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Trains from Chicago to Columbus

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Chicago - Columbus Train Schedule

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Train Trip Information: Chicago to Columbus

There are 5 daily trains from Chicago to Columbus. Traveling by train from Chicago to Columbus usually takes around 4 hours and 20 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak Empire Builder train can make the trip in 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Distance123 mi (198 km)
Fastest train2h 47m
Lowest price$24.00
Trains per day2
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines2

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from Chicago to Columbus

(Based on 1 ratings and reviews)

5.0

5.0

David

November 30, 2019- Visiting family

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: Relaxing and viewing the country side. Cons: Offer WiFi. Otherwise nothing else from my perspective. Tips: Keep cell conversations short.

Pros: Relaxing and viewing the country side. Cons: Offer WiFi. Otherwise nothing else from my perspective. Tips: Keep cell conversations short.

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

$24.21 is the average price of a bus ticket from Chicago to Columbus. This is currently one of the best deals in bus travel. It’s easy to find a bus ticket at this price or lower when you use Wanderu to book your trip online in advance of your travel date.

Monthly average prices

$50$40$30$20$10FMAMJJASONDJ

If you are trying to decide when to travel from Chicago to Columbus by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for January. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just $25 – the lowest of the year.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel from Chicago to Columbus in August, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to $32 at that time of year. However, if you book your trip ahead of time, you have a high chance of scoring a ticket at a lower price.

Prices as travel date approaches

$50$40$30$20$103020100

If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 23 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Columbus from Chicago will be about $26.91 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from Chicago to Columbus?

2 train services operate from Chicago to Columbus. Amtrak usually has more trains scheduled, with 7 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak713h 22m$76.47
Amtrak Empire Builder22h 47m$27.33
  • Amtrak

    Amtrak

    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 7 Amtrak trains from Chicago to Columbus every day, as well as 5 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $38.

    AMT-0AMT-1AMT-2AMT-3AMT-4AMT-5AMT-6AMT-7AMT-8AMT-9
  • Amtrak Empire Builder

    Amtrak Empire Builder

    Amtrak Empire Builder train tickets from Chicago to Columbus start from $24, and on average cost . Daily there are 2 Amtrak Empire Builder schedules to Columbus. Amtrak Empire Builder in Chicago leaves from Union Station . And in Columbus trains arrive at 359 N Ludington St .

    From Chicago to Columbus train travel on Amtrak Empire Builder takes 2 hours and 47 minutes.

    If you're considering a weeked trip, Amtrak Empire Builder offers 2 schedules for you to choose from. You can expect to pay for a one-way train ticket to Columbus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from Chicago to Columbus 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 Columbus?

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from Chicago to Columbus. 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.

How long is the train journey from Chicago to Columbus?

The distance between Chicago and Columbus is approximately 123 miles, or 198 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 4 hours and 20 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 2 hours and 47 minutes. Although it takes a couple of hours each way, it's still possible to make a round trip in a single day. Since most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, you should be able to browse the Internet or get some work done during your journey.

When are trains the most crowded?

With many people traveling in the middle of the week, Wednesday is the busiest day of the week for train travel. If you are planning to travel on a Wednesday, you should make sure to book tickets well in advance as they may sell out.

On the other hand, Friday is typically the least busy day for train travel on this route. If you’re looking for a little extra space, a Friday ticket is the way to go.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs Chicago at 12:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 2:00pm. 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 trips to Columbus are there per day?

There are 5 scheduled trains on most days. 2 of these are direct connections to Columbus. 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 Columbus 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.

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: 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:

  • Union Station

  • MLK Plaza - 415 Emerald Ave

  • Gateway Center

  • 18015 Park Ave

  • 11 W Baltimore Ave

  • Illinois Term - 45 E University Ave

  • Penn Station

  • 55 Dick Rd

  • 225 S Seminary St

  • Gateway Station - 430 S 15th St

  • 101 W Main St

  • VRE Station - 10399 Premier Ct

  • 15766 Manchester Rd

  • Bus Terminal - 720 W Muhammad Ali Blvd

  • 290 Magnolia St

Where is the train station in Columbus?

Main arrival station: 359 N Ludington St

Columbus has one train station.

All train stations in Columbus:

  • 359 N Ludington St

Need a return trip from Columbus to Chicago?

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