River Cities (train)

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River Cities
River Cities at Centralia station (2), May 7, 1984.jpg
The River Cities at Centralia in May 1984
Service typeInter-city rail
LocaleMidwestern United States
First serviceApril 29, 1984
Last serviceNovember 4, 1993
Former operator(s)Amtrak
StartKansas City, Missouri
EndNew Orleans, Louisiana
Distance travelled1,014 miles (1,632 km)
Average journey time22 hours
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)358, 359
On-board services
Class(es)Reserved coach
Catering facilities
  • On-board cafe (Kansas City—St. Louis)
  • Diner-lounge (Carbondale—New Orleans)
Observation facilitiesDome lounge (Carbondale—New Orleans)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The River Cities was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Kansas City, Missouri, and New Orleans, Louisiana, via St. Louis, Missouri. The train was combined with the City of New Orleans as far north as Carbondale, Illinois, where its cars were uncoupled. A locomotive was coupled and the train would proceed 117 miles (188 km) to St. Louis, where it joined with a Kansas City Mule. For southbound trains the procedure was reversed; cars were uncoupled from a St. Louis Mule and proceeded to Carbondale, where it joined with the City of New Orleans for the journey to New Orleans.

Amtrak ended the service on November 4, 1993, as part of national cost-cutting measures, and instituted Thruway Motorcoach service between St. Louis and Centralia, Illinois. The only city to permanently lose service was Belleville, Illinois.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Amtrak to Cut Back Service On 3 Lines to Save $10 Million". New York Times. October 22, 1993. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
  2. ^ "NARP: November 1993 Hotlines". National Association of Railroad Passengers. Retrieved October 25, 2009.

External links[edit]

Media related to River Cities (train) at Wikimedia Commons