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Alcohol Briefly Banned On Illinois Amtrak Trains Due To Lapsed License

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Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Photo Of Amtrak Rail Car. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 02/02/12 9:18 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Amtrak trains briefly went dry in Illinois on Wednesday.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said passengers were not allowed to buy alcoholic drinks on Amtrak trains in Illinois for a few hours on Wednesday.

“There was a paperwork problem with our liquor license and as a precaution, yesterday, we briefly suspended liquor sales on our trains. By the end of the day, the liquor license had been obtained and we resumed liquor sales last night,” Magliari said.

Magliari says apparently the renewal form had gone to the wrong address when the license expired in December. But the state expedited the matter and now, booze is back on the menu in the diner and cafe cars.

An employee said Wednesday that a notice went out warning that any worker serving liquor while the train is in Illinois would be fired.

For a time on Wednesday, until the trains crossed a state line, no alcoholic drinks could be sold onboard.

Eastbound trains were not impacted greatly, as they quickly cross into Indiana. But some passengers might have found themselves disappointed on the five-plus hour trip down to Carbondale on the Illini or Saluki train.

In addition to the beverages sold on the train, Amtrak passengers are permitted to bring their own alcoholic beverages, but they cannot be consumed in any public areas. Riders may only drink their own alcohol in sleeping cars, and they must have a valid ticket for sleeping accommodations to do so.

The Web site TrainOrders.com was abuzz with discussion of the alcohol issue Thursday morning.

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