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Compare train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago

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Trip Summary

How much are train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago?

Lowest Price€69.88
Fastest Train17h 40m
Trains Per Day4
Train Lines3

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from Washington to Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our train partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, train carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

In addition, federal law requires all train passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the train.

Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.

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

In the last month, €85.67 was the average price of a train ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL. Tickets are generally somewhat expensive for this particular train route, which is to be expected given the long distance. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 28 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around €67.32 more than that for a same-day booking.

How long is the train journey from Washington DC to Chicago?

The distance between Washington DC and Chicago is approximately 594 miles, or 955 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 22 hours and 18 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 17 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.

When are trains the most crowded?

Trains from Washington DC to Chicago are the most crowded on Thursday. Tickets also tend to be more expensive then. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or just want extra room to stretch out, consider traveling on Monday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs Washington DC at 10:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 16:00. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.

Is there a direct train from Washington DC to Chicago?

There are 4 scheduled trains on most days. 2 of these are direct connections to Chicago. While direct trains may still make stops along the way, you will not need to switch trains at any point. If you're looking to get to your destination faster, a direct train is the convenient and time-efficient choice.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Chicago to Washington DC. If you're not not set on traveling by train, you could always take the bus from Washington DC to Chicago for €47.42.

Which train should you take from Washington DC to Chicago?

There are 3 train lines with service from Washington, District of Columbia to Chicago, Illinois. Amtrak is your best bet, with 2 scheduled trains per day.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak21d 0h 2m€120.19
Amtrak Capitol Limited117h 40m€76.64
Amtrak Cardinal11d 0h 0m€71.63

Amtrak train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago start from €99, and on average cost €120. Daily there are 2 Amtrak schedules to Chicago. Amtrak in Washington leaves from Union Station, And in Chicago trains arrive at Union Station - 225 S Canal St, From Washington DC to Chicago train travel on Amtrak takes 24 hours and 2 minutes. If you are looking to get to Chicago faster, Amtrak offers more express schedule options with a travel time of 17 hours and 40 minutes. If you are looking to travel to Chicago on a weekend there is typically one Amtrak scheduled trip per day, which will cost €131 for a one-way weekend reservation from Washington.

Amtrak Capitol Limited train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago start from €70, and on average cost €77. Daily there are 1 Amtrak Capitol Limited schedules to Chicago. Amtrak Capitol Limited in Washington leaves from Union Station, And in Chicago trains arrive at Union Station - 225 S Canal St, From Washington DC to Chicago train travel on Amtrak Capitol Limited takes 17 hours and 40 minutes. If you are looking to travel to Chicago on a weekend there is typically one Amtrak Capitol Limited scheduled trip per day, which will cost €75 for a one-way weekend reservation from Washington.

Amtrak Cardinal train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago start from €70, and on average cost €72. Daily there are 1 Amtrak Cardinal schedules to Chicago. Amtrak Cardinal in Washington leaves from Union Station, And in Chicago trains arrive at Union Station - 225 S Canal St, From Washington DC to Chicago train travel on Amtrak Cardinal takes 24 hours and 0 minutes. If you are looking to get to Chicago faster, Amtrak Cardinal offers more express schedule options with a travel time of 17 hours and 40 minutes. If you are looking to travel to Chicago on a weekend there is typically one Amtrak Cardinal scheduled trip per day, which will cost €72 for a one-way weekend reservation from Washington.

Where is the train station in Washington DC?

There is one train station in Washington DC:

  • Union Station

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago has one train station:

  • Union Station - 225 S Canal St

Price trends for trains from Washington DC to Chicago

Average prices by travel date

€112€75€37SepSep

Monthly average prices

€146€116€87€58€29AMJJASONDJFM

Prices as travel date approaches

€146€116€87€58€293020100

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL

(Based on 10 ratings and reviews)

4.4

5.0

Christopher

12 February 2020 - Solo travel

Amtrak Capitol Limited

Pros: Viewing lounge. Cons: Cafe cart had minimal and not very appealing choices. Tips: Bring a neck pillow, watch your belongings while on the Train. Pros: Viewing lounge. Cons: Cafe cart had minimal and not very appealing choices. Tips: Bring a neck pillow, watch your belongings while on the Train.

5.0

Demitra

22 November 2019 - Vacation

Amtrak Capitol Limited

Pros: Staff were really friendly and sweet, observatory deck was awesome. Lack of wifi didn’t bother me. Cons: Was content with everything. Tips: Bring neck pillows and ear buds to make sleep easier. Pros: Staff were really friendly and sweet, observatory deck was awesome. Lack of wifi didn’t bother me. Cons: Was content with everything. Tips: Bring neck pillows and ear buds to make sleep easier.

4.0

Ulfat Zarine

21 August 2019 - Visiting family

Amtrak Capitol Limited

Pros: I had a great trip from DC to Chicago on The Capitol Amtrak . The staff at DC union was very helpful, one has to ask around a lot. Esp for a new traveller, every station is a new place esp Chicago union is very confusing. Getting off from intercity Amtrak and whi... Pros: I had a great trip from DC to Chicago on The Capitol Amtrak . The staff at DC union was very helpful, one has to ask around a lot. Esp for a new traveller, every station is a new place esp Chicago union is very confusing. Getting off from intercity Amtrak and while trying to get on local train Metra in Chicago , I found there were no signs etc.. Cons: The train was delayed at Toledo, Ohio for more than 1 1/2 hours as the train engineer who was supposed to embark and take us onwards was nowhere, for whatever reason. Hence I missed my connection at Chicago union and had to wait an extra 2 hours for the next Metra train to Lisle... Chicago Union does not have many places to sit n wait.. For a new traveler, it’s a bit uneasy, so if a staff member could just stand ahead inside the carriage, before train starts, facing everyone and INFORM that it’s OK to recline AND extend the foot rest of the coach seat it would make the seat and the journey very comfortable. Tips: If you want to see the sights, don’t take the night train... I changed to a fast train, which was very clean, fast and had a fantastic viewing coach etc, but I missed out on the the scenery, The Capitol Amtrak from Washington DC to Chicago is a night train!!! I’m from Toronto, Canada and I’m used to clean, fast trains with viewing coaches, like The Canadian VIA , The Capitol was equally great, I loved it. It does gets quite chilly at night , so take an extra jacket or a light blanket, some snacks and magazines or books. More

1.0

Deborah

8 June 2019 - Visiting family

Amtrak Capitol Limited

Cons: My husband and I were one of the 1st people on the train going from dc to chicago. They made us sit apart in seats 10 and 11. I told them I needed to sit with him because of a physical condition that I have and they refused to let us sit together. There were sin... Cons: My husband and I were one of the 1st people on the train going from dc to chicago. They made us sit apart in seats 10 and 11. I told them I needed to sit with him because of a physical condition that I have and they refused to let us sit together. There were singles sitting all around us but no one would give up their seats so we had to to spend the entire trip, which was very long with many delays, in a booth in the observation car so I could sit on an angle. The women who I asked if we could have different seats just told me to sit back down in the seats they told me to. It was degrading being treated like that and extremely uncomfortable sitting at a booth for the duration of the trip. I feel you should refund our money for the trip. The train was freezing and many, many people were complaining to Amtrak and they were not able to fix the problem. The bathrooms were in terrible shape and not kept up throughout the trip. Tips: Don't listen to anyone and sit where you want to. There is no wifi on this line. Bathrooms are filthy. More

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