Pontiac, IL (PON)
Pontiac is recognized for its charming downtown, which offers brick streets, swinging bridges, parks and historic buildings such as the 1874 Livingston County Courthouse.
721 West Washington Street
Pontiac, IL 61764
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 15,300
- Facility Ownership: Gary Wayne Porter
- Parking Lot Ownership: Gary Wayne Porter
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Located a block north of the Vermilion River, the one story brick depot with hipped roof was built by the Chicago & Alton Railroad between 1913 and 1915. The depot is unstaffed but offers a waiting area for passengers. Recently renovated, the structure includes commercial space.
Under the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program, the state of Illinois received $1.2 billion to improve the vital Chicago-St. Louis rail corridor so that passenger trains will be able to attain regular speeds of 110 mph. When completed in 2017, the upgraded line is expected to present a strong transportation alternative for drivers along the congested Interstate 55 corridor.
As part of the improvement program, a new depot will be constructed southwest of the existing building. City, state and Amtrak officials gathered in April 2016 to break ground, and the building should be completed by spring 2017. Renderings depict a modern structure with wide expanses of glass that will allow natural light to flood the passenger areas.
Time Magazine recently recognized Pontiac as one of the best small towns in the United States. The city’s dynamic downtown area offers brick streets, swinging bridges, beautiful parks, and historic buildings such as the Livingston County Courthouse, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The aesthetically pleasing courthouse was built in 1874 in the Second Empire style. A central clock tower stands 70 feet tall, and each of the four corners also features a dramatic tower.
Pontiac was named in honor of the famed Ottawa chief who led a rebellion against the British in 1763. The city was platted in 1837 and quickly became a center of economic growth. A saw mill was opened the following year, followed by a grain mill in 1851. It became a hub for economic activity because of its location along the Chicago and Alton Railroad line that connected Chicago, Springfield, and St. Louis in the 1870s.
The original route of Route 66, one of the first interstate highways in the U.S., runs through Pontiac. Route 66 added to the community’s industrial and retail development. From 1926 to the mid 1960s, hundreds of thousands of people traversed the legendary highway. The Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum is on the square in Pontiac.
Pontiac boasts several restored historic houses such as the Jones House and the Catherine V. Yost Museum and Arts Center. The Jones House, a Gothic Revival home built in the late 1850s, is the oldest brick home in Pontiac and one of the few remaining pre-Civil War buildings. Tours are available to the public. The Yost Museum, a Queen Anne style home built in 1898, is a local center for performing arts as well as a living museum. Catherine Yost, daughter of Z. F. Yost, the attorney for whom the home was built, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and her paintings now line the walls of the historic home. The lush vegetation surrounding the property provides a haven for visiting songbirds.
Pontiac is the setting of the 1984 film, Grandview, U.S.A., starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Patrick Swayze. It is also the hometown of actress Moira Harris.
Amtrak does not offer ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by nine daily trains. The Lincoln Service is financed primarily through funds made available by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 20 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Wheelchair Lift