CARBONDALE, IL — How long are you willing to wait for a train? A report from the Office of Inspector General found Amtrak trains were late 27% of the time. The on-time performance for the Illini/Saluki router, which serves Carbondale, received a failing grade because of freight rail traffic.
Time is money, and the Amtrak Illini/Saluki route's poor on-time performance is costing its customers time and money. If you frequently catch the Amtrak in Carbondale, chances are you've probably experienced a delay once or twice. The rails are owned by Canadian National Railway. Current law requires freight railroads to give preference to passenger trains, but that doesn't always happen — which delays your trip.
"The times I have taken the Amtrak it's been late as much as five hours," said frequent Amtrak passenger Navreet Kang.
For some customers, this is about more than being on time. It's about holding the freight railroad accountable for disobeying the law.