Central Railroad, Centralia is known for its historic downtown.
110 South Oak St. at Broadway
Centralia, IL 62801
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 21,297
- Facility Ownership: City of Centralia
- Parking Lot Ownership: Regions Bank as Trustee for Centralia Foundation Parish Fund
- Platform Ownership: Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad
- Track Ownership: Canadian National Illinois Central Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Centralia is a flag stop along the route of the City of New Orleans. It is also served by the Illini and Saluki. Prior to 2003, the station consisted of a shelter on the platform. Today, Amtrak passengers wait in a modest brick station built in 2003. This small station includes restrooms, bench-style seating, water fountains and a vending machine. The project was spearheaded by the Centralia Area Development Association (CADA) and cost $100,611. It was constructed with funds from the city ($65,445), Centralia Foundation ($3,000), CADA ($17,165), and the Great American Stations Foundation ($15,000).
Centralia was founded in 1853 by the Illinois Central Railroad (for which it was named), and the railroad shops, along with fruit processing, formed the basis of its economy. The railroad remains an important part of the local economy along with agriculture, coal mining, and oil and natural gas production. The town was settled by German immigrants, whose influence is still present today.
In the mid-twentieth century, Centralia was the site of a devastating coal mining disaster. On March 25, 1947, the Centralia no. 5 coal mine exploded, killing 111 people. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the explosion was caused by ignited coal dust. At the time of the explosion, 142 men were in the mine.
Since 1989, Centralia has been a designated Tree City USA. Centralia’s Foundation Park features hiking trails, an ice skating pond, an exercise trail, and two fishing ponds stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish. The park also includes a restored prairie, a Chapel in the Woods, the Hall Shelter, the Sentinel Shelter, the Bowl (an outdoor amphitheatre), Moose Oven, and the Miner’s Memorial. The Annual Balloon Fest, a hot air balloon festival, takes place at Foundation Park. Carlyle Lake, a recreation area, is located 15 miles from the city.
One of the two remaining 2500-Class steam locomotives from the Illinois Central Railroad (among the largest locomotives ever to be built) is displayed in Centralia’s Fairview Park at the Age of Steam Memorial. The other remaining 2500-Class is located in McComb, Miss., which is also served by Amtrak on the route of the City of New Orleans. The locomotive is maintained by a nonprofit organization, the Age of Steam Memorial.
Centralia’s historic downtown dates back to the 1880s, and offers shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The Centralia Carillon, the eighth largest bell tower in the world, is located downtown. Visitors can listen to the musical concerts while strolling through Foundation Park.
Notable residents of Centralia include David Blackwell (first black member of the National Academy of Sciences), James Brady (press secretary to former President Reagan), and Olympic Athlete Dike Eddleman. Centralia is home to Kaskaskia College, founded in 1940.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or 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.
- 10 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 25 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Wheelchair Lift