Rantoul, IL (RTL)
The area grew with the arrival of the Illinois Central Railroad in 1855; the village was subsequently renamed in honor of Robert Rantoul, then-director of the railroad.
West Sangamon and North Kentucky Avenues
Rantoul, IL 61866
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 5,660
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: N/A
- 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).
Although the brick station building still stands at Rantoul, Amtrak passengers use a nearby shelter on the platform; the building belongs to the village of Rantoul.
The first settlers in the area of fertile prairie that would be come Rantoul came in 1849 to Mink Grove, a stand of trees just west of what would become the center of town. Settlements were sparse until 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) line came through. The town’s name was changed from Mink Grove to Rantoul at that time, in honor of Robert Rantoul, director of the IC.
Chanute Air Force Base, part of the Air Training Command, was opened in 1917 as Rantoul Air Field due to its proximity to the IC and the War Department’s ground school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Renamed Chanute after World War II, the base dominated the local economy for decades. The air base closed in 1993, but was partially reoccupied by the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum and the Rantoul National Aviation Center.
The village of Rantoul is still small and largely rural; however major employers in the area include C.I. Telecom, Bell Racing; Combed Laboratories, Microfilm Services and AT&T. Its proximity to Champaign also means the village serves for some as a suburb of Urbana/Champaign, about 15 minutes to the south.
A large facility for showing horses and other expositions is located nearby at Grayville. Local ranchers also raise reindeer, originally shipped by air from Alaska: the reindeer did indeed fly.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by four daily trains. The Illini and Saluki are financed primarily through funds made available by the Illinois State Department of Transportation.
- 5 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 15 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Dedicated Parking
- Wheelchair Lift