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Paul, I didn't consider Amtrak because, guess what? There is NO direct route from the SE to the midwest.

That is pretty amazing because Atlanta was originally Rail Junction, GA, they say. All trains in the South traditionally go to Atlanta. That is the reason Atlanta was a major target in the Civil War.

So you would expect Amtrak service connecting Atlanta and Chicago to be major. It's surprising that the route is so roundabout.
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