The Loop at Joliet Union Station in August 1989.

(Tim_kd5urs, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak Classic logo.


The Loop was a daily passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. The Loop began on April 27, 1986, with funding support from the state of Illinois. The train acted as a counterpart to the State House, departing Chicago in the morning and returning in the afternoon. Funding shortfalls eliminated Saturday service in mid-1995, and the train ended altogether on June 28, 1996, after Illinois withdrew its support.

The Loop originally operated with refurbished bilevel cars from the Chicago & North Western Railway, but by 1987 Amtrak substituted Amfleet coaches, later supplemented by Horizon Fleet coaches.

In 2006 Amtrak restored and exceeded the service level that had been provided by the Loop by adding two new round trips to the State House, which was rebranded as the Lincoln Service.


Route of the Loop.

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


Loop Overview

Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Illinois
First service: April 27, 1986
Last service: June 28, 1996
Successor: Lincoln Service
Former operator: Amtrak
Route Termini: Chicago / Springfield
Stops: 6
Distance traveled: 185 miles (298 km)
Average journey time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Service frequency: Daily
Train number: 311, 312
On-board services
Classes: Custom class and unreserved coach
Catering facilities: On-board café
Rolling stock: Amfleet/Horizon
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)