Plano, IL
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Home<Amtrak<Plano, IL

Plano Station is a historic Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy brick rail depot that was built in 1913. Amtrak service to the station is from the State of Illinois Sponsored Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr trains that together run two daily trips between Chicago and Quincy. The Southwest Chief and California Zephyr skip the station. These trains and their predecessor, long distance Amtrak trains have always skipped the station. Service to the stop began on the state-supported Illinois Zephyr on April 30, 1972 as an infill station, after the Illinois Zephyr became the first state supported Amtrak train, entering service on November 14, 1971. The Carl Sandburg was added as a complimentary second daily train on April 30, 1972.

Passengers entering the station from Main Street are greeted by the historic ticket office where a caretaker sits and opens the station for a shift in the morning and a shift in the evening when the two trains stop in both directions within a few hours of each other. Turning left is a waiting room with historic wooden benches (with arms). Lining the walls are memorabilia boxes with a variety of railroad memorabilia including model trains. To the right in a different portion of the depot is the Smallville Museum and Town Hall as the sign at the entrance says. This room honors the 2011 Superman film Man of Steel when Main Street in the town of Plano was transformed into “Smallville” for the shooting of this movie. In this room are a variety of props from the museum (and a superman costume), including two fake 7/11 gas pumps; one that was partially destroyed during the shooting of the film. It is strange to wait for an Amtrak train in a station with fake gas pumps.

To board trains, the depot leads out to the BNSF line with two tracks, each with a brick side platform connected by a pedestrian grade-crossing. There is no indicators for which track the train will stop on so trains when they stop on the south track, away from depot slow down long enough to allow passengers to use the pedestrian crossing to this platform. The south track, away from the depot, still has its historic wooden shelter structure which contains a bench and is painted red. Amtrak added two very short 10 foot, long 6 inch high low-level platforms where one set of doors can platform and open. These were funded as accessibility improvements under Recovery Act of 2010. The platforms were added to the north of the pedestrian grade-crossing; and done in a way that is sensitive and didn’t diminish any portions of the historic character of the depot. At the ends of these short platforms, away from the depot is a cream-colored wheelchair lift enclosure. Modern Amtrak silver signs, and thank you for riding Amtrak information panels are just behind each modern platform. Amtrak overnight parking is in a lot along the southern shelter platform with an Illinois DOT park & ride sign and stretches back to John Street. There is additional parking surrounding the depot but this is for Main Street businesses and overnight parking is prohibited around the depot.
Photos 1-58: February 29, 2020

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Last Updated: 23 May, 2020
This website is not affiliated with Amtrak, their official website is here, A source I have used countless times while compiling this section is Amtrak's Great American Stations
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