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Compare train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago


Trip Summary

How much are train tickets from Washington DC to Chicago?

Lowest Price$84.00
Fastest Train17h 40m
Trains Per Day3
Train Lines3

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from Washington to Chicago right now?

We stand behind CDC guidelines that caution passengers against non-essential travel during the coronavirus outbreak. That said, we recognize not everyone is in a position to completely abstain. Whether it’s for work, to take care of family or to get back home, some circumstances inevitably require travel. If you’re one of those individuals who still needs to book a trip, you can continue to do so on Wanderu.

Know that most train companies are still running at this time, though some have limited service. Visit our COVID-19 travel guide for resources and daily updates on the coronavirus and COVID travel restrictions.

In order to keep vehicles as clean and sanitized as possible, train companies are taking extra precautions for coronavirus. For details on what various companies are doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.

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

In the last month, $103.94 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 18 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $45.70 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 21 hours and 58 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 Tuesday 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 10:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 4:00pm. 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 3 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 $57.00.

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 3m$136.79
Amtrak Capitol Limited117h 40m$86.43
Amtrak Cardinal11d 0h 0m$85.54

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


Monthly average prices


Prices as travel date approaches


train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL
Based on 10 ratings and reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Ratings (Out of 5)
February 12, 2020Solo travel
Viewing lounge
Cafe cart had minimal and not very appealing choices.
Bring a neck pillow, watch your belongings while on the Train.
November 22, 2019Vacation
Staff were really friendly and sweet, observatory deck was awesome. Lack of wifi didn’t bother me
Was content with everything
Bring neck pillows and ear buds to make sleep easier.
Ulfat Zarine
August 21, 2019Visiting family
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 tryi...More
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 trai...More
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 ...More
June 8, 2019Visiting family
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 si...More
Don't listen to anyone and sit where you want to. There is no wifi on this line. Bathrooms are filthy.

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