Freight train helps push passenger train to Rantoul
RANTOUL — An Amtrak train headed south from Chicago to Carbondale received help from a freight train to continue its journey to Rantoul on Tuesday.
According to passengers, the Illini passenger train left Chicago at 4:05 p.m.
Steve Kulm, a spokesman for Amtrak, said the train apparently lost power about 10 miles south of Gilman 6:02 p.m. due to locomotive failure. Kulm said 344 passengers were aboard.
A freight train hooked up to the rear of the passenger train and began pushing it out at 7:10 p.m. Kulm said that a CN freight train shoved the train to the next station in Rantoul.
Plans called for the passengers to get off the train at the Rantoul station at 8:07 p.m. while the locomotive was refueled.
"We will either fix it or provide alternative transportation for the passengers," Kulm said.
Kulm said that Amtrak personnel made available water and snack packs to the passengers during the delay.