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Cardinal

Westbound Cardinal stopped in Charlottesville, VA
Overview
Type Inter-city rail
System Amtrak
Termini Chicago, Illinois
New York City
Operation
Opened May 1, 1971
Owner Amtrak, CSX, BB, NS, CN, UP, and Metra
Operator(s) Amtrak
Technical
Line length 1,147 miles (1,846 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map
Legend
Interchange head
ChicagoHandicapped/disabled access
Unrestricted border on track
IL/IN border
Stop on track
Dyer
Stop on track
Rensselaer
Stop on track
Lafayette
Stop on track
Crawfordsville
Station on track
Indianapolis
Stop on track
Connersville
Unrestricted border on track
IN/OH border
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Cincinnati
Unknown route-map component "eGRENZE+WBRÜCKE"
OH/KY border
Stop on track
Maysville
Stop on track
South Portsmouth-South Shore
Unknown route-map component "HSTACC"
Ashland
Unrestricted border on track
KY/WV border
Unknown route-map component "HSTACC"
Huntington
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Charleston
Stop on track
Montgomery
Stop on track
Thurmond
Stop on track
Prince
Stop on track
Hinton
Stop on track
Alderson
Stop on track
White Sulphur Springs
Unrestricted border on track
WV/VA border
Stop on track
Clifton Forge
Stop on track
Staunton
Junction from right
Crescent (Amtrak) to New Orleans
Unknown route-map component "HSTACC"
Charlottesville
Stop on track
Culpeper
Stop on track
Manassas
Interchange on track
Alexandria
Unknown route-map component "eGRENZE+WBRÜCKE"
VA/DC border
Interchange on track
Washington, D.C.Handicapped/disabled access
Unrestricted border on track
DC/MD border
Urban railway Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Baltimore
Unrestricted border on track
MD/DE border
Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Wilmington
Unrestricted border on track
DE/PA border
Interchange on track
PhiladelphiaHandicapped/disabled access
Unknown route-map component "eGRENZE+WBRÜCKE"
PA/NJ border
Urban railway Unknown route-map component "ACC"
Trenton
Urban railway Interchange on track
NewarkHandicapped/disabled access
Unknown route-map component "eGRENZE+WBRÜCKE"
NJ/NY border
Interchange end
New YorkHandicapped/disabled access

The Cardinal is a 1,147-mile (1,844 km) congressionally-mandated passenger train route operated by Amtrak, connecting New York Penn Station with Chicago Union Station three days a week via Philadelphia, Wilmington, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Charlottesville, Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana. Travel time, end-to-end, is about 26½ hours. The Hoosier State provides service the other four days on the 196-mile (315 km) section from Chicago to Indianapolis.

Contents

History

The Cardinal is the successor of several previous trains, primarily the New York Central/Penn Central James Whitcomb Riley and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) George Washington.

The James Whitcomb Riley was a daytime all-coach train which operated between Chicago and Cincinnati (via Indianapolis), while the George Washington was a C&O sleeper which ran east from Cincinnati to Washington, DC and Newport News, Virginia. Up until the late 1960s the Riley would carry the Washington's sleeper cars between Cincinnati and Chicago.[1] Both routes survived until the formation of Amtrak in 1971.[2]

Amtrak, upon its 1971 commencement of operations, kept service mostly identical at first, although the National Limited portion of the George Washington was dropped. Through Washington-Chicago and Newport News-Chicago coaches began operating July 12, and a through sleeping car began September 8.[3] With the November 14, 1971 schedule, the routes were merged, with the George Washington name being applied eastbound and the James Whitcomb Riley westbound. At the same time the route was extended from Washington to Boston, and was assigned train numbers 50 eastbound and 51 westbound.

On March 6, 1972 the train was rerouted from Chicago's Central Station into Union Station. On April 30, the service was truncated back to Washington from Boston. A broadcast by CBS's 60 Minutes in 1973 revealed that the Riley was limited to 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) in Indiana because of the poor quality of Penn Central track. In 1974 the Riley was re-routed off Penn Central trackage altogether along with the Floridian.[4] On May 19, 1974 the George Washington was renamed the James Whitcomb Riley, giving it the same name in both directions. The Newport News section was discontinued on June 14, 1976 and the Colonial began running over its former route east of Richmond.

The James Whitcomb Riley was renamed the Cardinal on October 30, 1977, as the cardinal was the state bird of all six states through which it ran. It was discontinued September 30, 1981 (by then having been extended to New York from Washington) and brought back by Congressional mandate on January 8, 1982.

Train consist

In the early 1990s, the Cardinal ran with the usual Amtrak long-distance consist of 2 F40s/E60 plus several MHC and material handling baggage cars, followed by several Amfleet coaches, an Amfleet lounge, a Heritage diner, two or three Heritage 10-6 sleepers, a slumbercoach, and finally, a baggage dormitory car. Following the delivery of the Superliner II fleet, however, the Cardinal was re-equipped with Superliner cars in the mid-nineties. As a result, its route was truncated to end in Washington D.C. as the Superliner equipment could not run into Penn Station, New York, due to low clearances there. With the Superliner equipment, the consist would usually be two Superliner sleeping cars, a diner, a Sightseer Lounge, a baggage coach, and a coach.

In 2002, two derailments on other routes took numerous Superliner cars out of service. Because of this, insufficient Superliner equipment was available for use on the Cardinal. The Cardinal was re-equipped with a consist of single-level long-distance cars, including dining, lounge, sleeping, and dormitory cars. Fleet shortages since then have shortened the Cardinal further, and at one point, the train was running with two or three Amfleet II coaches and a lounge car. While the sleeping car has been restored, the Cardinal has not had a dormitory car or a diner since. The Cardinal currently runs with a single engine, three or four Amfleet II long-distance coaches, a single car used as both a diner and a lounge, and a single Viewliner, used as both a crew dormitory and a sleeper.

Route details

The Cardinal operates over Amtrak, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Buckingham Branch Railroad, Canadian National Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Metra trackage:

Notes

  1. ^ Schafer (1997), 42-43.
  2. ^ Sanders (2003), 93.
  3. ^ Lynch (2004), 33.
  4. ^ Lynch (2004), 86.

References

External links

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