background-img-buses-trains
chiku-desktop

Chicago to Columbus train

chiku-mobile
Available on iOS & Android
Lowest Prices

We partner with the top bus & train carriers to bring you the best deals.

Best Travel Options

We help you find & compare the best buses & trains in one place.

Quick & Easy Booking

Book trips quickly with a simple, hassle-free checkout – online & on our app.

Fast Customer Support

We don’t monkey around. We respond within minutes to help you out.

Chicago - Columbus Train Schedule

Find cheap rental carsFind great deals on cheap cars in the area.
RentalCars logotypeRentalCars logotype
from$41.05

Trip Summary

3 trains operate daily from Chicago to Columbus. The train trip from Chicago to Columbus is usually about 2 hours and 45 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak train can get you there in as little as 2 hours and 36 minutes.

Distance123 mi (198 km)
Fastest train2h 36m
Lowest price$30.10
Trains per day3
Most frequent serviceAmtrak Empire Builder
Train lines2

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Average score for trains from Chicago to Columbus

(Based on 2 ratings and reviews)

5.0

5.0

Lisa

March 13, 2024- Visiting friends

Amtrak Empire Builder

Riding the train is easy and comfortable. I never feel lost or unsure of where I am or when to get off. Staff is always helpful.

5.0

David

November 30, 2019- Visiting family

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: Relaxing and viewing the country side. Cons: Offer WiFi. Otherwise nothing else from my perspective. Tips: Keep cell conversations short.

What is the price of a train ticket from Chicago to Columbus?

Over the past month, a train ticket between Chicago and Columbus cost $38.78, on average. This is about as cheap as train fares get on this route. Booking your trip at least 14 days in advance can help you secure tickets at the best price. For same-day bookings, you’ll likely have to pay around $25.20 more.

Average prices by travel date

$82$55$27JulJul

The average cost of a one-way train trip from Chicago to Columbus is expected to fluctuate between $34 and $75 in the next 30 days. If you’re planning a train trip to Columbus in the upcoming week, the cheapest price in the next 7 days for a ticket from Chicago is $34.

Monthly avg. prices

$103$82$62$41$21ASONDJFMAMJJ
Ticket prices for the train from Chicago to Columbus often fluctuate based on the time of year. For the best prices on this route, book in January when the average ticket price is only $45. If you're thinking of traveling from Chicago to Columbus during August, keep in mind that train ticket prices may be higher than usual, with an average price of $83 during this time of year. The best way to score a cheap deal, even in August, is to book your trip well in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

$68$55$41$27$143020100

By booking your train trip from Chicago to Columbus on Wanderu at least 14 days ahead of time, you can save about $25.20 on your ticket. Waiting until the last minute means missing out on these savings!

Which train should you take from Chicago to Columbus?

2 train services operate from Chicago to Columbus. Amtrak Empire Builder usually has more trains scheduled, with 2 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak12h 36m$41.89
Amtrak Empire Builder22h 50m$51.53
  • Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey. On average, there are 1 Amtrak trains from Chicago to Columbus every day, as well as 1 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $30.

  • The Amtrak Empire Builder is a long-distance passenger rail service that has been in operation since 1929. The full 2,200-mile route takes 45 hours to connect Chicago with the Pacific Northwest. Don’t let the length of the trip intimidate you; the Empire Builder is one of Amtrak’s most popular services, and often rated as the most scenic train route in the country. The sightseer lounge, home to enormous windows, is the perfect place to drink in the incredible views of the Mississippi River, the North Dakota Plains, Glacier National Park, and the Columbia River Gorge. Overnight trips on the Empire Builder include the option to book sleeper cabins, for a more comfortable journey and included meals. All passengers can purchase meals or snacks in the cafe car.

Frequently Asked Questions

The distance between Chicago and Columbus is approximately 123 miles, or 198 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 2 hours and 36 minutes. Although it takes a couple of hours each way, it's still possible to make a round trip in a single day. Since most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, you should be able to browse the Internet or get some work done during your journey.

On a weekly basis, the greatest number of passengers tend to travel by trains from Chicago to Columbus on Friday. Tickets for Friday tend to also be the most expensive. For savvy travelers looking for cheaper priced tickets search for travel departing on Wednesday. Wednesday also tend to have less passengers which may make boarding faster and let you snag your perfect seat.

The earliest train departs Chicago at 11:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 3:00pm. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.

There are 3 daily scheduled trains, all of which are direct trains that take you the entire way from Chicago to Columbus.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Columbus to Chicago.

City Information

Chicago

Known for its innovative architecture, cultural contributions to jazz and house music, and of course that irresistible deep-dish pizza, the many sights and experiences in Chicago make it one of the best urban vacation destinations for millennials and a top destination in Illinois.

You can't beat the views of the city and Lake Michigan from the SkyDeck in the Willis Tower; at over 1,300 feet, this is the highest observation deck in the U.S. Snap that classic selfie with the Bean in Millennium Park, then wander the many museums in nearby Grant Park. Navy Pier is a popular tourist hotspot for its parks, restaurants, and attractions right on Lake Michigan, and baseball fans will find paradise in Wrigleyville, home to the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field and sports bars galore.

Chicago's enormous parks offer plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities in gorgeous urban settings. Many companies offer kayak rentals or boat tours on the Chicago River, with special tours running on Saint Patrick's Day, when the entire river is dyed green. When you’re ready to buy some souvenirs from your epic trip, hit the big brand stores on the Magnificent Mile, or shop local in neighborhoods like Andersonville and Wicker Park. And don't miss the chance to laugh until you cry at The Second City comedy theater, famous for launching the careers of comedians like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

Chicago is one of the biggest transportation hubs in the Midwest, and provides easy access to nearby destinations ideal for day trips, as well as international travel from two airports. Thanks to plenty of bus and train stations throughout the city, getting to the Windy City is a breeze.

Station Information

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: Chicago (Union Station), Illinois

The historic Chicago Union Station is the United States' third busiest train station and a hub for 15 Amtrak train lines with destinations throughout the country. The station also serves bus carriers like Greyhound, Indian Trails and Jefferson Lines, and offers connections to Metra commuter lines. Union Station is also just a quick walk to the nearest Chicago L lines. The current station was built in 1925, to replace the original one dating back to 1881, and today wows visitors with its impressive facade, massive columns, and opulent Great Hall. Located right in downtown and adjacent to the Chicago Loop, Union Station is equipped with many services and amenities, including phone charging stations, shops, and various food and drink options.

All train stations in Chicago:

  • Chicago (Union Station), Illinois

Where is the train station in Columbus?

Main arrival station: 359 N Ludington St

Columbus has one train station.

Train stations in Columbus:

  • 359 N Ludington St

Get around town with Moovit

Find the best way to get to and from any station in Columbus by public transit, courtesy of Moovit. Search now

Need a return trip from Columbus to Chicago?

Search Train Tickets

Wanderu is the simplest way to book bus and train travel.

With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare bus and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap bus and train tickets hassle-free. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best bus and train deals out there.

Book buses and trains on the go with the Wanderu app.

Download our app and snag the best travel deals across North America & Europe.Learn more

iPhone
Android
Available on iOS & Android