Trains from Chicago to San Francisco
We partner with the top coach & train carriers to bring you the best deals.
No Wanderu Fees
Without any extra fees, we make it easy to book your tickets.
Best Travel Options
We help you find & compare the best buses & trains in one place.
There are 3 daily trains from Chicago to San Francisco. Traveling by train from Chicago to San Francisco usually takes around 61 hours and 10 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 53 hours,
|Distance||1855 mi (2985 km)|
|Fastest train||53h 0m|
|Most frequent service||Amtrak|
Price trends for trains from Chicago to San Francisco
Monthly average prices
Prices as travel date approaches
Which train should you take from Chicago to San Francisco?
Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects Chicago to San Francisco. However, there are 3 trains per day to choose from.
|Train||Daily Trips||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
|Amtrak||3||2d 13h 10m||£164.30|
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 3 Amtrak trains from Chicago to San Francisco every day, as well as 3 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from £117.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days does the California Zephyr take from Chicago to San Francisco?
What are the most scenic Amtrak stretches between Chicago and San Francisco?
How many miles is it from Chicago to San Francisco?
Is it safe to travel by train from Chicago to San Francisco 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.
Can you take a train all the way from Chicago to San Francisco?
How long is the train journey from Chicago to San Francisco?
The distance between Chicago and San Francisco is approximately 1855 miles, or 2985 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 61 hours and 10 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 53 hours,
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?
Sunday tends to be the busiest day for trains, as many passengers take the train to San Francisco at the end of the week. If you are planning to travel on a Sunday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.
On the other hand, Wednesday is typically the least busy day for train travel on this route. If you're looking for some extra space on the train, traveling mid-week is your best bet.
When are the first and last trains of the day?
The earliest train departs Chicago at 13:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 14:00. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.
How many train departures serve San Francisco each day?
There are 3 scheduled trains on most days. Unfortunately, none of them are direct connections, so you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train during your journey. Don't forget to bring your carry-on luggage when you switch trains. In some instances, 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 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.
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
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.
Where is the train station in Chicago?
Main departure station: Union Station
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:
Where is the train station in San Francisco?
Main arrival station: Salesforce Plaza
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:
Need a return trip from San Francisco to Chicago?Search Train Tickets
Plan your next adventure
More trains from Chicago
Continue by train from San Francisco
- Train from San Francisco to Vancouver
- San Francisco to Fresno Train
- San Francisco to Los Angeles Train
- San Francisco to Monterey Train
- Train from San Francisco to Napa
- San Francisco to Sacramento Train
- Train from San Francisco to San Diego
- Train from San Francisco to San Jose
- San Francisco to Santa Barbara Train
- San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe
- San Francisco to Yosemite Valley Train
- San Francisco to Denver Train
- San Francisco to Chicago
- San Francisco to Las Vegas Train
- Train from San Francisco to New York
- San Francisco to Portland
- San Francisco to Seattle Train
- San Francisco to Vancouver Train
Check out these popular routes
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 and with no additional fees. 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.