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Chicago to Madison train

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Chicago - Madison Train Timetable

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Trip Summary

6 trains operate daily from Chicago to Madison. The train trip from Chicago to Madison is usually about 3 hours and 52 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak train can get you there in as little as 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Distance122 mi (197 km)
Fastest train3h 15m
Lowest price€36.36
Trains per day4
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

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

The average price for a train ticket from Chicago to Madison is €40.76, Compared to most train fares, this is an excellent price. By booking your trip at least 21 days in advance, you increase your chances of scoring even cheaper tickets. But if you wait until the day of your trip to book tickets, expect to pay €3.45 more.

Average prices by travel date

€56€37€19JunJul

The average cost of a one-way train trip from Chicago to Madison is expected to fluctuate between €40 and €45 in the next 30 days. If you’re planning a train trip to Madison in the upcoming week, the cheapest price in the next 7 days for a ticket from Chicago is €41.

Monthly average prices

€47€37€28€19€9JASONDJFMAMJ
Ticket prices for the train from Chicago to Madison stay pretty consistent throughout the year. You can expect to pay around €39 regardless of when you plan to travel.

Prices as travel date approaches

€47€37€28€19€93020100

The average price of train tickets from Chicago to Madison is pretty stable year-round. However, we still suggest buying your train tickets at least 48 hours prior to departure to avoid unexpected price hikes and the possibility of the train being sold out.

Which train should you take from Chicago to Madison?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects Chicago to Madison. However, there are 6 trains per day to choose from.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak63h 53m€41.53
  • 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 6 Amtrak trains from Chicago to Madison every day, as well as 8 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from €36.

Frequently Asked Questions

While the train is the main method of transportation from Chicago to Madison, 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 Chicago and Madison is approximately 122 miles, or 197 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 3 hours and 52 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 3 hours and 15 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 from Chicago to Madison are the most crowded on Saturday. 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 Friday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

The earliest train departs Chicago at 06:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 23:00. 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 6 scheduled trains on most days. 4 of these are direct connections to Madison. 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 Madison 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.

Madison

Consistently ranking high on the lists of the best places to live in the USA, Madison still maintains its quaint and idyllic small-town vibe despite being the capital city of Wisconsin. Sitting among the city’s most iconic and most popular landmarks is the Madison Memorial Union, which is located within the campus of the University of Madison. The building features a lakeview terrace filled with colorful chairs, allowing visitors to chill out and enjoy the sun. If you are interested in the history of the state or architecture as a whole, head over to the State Capitol building, which was built between 1906 and 1917. The building features lavish council chambers, which were modeled after the famous Doge’s Palace in Venice, along with other architectural highlights. If you wish to stay close to nature, the Olbrich Botanical garden, with its famous Thai Pavilion and Garden, will certainly be a great choice.

As a college city, Madison features numerous cutting-edge establishments that will make your mouth water. For some of the best dining views in town, head over to Graze, where you can also grab some of the best cheese curds in Madison. If you want to enjoy the best brunch in town, Sardine might have what you need.

The busiest bus/train station in Madison is located on Collins Ct. The city is served by the Dane County Regional Airport, 6 miles northeast of downtown.

Station Information

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

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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 Madison?

Main arrival station: University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center

Madison receives travelers from Chicago at its two active train stations.

Train stations in Madison:

  • University of Wisconsin - Gordon Center

  • Dutch Mill Park & Ride Lot

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