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July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Last train from Belleville

This Throwback Thursday is a trip back in time via rail. At 10:41 p.m. on Nov. 3, 1993, Amtrak left the Belleville station for the last time.

The Amtrak route from St. Louis to Carbondale stopped in Belleville from 1984 to 1993, when budget cuts led to the end of the service. That last trip drew 29 railroad buffs, members of the American Association of Railroaders.

The route first headed east from Belleville to Centralia before continuing south to Carbondale and eventually New Orleans. After the Belleville route ended, a bus was used to connect train travelers to the rail service in Centralia.

The last trip included Ruth and Lou Luscomb, who in 1984 made the first Amtrak trip from Belleville to Carbondale.

“We thought we’d take this one in, too,” Lou Luscomb said. “We’re more or less rail fans from way back.”

For more photos and past episodes of TBT, visit us at BND.com/tbt

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