PHOTOS: Inside the Amtrak Chicago Control Center

Chicago Union StationTrain Director at Chicago Control CenterChicago Movement BureauChicago Yard Control DeskChicago Union Station

The Windy City is home to one of Amtrak’s busiest stations (3.5 million passengers a year!). Throughout our 500-destination system, Chicago is home to most of our long-distance, overnight trains. That makes traffic control along the surrounding railroads a complicated and exciting job.

The Chicago Control Center is one of five Amtrak dispatching offices that dispatch 2,500 trains carrying nearly 900,000 passengers each day.

At the Chicago Control Center, Amtrak employees work round the clock. When one shift ends and new employees take over, a special job briefing takes place called “a turnover.”

“Our objective at Chicago Control is to leverage technology to not simply provide safe and efficient train movement but to deliver an excellent passenger experience,” says Greg Godfrey, assistant superintendent of the center.

From there, train directors communicate with “inbound crews,” which are conductors riding on trains arriving from other cities.

Chicago’s dispatching bureau oversees nearly 560 train movements carrying almost 130,000 people daily in Chicago Union Station, on the Michigan Line and in New Orleans.

Each day, Amtrak movement offices personnel oversee the movement of signals and switches for nearly 2,500 trains, which keeps your trains moving safely from city to city. As you can see in the photos above, the Chicago Control Center team uses state of the art software to provide passengers, engineering teams, conductors and engineers the very best service possible.

Kicking off on May 9 at Chicago Union Station, Amtrak Train Days will travel across the country from May to November bringing exclusive train fun, the Amtrak Exhibit Train and The Amtrak Experience, an installation that allows attendees to see and feel the perks of train travel. Learn more at