CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Officials in Carbondale are ready to celebrate Amtrak's expansion.
Tomorrow, representatives of Southern Illinois University, the city of Carbondale, Amtrak and others will gather to commission the so-called "Saluki" train at the Amtrak depot in downtown Carbondale.
Officials and other invited guests then will board the train for its inaugural run to Chicago.
State support for Amtrak is doubling to 24 million dollars this year, with the money helping support seven round-trip trains from Chicago to Carbondale, as well as to St. Louis and Quincy. That's up from three trains now.
Carbondale city manager Jeff Doherty says travelers there no longer will have to choose between leaving for Chicago at three in the morning or four in the afternoon. There'll now be a much more useful option of 7:30 in the morning.