Plano, IL (PLO)
Financed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, the 1913 depot exhibits a combination of Classical Revival and American Craftsman architectural styles.
101 West Main Street
Plano, IL 60545
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 6,412
- Facility Ownership: City of Plano
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Plano
- Platform Ownership: BNSF Railway
- Track Ownership: BNSF Railway
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The Amtrak station in Plano was built in 1913 by Eidelgeorge Reuter and Company of Aurora, Ill. as a replacement for an older building. Financed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q, now BNSF Railway), it exhibits a combination of Classical Revival and American Craftsman architectural styles. The station, which also houses the Plano Police and Fire Commission, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 12, 1993. The city made improvements to the heating and air conditioning systems in 2007 and supports ongoing restoration efforts. A volunteer opens the waiting room prior to the arrival of each train and then closes up after their departures.
Using monies that Amtrak received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Plano depot received a new wheelchair lift and enclosure in 2010.
Kendall County, where Plano sits, was settled in the early 19th century by farming families coming from Connecticut and New York State. In 1853, Plano was laid out along the Chicago and Aurora (a predecessor to the CB&Q) and near a grist mill. As it was up on the plain and not situated along the Fox River, one of the residents suggested that it be called Plano.
Plano calls itself the “Birthplace of the Harvester” because the first successful harvester was manufactured there in 1861. The Marsh Harvester, as it was called, was the first machine that effectively cut and elevated upon a binding platform an entire field of grain, which resulted in a great savings of labor as compared to the reaper. The Steward and Marsh Harvester Company began producing these harvesters in 1863 in Plano, Lewis Steward and his uncle, John Hollister, having helped the Marsh brothers perfect their machine.
In the early 1870s, William Deering joined the company, moving it to Chicago in 1880. The following year, the old factory in Plano became the home of The Plano Manufacturing Company which subsequently moved to West Pullman, Illinois. Later farm implement companies in Plano included the Plano Implement Company and the Independent Harvester Company.
Beside the 1913 Craftsman train station, Plano is also graced with several other historic buildings of note. The Italianate Plano Hotel, built in 1868 on the town’s main street, was the town’s first railroad hotel and retains its original appearance; the Albert H. Sears house, built in the Queen Anne style in 1881, belonged to one of the town’s prominent citizens and industrialists; and the Farnesworth house. Built for Dr. Edith Farnesworth in 1947 by modernist architect Miles van der Rohe, it is perhaps the fullest expression of modernist ideals that had begun in Europe in the 1920s, but which were consummated in Plano with this structure.
In October of 2006, Plano celebrated the addition of the Carl Sandburg with a day-long festival, which was attended by an actor who portrayed town founder Lewis Seward, as well as music, food and prizes.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by four daily trains. Caretakers open and close the station waiting room prior to arrival and after departures.
The Carl Sandburg and Illinois Zephyr are financed primarily through funds made available by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Wheelchair Lift