East Lansing to Chicago trains

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East Lansing - Chicago Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

There are 2 daily trains from East Lansing to Chicago. Traveling by train from East Lansing to Chicago usually takes around 4 hours and 33 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak Blue Water train can make the trip in 3 hours and 51 minutes.

Distance171 mi (276 km)
Fastest train3h 51m
Lowest price$30.00
Trains per day1
Most frequent serviceAmtrak Blue Water
Train lines2

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from East Lansing to Chicago

(Based on 31 ratings and reviews)

4.7

5.0

George

August 29, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Blue Water

Price and convenience

Price and convenience

5.0

Matthew

August 21, 2022- Visiting friends

Amtrak Blue Water

Pros: Everything went smooth and easy. Cons: N/A. Tips: If leaving from East Lansing you don’t need to be there an hour early, the process is easy.

Pros: Everything went smooth and easy. Cons: N/A. Tips: If leaving from East Lansing you don’t need to be there an hour early, the process is easy.

5.0

George

July 3, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Blue Water

Pros: Great value and convenience of travel to Chicago. Cons: Sometimes difficult to hear the loudspeaker. Tips: None.

Pros: Great value and convenience of travel to Chicago. Cons: Sometimes difficult to hear the loudspeaker. Tips: None.

5.0

George

May 22, 2022- Solo travel

Amtrak Blue Water

Pros: There was nothing I didn’t like. Cons: Very little.

Pros: There was nothing I didn’t like. Cons: Very little.

5.0

George

April 2, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Blue Water

Pros: Price convenience and good way to travel. Cons: Sometimes difficult to hear the intercom on train. Tips: Book through wanderlu.

Pros: Price convenience and good way to travel. Cons: Sometimes difficult to hear the intercom on train. Tips: Book through wanderlu.

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

In the last month, $31.33 was the average price of a train ticket from East Lansing to Chicago. 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 6 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $12.10 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

$75$50$25SepOct

Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from East Lansing to Chicago will vary between $30 and $65. Planning a train trip to Chicago within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from East Lansing 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$10NDJFMAMJJASO

If you are trying to decide when to travel from East Lansing to Chicago by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for February. 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 East Lansing to Chicago in December, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to $41 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 6 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Chicago from East Lansing will be about $12.10 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from East Lansing to Chicago?

2 train services operate from East Lansing to Chicago. However, each train line only offers one daily trip.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak17h 48m$42.75
Amtrak Blue Water14h 1m$35.56
  • 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 1 Amtrak trains from East Lansing to Chicago every day, as well as 1 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $42.

  • Amtrak Blue Water

    Amtrak Blue Water

    The Blue Water is a higher-speed Amtrak train line that travels 319 miles between Chicago, IL and Port Huron, MI. Both Coach and Business Class tickets are available to purchase on the Blue Water, but if you’re looking to save, make sure to book early and you could find tickets for as low as $30. Blue Water trains include amenities like free WiFi, cafe service, and power outlets at every seat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from East Lansing to Chicago 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.

Although masks are no longer required on public transportation, we stand behind CDC guidelines that encourage passengers to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on the train or in stations.

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 East Lansing to Chicago?

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

The distance between East Lansing and Chicago is approximately 171 miles, or 276 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 4 hours and 33 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 3 hours and 51 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 East Lansing to Chicago are the most crowded on Monday. 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 Thursday 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 East Lansing at 8:00am 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 East Lansing to Chicago?

Trains leave the station in East Lansing twice a day, so there are a couple of options depending on your preferred travel time. One of these is a direct train, which will typically get you to Chicago faster. While it might still have stops along the way, you will not need to switch trains during your trip.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Chicago to East Lansing.

City Information

East Lansing

East Lansing, a city shockingly located just east of Lansing, is primarily known as the home of Michigan State University. In fact, around half of its population is composed of students, and some of the city's most visited attractions are situated on the college campus. Among them are the historic W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, the 104-foot-tall Beaumont Tower, the contemporary Broad Art Museum, and the renowned Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Aside from its vibrant college life, East Lansing is also known for its yearly events, such as The East Lansing Film Festival, the largest of its kind in the entire state.

Lake Lansing is a go-to for swimming, fishing, or just getting some fresh air, but you'll also find parks and golf courses all around the city. The tree-lined Grand River Avenue divides the MSU campus from the rest of the city; find some of the city's best shopping and dining in the Grand River area, including HopCat, Beggar's Banquet, and Barrio East Lansing.

Public transit buses connect East Lansing to the closest airport, the Capital Region International Airport. However, it's also easy to take an intercity bus to nearby travel hubs, Detroit and Chicago, by booking a ticket with Greyhound, Indian Trails, or Jefferson Lines. East Lansing is a stop on Amtrak's Blue Water line, which makes train travel in and out of the city a breeze.

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 East Lansing?

Main departure station: Train Station - 1240 S Harrison Rd E

There is one train station in East Lansing.

All train stations in East Lansing:

  • Train Station - 1240 S Harrison Rd E

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

Link to image attribution

Main arrival 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

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