The Cardinal is a passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. It runs three days a week, from Chicago, Illinois (Union Station) to New York, New York (Penn Station) via Indianapolis, Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, D.C.. The Hoosier State provides service the other four days on the part from Chicago to Indianapolis.
The Cardinal was previously named the James Whitcomb Riley, also operated by Amtrak. The Cardinal (Train 51 westbound and train 50 eastbound) runs on the tracks of freight railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern, and on Amtrak's own rails in the Northeast Corridor.
In addition to the Cardinal, two other trains (Lake Shore Limited and Three Rivers) connect Chicago to New York, and one other (Capitol Limited) connects Chicago to Washington. However, Amtrak has plans to discontinue the Three Rivers west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 1, 2005.
Cardinal and Hoosier State passengers may ride in spacious reserved Coach seating. Cardinal passengers may also choose to reserve First Class Viewliner Sleeping Car accommodations.
An Eastbound ride
Heading eastward, the train rolls from Chicago to Indianapolis, then southeasterly to the skyline of Cincinnati. It then crosses the mighty Ohio River into Kentucky, and travels almost due east along the banks, stopping at the quaint towns of Maysville and Ashland.
The train crosses into West Virginia, the Mountain State, and stops at Huntington and then stops in South Charleston, west Virginia, across the Kanawha River from Charleston, the state capitol.
As the train moves along the Kanawha and New River valleys, you will see the wild white-water rivers of West Virginia as they can only be seen by train, including a stop at historic Sewell, West Virginia.
After a stop at historic White Sulphur Springs, the train crosses the Eastern Continental Divide through the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel into Virginia, stopping at Clifton Forge and Staunton in the Shenandoah Valley, and crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains to Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia.
Continuing through Virgina's Piedmont region, as night begins to fall, you will see the gently rolling hills of horse country, arriving in Washington, DC at Union Station.
From Washington, the Cardinal follows Amtrak's own Northeast Corridor through Maryland to Baltimore, and on to Wilmington, Delaware, the Chemical Capital of the world.
It is only a short distance further to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Brotherly Love. Crossing into New Jersey, the Garden State, the train makes stops at Trenton and Newark before reaching New York City's famed Penn Station.
For service east of Washington, see Northeast Corridor. Cardinal trains stop only at these stations:
This line is also served by Crescent trains north of Charlottesville.
In the table below, CD is Cardinal service, CS is Crescent, and HS is Hoosier State. VRE Manassas Line service is also shown.
|State ||Milepost ||City ||Station ||Amtrak ||Other ||Connections |
|DC ||0 ||Washington ||Union Station ||CD CS ||VRE ||MARC Brunswick Line, Camden Line and Penn Line, WMATA Red Line, Amtrak Northeast Corridor continues north |
Thruway Motorcoach service (Greyhound Lines) to Dulles Airport, Warrenton and Charlottesville
|CP Virginia |
|QL137.1 ||L'Enfant || ||VRE ||WMATA Blue Line, Green Line, Orange Line and Yellow Line |
| ||QL138.5 ||state line |
|VA || || ||Crystal City || ||VRE ||WMATA Blue Line and Yellow Line |
| ||RO |
|CFP104.6 || ||Alexandria ||CD CS ||VRE ||WMATA Blue Line and Yellow Line |
VRE Fredericksburg Line splits, along with Amtrak Carolinian, Palmetto, Regional and Silver Service
| || ||Backlick Road || ||VRE |
| || ||Rolling Road || ||VRE |
| || ||Burke Centre || ||VRE |
| || ||Manassas Park || ||VRE |
| || ||Manassas ||CD CS ||VRE |
| || ||Broad Run Airport || ||VRE |
| || ||Culpeper ||CD CS |
| || ||Charlottesville ||CD CS || ||Amtrak Crescent splits |
Thruway Motorcoach (James River Bus Lines) to Richmond Staples Mill Road Station
| || ||Staunton ||CD |
| || ||Clifton Forge ||CD |
|WV || || ||White Sulphur Springs ||CD |
| || ||Alderson ||CD |
| || ||Hinton ||CD |
| || ||Prince ||CD |
| || ||Thurmond ||CD |
| || ||Montgomery ||CD |
| || ||Charleston ||CD |
| || ||Huntington ||CD |
|KY || || ||Ashland ||CD |
| || ||South Portsmouth-South Shore ||CD |
| || ||Maysville ||CD |
|OH || ||Cincinnati ||Union Terminal ||CD || ||Thruway Motorcoach (Greyhound Lines) to Chicago Union Station on days the Cardinal doesn't run |
| || ||Hamilton ||CD |
|IN || || ||Connersville ||CD |
| || ||Indianapolis ||CD HS || ||Thruway Motorcoach (Greyhound Lines) to Louisville |
Thruway Motorcoach (Burlington Trailways) to Crawfordsville, Danville, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Peoria Airport, Galesburg, Moline and Davenport
| || ||Crawfordsville ||CD HS || ||Thruway Motorcoach (Burlington Trailways) to Danville, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Peoria Airport, Galesburg, Moline and Davenport |
| || ||Lafayette ||CD HS |
| || ||Rensselaer ||CD HS |
| || ||Dyer ||CD HS |
|IL || ||Chicago ||Union Station ||CD HS || ||Thruway Motorcoach (Van Galder Bus Lines) to Rockford, South Beloit, Janesville, and two stops in Madison |
Thruway Motorcoach (Greyhound Lines) to Cincinnati on days the Cardinal doesn't run
Thruway Motorcoach (Greyhound Lines) to Indianapolis and Louisville
- Amtrak - Cardinal/Hoosier State (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Route/Horizontal_Route_Page&c=am2Route&cid=1081256321680&ssid=134)