217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org

CHICAGO — Amtrak has announced a significant number of cancellations beginning Thursday, Jan. 11, for long-distance and state-supported trains serving Chicago in anticipation of a major winter storm expected to hit the Midwest Friday and Saturday. The majority of cancellations are Friday and Saturday. Also affected are St. Louis-Kansas City trains and, on the West Coast, the Coast Starlight.

According to a service advisory posted at this evening (Wednesday, Jan. 10) at 7:30 p.m., these long-distance cancellations, or route-shortenings, are in effect:

— The Empire Builder between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest will be cancelled in both directions Jan 11, 12, and 13;

— The eastbound California Zephyr is cancelled between Denver and Chicago on Jan. 11; and the westbound train is cancelled between Chicago and Denver on Jan. 12.

— The eastbound Southwest Chief is cancelled from Los Angeles to Chicago on Jan. 11, and the westbound train from Chicago to Los Angeles on Jan. 12.

— The northbound Coast Starlight is cancelled between Oakland and Seattle is cancelled today, Jan. 12, and Jan. 13; the southbound train is canceled Jan. 11 from Seattle to Oakland and Jan. 12-13 in its entirety.

State-supported cancellations:

These trains have been cancelled on Friday:

Michigan Service

— Chicago-Pontiac trains No. 354, 355.
— Chicago-Port Huron train No. 364.
— Chicago-Grand Rapids train No. 370

Amtrak Hiawatha

— Trains 330, 331, 334, 335, 338, 339, 343.

Missouri River Runner

— St. Louis-Kansas City No. 316
— St. Louis-Kansas City portion of No. 319

Lincoln Service

— Chicago-St. Louis No. 307

Illinois Zephyr-Carl Sandburg

— All trains (Nos. 380, 381, 382, 383)

Cancelled on Saturday, Jan. 13, are:

— Port Huron-Chicago train 365;

— Grand Rapids-Chicago train No. 371

— Milwaukee Chicago train No. 330

— St. Louis-Kansas City trains 311, 318 (Chicago-St. Louis portion of 318 still scheduled)

— Chicago-St. Louis train No. 300

— Chicago-Quincy trains 380-381.

As always, these plans are subject to change. Follow Amtrak Alerts or the Amtrak website for up-to-date information.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Chicago beginning Friday at 6 a.m., calling for snowfall greater than 6 inches with winds of 40 to 50 mph. Accuweather.com is forecasting 8 to 12 inches of snow.