Galesburg, Chicago tourism on track despite gas prices

Think your plans for the summer have been thwarted by inflation and record high gas prices? Traveling by train may be the solution.

According to Randy Newcomb, executive director of the Galesburg Tourism and Visitors Bureau, train travel is an affordable option for travel to and from Galesburg.

Newcomb points to the affordability and availability of Amtrak in Galesburg as a way to beat or at least soften the blow of this summer’s soaring travel costs. For example, by planning ahead, a person can travel between Galesburg and Chicago for as little as $39 round trip. And Amtrak offers daily half-price tickets for children ages 2 to 12.

Want to dine al fresco?Here are 16 restaurants in the Galesburg area serving al fresco dining.

“If you’re driving, not only are you paying higher gas prices, you’re paying for parking,” Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari said. “For couples or small families, the cost of visiting Chicago on Amtrak is much higher than traveling by car, truck or van. Not to mention the fare.

Newcomb said: “I don’t know if I’ll ever drive my car to Chicago again. I pay almost the same fare as I pay for an Amtrak round trip ticket. Not to mention gasoline.

Galesburg is considered one of Amtrak’s busiest stations.

Amtrak has long been a popular mode of transportation locally, with Galesburg station regularly handling about 100,000 ticketed passengers arriving or departing from the South Seminary Street depot each year.

Magliari reports that in 2019, 90,796 passengers arrived at or departed from Galesburg on the passenger rail, ranking it 102nd among more than 500 Amtrak stations.

“Of course, the number of trains coming into and out of Galesburg is a big factor,” Magliari said, adding that Galesburg is in the top 20% in the country for Amtrak ridership.

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