Ezra bemoans the problems with Amtrak here and here, but the federally subsidized rail company seems to be doing rather well here in Illinois. And before anyone pipes in with the predicable “but we shouldn’t be subsidizing rail travel with tax money” whine, remember that road and air travel are also heavily subsidized with tax dollars.
Personally, I love taking the train. It really is the best way to get from here to Chicago, especially if you’re staying downtown. I know there are horror stories out there regarding delays, but I’ve mostly had very positive experiences.