We traveled this past weekend from St. Louis to Chicago by Amtrak with confirmed, prepaid reservations. The trip to Chicago on Thursday afternoon took 8 1/2 hours instead of 5 1/2 because of heat-related issues with the tracks and multiple unplanned stops due to "freight traffic". If that wasn't bad enough, our return trip on Sunday, July 1 was completely cancelled by Amtrak without explanation or notifying us. We called them to check the departure status prior to checking out of our hotel which is how we found out the train was cancelled. They told us there were no other trains available for the day, but we could go to the station to talk to customer service about our refund options and "possibly" get a bus trip back to St. Louis, but with no guarantees. Union Station in Chicago is chaotic and unorganized...we were not willing to endure trying to deal with that situation, much less taking a bus back to St. Louis. We spent the next 2 hours scrambling to find a way home. We ended up having to pay $215 to rent a car one way back to St. Louis. Amtrak did this to us in 2006 because of one of the late November ice storms...on that occasion we had to fly home at our own expense! Never, never, never again will Amtrak get my business!