The Lake Country Limited near Janesville in 2000.

(Hikki Nagasaki, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Not to be confused with Lake Shore Limited.

The Lake Country Limited was a short-lived Amtrak route which connected Chicago, Illinois with Janesville, Wisconsin. The route was part of Amtrak's Network Growth Strategy, which envisioned an expanded role for mail and express business. The Lake Country Limited would have exchanged goods with a new Chicago–Philadelphia train named the Skyline Connection, which in the end never began operation. The previous time when there was interstate train service along the route was the era immediately before Amtrak (April 30, 1971) when the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) operated the Sioux and the Varsity trains.


Route of the Lake Country Limited.

(Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; ia Wikimedia Commons)



Trains originated at Chicago's Union Station and ran north over the tracks of Metra's Milwaukee District / North Line. Northwest of Fox Lake, Illinois, it ran over tracks owned by the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad and the state of Wisconsin to a temporary platform outside of Janesville. The poor condition of the Fox Lake–Janesville stretch limited trains to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).

The initial route was Chicago–Glenview–Janesville; on June 15, 2000, an additional stop was added at Zenda, Wisconsin to serve Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, a popular resort community. The train consisted of one diesel engine, one coach car, and one non-powered control unit (NPCU).



Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Illinois, Wisconsin
First service: April 15, 2000
Last service: September 23, 2001
Former operator: Amtrak
Route Termini: Chicago, Illinois / Janesville, Wisconsin
Stops: 2
Distance traveled: 98 miles (158 km)
Service frequency: Daily
Train numbers: 342, 343, 344
On-board services
Catering facilities: None
Baggage facilities: Carry-on only
Rolling stock: Horizon or Amfleet coaches
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Operating speed: 30 miles per hour (48 km/h)
Track owners: Metra / Wisconsin and Southern Railroad