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Chicago to Carbondale train

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Chicago - Carbondale Train Timetable

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Trip Summary

5 trains operate daily from Chicago to Carbondale. The train trip from Chicago to Carbondale is usually about 8 hours and 27 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak City of New Orleans train can get you there in as little as 5 hours and 16 minutes.

Distance299 mi (481 km)
Fastest train5h 16m
Lowest price£21.26
Trains per day3
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines4

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from Chicago to Carbondale

(Based on 20 ratings and reviews)

4.6

4.0

Vickie

18 October 2023- Visiting friends

Amtrak Saluki

Pros: Spaciousness, not crowded. Simple. Cons: Not sure. Tips: Bring food and water.

5.0

Traci

21 August 2023- Visiting family

Amtrak Illini Service

Pros: Ease and destination. Cons: Open dining cart earlier.

5.0

Samantha

4 June 2023- Visiting family

Amtrak Saluki

Pros: Very spacious seats, lots of leg room even in Economy. Really liked the footrest. Cons: A bit cleaner/updated; better lighting. Easier to get to the cafe.

4.0

stephen

2 October 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Illini Service

Hockey game

5.0

Joshua

13 December 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Saluki

Pros: Was left alone to relax and enjoy my trip. Cons: No need for the masks.

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

In the last month, £51.85 was the average price of a train ticket from Chicago to Carbondale. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 29 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around £15.37 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

£71£47£24JunJul

For the next 30 days, the cost of a one-way train trip from Chicago to Carbondale will range from £43 to £69. If you're planning to travel by train to Carbondale in the upcoming week, the cheapest train ticket from Chicago you can find in the next 7 days is £45. Be sure to book your trip in advance as train ticket prices typically increase as your travel date approaches.

Monthly average prices

£79£63£47£32£16JASONDJFMAMJ

Ticket prices for the train from Chicago to Carbondale 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 £46,

If you're thinking of traveling from Chicago to Carbondale during October, keep in mind that train ticket prices may be higher than usual, with an average price of £68 during this time of year. The best way to score a cheap deal, even in October, is to book your trip well in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

£79£63£47£32£163020100

If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 29 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Carbondale from Chicago will be about £15.37 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from Chicago to Carbondale?

There are 4 train lines with service from Chicago to Carbondale. Amtrak is your best bet, with 2 scheduled trains per day.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak213h 1m£78.80
Amtrak City of New Orleans15h 16m£40.58
Amtrak Illini Service15h 30m£40.47
Amtrak Saluki15h 30m£34.46
  • 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 2 Amtrak trains from Chicago to Carbondale every day, as well as 2 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from £21.

  • The City of New Orleans is an Amtrak route that runs daily trains from Chicago to New Orleans and vice versa. The City of New Orleans includes a sightseer lounge with panoramic windows for the best views of the five states along the route. Affordable Coach seats cost about for a trip from Chicago to Carbondale. However, the City of New Orleans also offers private roomettes and bedrooms for added comfort and luxury (and a higher price). Passengers who book sleeper accommodations will enjoy included meals, and all passengers can stop into the cafe car to purchase meals and snacks.

  • Since 1973, Amtrak's Illini Service has provided reliable train transportation to 11 Illinois cities. The Illini operates as an evening commuter train from Chicago to Carbondale, while its sister train, the Amtrak Saluki, runs the morning route. Commuters rely on this service as a safe and convenient transportation option every day. Each train offers WiFi and power outlets, plus a cafe car and business class seating. Illini trains meet the highest federal standard for reducing emissions, with up to 90% less greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Since its inception in 2006, the Amtrak Saluki line has offered daily train trips between Chicago and Carbondale. The Amtrak Saluki operates along 500 kilometers of railroad, stopping at numerous midwestern towns like Kankakee, Rantoul, and Effingham. The trains on this line are equipped with onboard WiFi, power outlets, air conditioning, and a cafe car, with the option to upgrade to business class seating. This line is known for using trains that produce 90% fewer carbon emissions than other trains, meaning that your trip is green as well as convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from Chicago to Carbondale. However, there are also some trips on this route that require you to board another vehicle, such as a bus or a shuttle, during your journey. This is worth paying attention to as you book your trip, since a direct train may be preferable for its speed and convenience.

The distance between Chicago and Carbondale is approximately 299 miles, or 481 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 8 hours and 27 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 5 hours and 16 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 Chicago to Carbondale tend to have the most passengers on Wednesday. With higher demand ticket prices also tend to be higher on Wednesday. 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 Sunday as the least number of people tend to travel then.

The earliest train departs Chicago at 08:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 20:00. 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 5 scheduled trains on most days. 3 of these are direct connections to Carbondale. 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 Carbondale 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.

Carbondale

Carbondale, one the best vacation destinations in Illinois, is best known for its proximity to Shawnee National Forest and the Garden of the Gods: one of the most Instagrammed sites in the state. This quiet paradise is filled with lush trees bordering miles of hiking trails and scenic drives. The enormous sandstone bluffs in Giant City State Park attract rock climbers and rappellers looking for their next adventure. Boo Rochman Memorial Park offers a unique, family-friendly experience– a park filled with wooden sculptures of dragons, unicorns, wizards, and more. The park’s centerpiece, a massive wood and stone castle, features an elaborate jungle gym with stairs, tunnels, and an ogre or two.

Threaded by Main Street, downtown Carbondale is known for its Historic Town Square and charming, old-school architecture. The whole area is easily walkable, so you can peruse local shops for bike gear, art, vintage clothes, musical instruments, and everything in between. The SIU University Museum is a must-see, with no entry fee and a variety of exhibitions about the history and culture of the region. While in the area, explore Campus Lake and Pulliam Hall clocktower, or catch a football game at Saluki Stadium.

Bus services connect Seattle, Chicago, and Phoenix to Carbondale. Amtrak has multiple lines from the city to Memphis, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The nearest airport is Marion Williamson County Regional.

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 Carbondale?

Main arrival station: 401 S Illinois Ave

Carbondale has one train station.

Train stations in Carbondale:

  • 401 S Illinois Ave

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