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Chicago-Madison Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

There are 2 daily trains from Chicago to Madison. Traveling by train from Chicago to Madison usually takes around 4 hours and 21 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Distance122 mi (197 km)
Fastest train3h 20m
Lowest price$30.00
Trains per day4
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

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

In the last month, $30.69 was the average price of a train ticket from Chicago, IL to Madison, WI. This is a good price that is inexpensive compared to most train fares. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 7 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $0.85 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

$45$30$15JulAug

Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from Chicago to Madison will vary between $30 and $34. Planning a train trip to Madison within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from Chicago over the next 7 days is $30. Make sure to book your trip as soon as possible as train fares tend to go up as you get closer to your travel date.

Monthly average prices

$50$40$30$20$10ASONDJFMAMJJ

If you are trying to decide when to travel from Chicago to Madison by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for May. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just $32 – the lowest of the year.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel from Chicago to Madison in March, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to $39 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 7 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Madison from Chicago will be about $0.85 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from Chicago to Madison?

Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects Chicago, Illinois to Madison, Wisconsin. The schedule is relatively limited as the train only runs twice a day.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak24h 22m$31.07
  • 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 2 Amtrak trains from Chicago to Madison every day, as well as 5 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $30.

    AMT-0AMT-1AMT-2AMT-3AMT-4AMT-5AMT-6AMT-7AMT-8AMT-9

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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.

How long is the train journey from Chicago to Madison?

The distance between Chicago and Madison is approximately 122 miles, or 197 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 4 hours and 21 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 3 hours and 20 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 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 Monday 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 Chicago at 6:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 11:00pm. 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 Chicago to Madison?

Trains leave the station in Chicago twice a day, so there are a couple of options depending on your preferred travel time. Luckily, both trains will get you to Madison with direct service. While there might still be stops along the way, you will not need to get off or switch trains.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Madison to Chicago. If you're not not set on traveling by train, you could always take the bus from Chicago to Madison for $30.00.

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.

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?

Departure stations

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.

Where is the train station in Madison?

Arrival stations

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

Train stations in Madison:

  • Dutch Mill Park & Ride Lot

Need a return trip from Madison to Chicago?

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