ACROSS ILLINOIS (RAIL) SOUTH
RAIL South route will depart directly from the supported
hotel in St. Louis and proceed
through downtown St. Louis for about a mile and a half, avoiding
the St. Louis PrideFest parade, festival area, and 5k race
The route will then proceed through the park and we
will cross the Mississippi River across
the Eads Bridge on a sidewalk protected from traffic. After
the route crosses the Mississippi river into Illinois, the
will proceed through the suburbs of St. Louis for
will be stop
lights and stop signs and heavier traffic, we do not expect
you to get slowed down too much because it will be
so early in the morning on a Saturday and traffic and other
things going on will still be very, very light.
Once the route
goes past the St. Louis suburbs it really opens
up and generally
follows a mix of highways (new and old US 50 and IL 250)
and county back roads to avoid heavier truck
Our route through this part of the state
has a long history and as you ride along it you will parallel
of the roads in several places. For example, I-64 was originally
supposed to follow the general path of US 50 from St. Louis
modified before all but a short section on both sides of
the Indiana-Illinois border was built. This is clearly evident
on our route from Lebanon to Carlyle, where new US 50 is
effectively an unfinished four lane divided expressway.
are wide enough to accommodate two more lanes, but that's
not the most telling sign. Remarkably, and mind-bogglingly,
wherever a bridge was needed, two were built alongside each
other. In each case one is used, the other was abandoned
and has stood unused for more than 35 years.
East of Flora and just after
Clay City you will ride past three old abandoned
steel truss bridges in a row within two miles which amazingly
were open through the mid 1990's. There
are also thin traces of the previous iterations of US 50
paved with cement to the north and south of US 50.
For more information about the history of US 50 and our
route through Illinois please visit:
We will have a supported lunch stop
at the Subway restaurant in Olney, only 0.5 miles before
rest stop 4. Click
Here for more information.
Past that it will be clear sailing through the
relatively flat, rich farmland and
coal country of south central Illinois and you may be
surprised to ride past oil fields and pump jacks pumping
oil in Illinois
directly on the route, especially
around Olney and Bridgeport! As the route gets closer to the
Indiana border, the topography gets slightly hillier. You
will also notice
towns with lots of remnants from the turn of the century. Finally,
the route will end directly at the supported hotel in Vincennes.
on one of the links at left for additional information about
the RAIL South route.