Springfield, IL (SPI)
Constructed for the Chicago and Alton Railway in 1895, the depot was recently renovated to include tuck-pointing, roof replacement and restoration of a mural over the ticket office.
100 North Third Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 165,484
- Facility Ownership: SPCSL Corporation (Union Pacific)
- Parking Lot Ownership: SPCSL Corporation (Union Pacific)
- 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).
The brick Amtrak station in downtown Springfield was constructed for the Chicago and Alton Railway in 1895. It was served by successor companies, including the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railway and the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, until Amtrak took over passenger service in 1971.
In 2009, the city put forward a plan to improve the appearance of the station—the first major renovation in more than two decades. Most of the work took place in 2011 and included: tuck-pointing of the brick walls; roof replacement; installation of new exterior and interior lighting to improve safety; enhanced ADA access, including new doorways; repainting of the waiting room and refinishing of the wooden passenger benches; and restoration of the mural over the ticket office. Outside, landscaping and benches were installed along the platform and the parking lot was repaved. By restriping the lot, planners were able to create an additional 20 spots and improve the traffic flow.
The $714,500 project was financed by the city and Amtrak. Springfield used $571,500 obtained through the Central Area Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that covers much of the downtown, and Amtrak contributed $143,000. Other stakeholders involved in the renovation included Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track and platform, and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which reviewed project plans to ensure that the station’s historic elements were preserved.
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. In anticipation of increased ridership, Springfield officials are exploring the creation of a multi-modal transportation center to be served by intercity passenger rail, local and regional busses, taxis, and rental car agencies. Alternate downtown locations have been proposed, but a final decision is pending further study.
Springfield at one time had five passenger terminals, including a Union Station, a Richardson Romanesque brick building that still stands downtown at 5th and Madison Streets. Opened in 1898, the Union Station served the Baltimore and Ohio; the Chicago, Peoria and St. Louis; the Illinois Central; and the Northern Railways. The station predominantly served the Illinois Central and was designed by their chief architect, Francis T. Bacon, and built at a cost of $75,000. The Union Station operated for 75 years, until passenger service on the Illinois Central was discontinued in 1971. Its original clock tower, removed in 1946, was rebuilt in 2006 as part of the station’s extensive $12.5 million restoration project. Today the station is used as the Lincoln Presidential Library Visitor Center.
Another station is still standing, but with a more solemn purpose. Early on the morning of February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln went to the Great Western Railroad depot to begin his inaugural journey to Washington D.C., having just been elected as the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln and his eldest son, Robert, were scheduled to leave on the 8:00 a.m. train, while the rest of his family would follow later that day. The day was dismal and gray, with a constant chilling drizzle. Lincoln faced an uncertain future filled with the turmoil of a nation on the brink of civil war. As he bade farewell to the Springfield he loved so dearly, the moment was filled with warm memories and a reminder as well of the emptiness left by the death of his young son Eddie. Lincoln gave a short speech to the group of friends and family who came to see him off. His words, brief yet powerful, moved his audience and foretold of the great challenge he faced:
“My friends, No one not in my situation can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”
Today, the Great Western Depot still stands 10th Street and Monroe Streets, along what are currently Norfolk Southern Railway tracks, welcoming visitors who want to learn more about the man who left Springfield behind to guide the nation through Civil War. The depot, owned and operated by the local daily newspaper, is located two blocks from Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
Following his assassination, Lincoln’s funeral train brought him to the site of the current Amtrak station to be taken to his final resting place, a tomb in a cemetery northeast of Downtown Springfield.
Springfield was first settled by trappers and traders coming to the Sangamon River in 1818. At that time, the locale was called Calhoun, after Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and soon became the seat of Sangamon County. Fertile soil and trade opportunities soon brought more settlers from Kentucky, Virginia, and elsewhere. By 1832, Senator Calhoun had fallen from popular favor and the town was renamed Springfield. The state capital moved from Vandalia to Springfield in 1839, largely due to efforts of Abraham Lincoln and his associates, the “Long Nine.”
The city is well-known as the home of Lincoln, who, while born in Hardin County, Ken. moved to Springfield in 1837, where he entered the bar and practiced law. Altogether, Lincoln served four consecutive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives as well as one in the U.S. House of Representatives while residing in Springfield. Between 1854 and 1860, before being elected president, Lincoln became famous for his spirited public opposition of the expansion of slavery on a national level.
Lincoln’s home in Springfield, at the corner of 8th and Jackson streets, was built as a cottage in 1839; the family moved in 1844 and remained there, until they left for Washington in 1861. In 1887 the home was deeded to the State of Illinois by Robert Lincoln on the condition that it would always be open free to the public and well maintained. Richard Nixon authorized the establishment of the house as the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 1972.
Another renowned Springfield site is the Dana-Thomas house, built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902-03, the only historic site in Illinois acquired solely on it architectural merit. Covering 12,000 square feet, the house features vaulted ceilings and 16 major spaces, constructed to create a natural and organic atmosphere.
As the state capital, politics and the support of the state government, together with health care, provide the main economic engine of the city.
Amtrak provides both ticketing and baggage service at the Springfield station, which is served by ten daily trains. The Lincoln Service is financed primarily through funds made available by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
- 30 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 30 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- Shipping Boxes
- Ticket Office
- Wheelchair Lift