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Washington DC to San Francisco train

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Washington DC - San Francisco Train Timetable

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Trip Summary

On most days, there is one scheduled train that travels from Washington DC to San Francisco. The train trip from Washington DC to San Francisco is usually about 77 hours and 49 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak train can get you there in as little as 76 hours and 40 minutes.

Distance2435 mi (3919 km)
Fastest train76h 40m
Lowest price£281.49
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

What is the price of a train ticket from Washington DC to San Francisco?

In the last month, the average price of a train ticket from Washington to San Francisco was £351.67. Considering the distance between Washington DC and San Francisco, tickets on this route are relatively expensive. Good news! You can find the cheapest tickets if you book your trip at least 26 days prior to the travel date. You’ll likely pay around £117.92 more if you wait to book until the last minute.

Monthly average prices

£365£292£219£146£73ASONDJFMAMJJ
Mark your calendar for November if you want to score the cheapest train tickets from Washington DC to San Francisco. You’ll find the best deals during this time of year, when tickets cost an average of £172. If you're planning a trip from Washington DC to San Francisco during June, bear in mind that ticket prices are usually higher during this month. Expect to pay about £362 for your train ticket, unless you book well in advance and find an even better deal.

Prices as travel date approaches

£365£292£219£146£733020100

If you're looking to save on your train trip from Washington to San Francisco, book online with Wanderu at least 26 days in advance. That way, you’ll save £117.92 compared to booking your ticket last minute.

Which train should you take from Washington DC to San Francisco?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects Washington to San Francisco. Furthermore, there is only one train per day, so you will have to plan your travel around this limited availability. On the other hand, you won't have to spend a ton of time comparing a bunch of possible options.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak13d 5h 50m£388.21
  • 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 Washington to San Francisco every day, as well as 1 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from £260.

Frequently Asked Questions

While the train is the main method of transportation from Washington DC to San Francisco, it will only take you part of the way there. Please note that part of your trip will be on a different vehicle, most commonly a bus or express shuttle.

The distance between Washington DC and San Francisco is approximately 2435 miles, or 3919 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 77 hours and 49 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 76 hours and 40 minutes.

Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.

Trains departing from Washington DC to San Francisco tend to have the most passengers on Saturday. With higher demand ticket prices also tend to be higher on Saturday. If you are trying to snag a cheap train tickets or just want an emptier train you'll have better luck by booking travel departing on Wednesday as the least number of people tend to travel then.

Most days, there is only one train which leaves Washington DC at 11:00 and arrives in San Francisco around 76 hours later.

Typically there is only one scheduled train per day. However, it is not a direct train. This means that you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train at some point during your journey. You will need to remember to bring your carry-on luggage with you when you transfer trains. Depending on the carrier's policy, you may also be responsible for transferring your own checked baggage.

You can also take a train for your return trip from San Francisco to Washington DC.

City Information

Washington DC

Washington, DC is the capital of the United States, and as such, it offers many points of interest of governmental and historical value. DC is home to several iconic landmarks, including the White House where the U.S. president resides, the Capitol building that houses the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the National Mall, where you can stop by the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial. One of the reasons Washington, DC is among the best destinations to visit with your family is because it is home to so many world-famous museums, including the Smithsonians – 16 museums scattered across the District, most of which are open every day of the week, and even better, every single one is free.

D.C. is not just about politics and museums, though. The city’s active nightlife fittingly ranks it among the biggest party hubs in the country. Head to the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood to check out some of the finest restaurants that the nation’s capital has to offer, or join a food tour of Georgetown to get a taste of the area’s culture along with its cuisine.

Nested between Virginia and Maryland, Washington, D.C. is a key transportation hub with three nearby airports and several bus and train stations.

San Francisco

San Francisco, CA - SFO-0

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-1

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-2

Image credit: Unsplash

Located in the heart of Northern California's Bay Area, San Francisco is a geographically small but culturally huge city known for its historic cable cars, active waterfront, and the eclectic mix of hippies and techies who call it home. While it might be one of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in, San Fran can actually be very cheap to visit, and there is no shortage of unique sights to see.

If the city's omnipresent fog (nicknamed "Karl the Fog" by locals) takes a break, the best views and Instagram photo ops of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge are found in Golden Gate Park. Stroll through the oldest Chinatown in North America to find the perfect dim sum, or if you and your boo prefer a little Full House moment, try a romantic picnic at Alamo Square Park in front of the Victorian "Painted Ladies." After all, San Francisco is one of the best vacation destinations for couples.

Since the city is condensed onto a small peninsula, exploring by bike is an efficient and scenic way to get around. When you’re ready to travel beyond city limits, San Francisco is a convenient hub for trips throughout Northern California. It's actually the first stop on Wanderu's West Coast Wine Tour, with the next stop, obviously, in Napa Valley. Whether traveling by bus, train, or through either of the two nearby airports, San Francisco is a can't-miss destination.

Station Information

Where is the train station in Washington DC?

Washington, DC - Union Station - DCAUST-0

Main departure station: Union Station

Opened more than 100 years ago in 1907, Union Station is the largest transportation hub in Washington, D.C. with almost 5 million travelers passing through it every year. As the official headquarters of Amtrak, Union Station is the main train station in the U.S. capital. It is also a major hub for intercity bus travel, serving as the main bus station in D.C. for a number of carriers, including Greyhound, BoltBus, Peter Pan Bus Lines and OurBus. Union Station offers easy transit connections to places all over D.C. with dedicated stops for the city’s metro, bus and streetcar services, as well as commuter rail for travelers to and from the surrounding areas. Additionally, with a full blown shopping mall on the premises, Union Station is also among the most popular shopping destinations in the nation's capital.

All train stations in Washington DC:

  • Union Station

Where is the train station in San Francisco?

Salesforce Plaza - SFOBLT-0

Image credit: 146109843@N05

Link to image attribution

Main arrival station: San Francisco, California

Behind a modern curved façade lies San Francisco’s commuter hub, the Salesforce Transit Center. This gateway to downtown San Francisco and the entire Bay Area welcomes tens of thousands of passengers every day. Finding your way around is easy thanks to more than 270 digital displays with transit information. The Salesforce Transit Center serves as a bus station for Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway buses, as well as several public transit options for convenient connections. A standout feature of the Salesforce Transit Center is a public five-acre rooftop park which gives travelers an open space to relax. Rotating food trucks, cafés, carts, and pop-up retail make this a dynamic and vibrant destination in itself.

Train stations in San Francisco:

  • San Francisco, California

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