Caption: A group of Old German Baptist Brethren women visit on the train. Train is a popular mode of transit for Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren.
This is an interesting story, although, really, it wouldn't take a brain surgeon to figure this out. Yes, Chicago is a hub for Amish travel. Without owning cars yet still having family in far-flung places trains are a great option for many Amish. Amtrak isn't exactly the most speedy way to travel, but if you're used to horse-and-buggy, then train probably suits just fine. Amish that fly are more rare. But you do have Amish that take to the skies if they live far away or have a family emergency. The Amish in Montana, for instance, do sometimes fly back to visit family in Ohio if it's on business or emergency. If it's just a family trip from Montana they'll usually take a train. Can you imagine trying to buy 10 plane tickets? That'd cost a fortune to travel and Amtrak isn't a whole lot cheaper than flying.
An NPR affiliate went to Union Station in downtown Chicago to explore the phenomena of Amish train travel. Click here to read the story.