St Paul to Columbus train

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St Paul - Columbus Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

There are usually 3 daily train trips available from St Paul to Columbus. Traveling by train from St Paul to Columbus usually takes 4 hours and 50 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 4 hours and 36 minutes.

Distance231 mi (371 km)
Fastest train4h 36m
Lowest price$31.00
Trains per day3
Most frequent serviceAmtrak Empire Builder
Train lines2

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Average score for trains from Saint Paul to Columbus

(Based on 5 ratings and reviews)




October 3, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: Spacious seating very friendly helpful staff. Cons: Communication when leaving Saint Paul regarding the return trip. We were delayed an hour and a half and nobody knew why and the announcement intercom was impossible to understand at the depot in Saint Paul it left everybody wondering what was going on. Tips: Follow all the Covid prevention recommendations even though they’re not always enforced.



September 25, 2022- Visiting family

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: Spacious foot room / not crowded by fellow passenger. Cons: Speaker system at Union Depot so could hear announcements Also communicate once waiting for a late train. Never heard anything for first 50 minutes, I think.



December 22, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Empire Builder

Help with baggage would have been great. I was confused about where to put it.



June 1, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: It was pleasant and punctual, I loved the Union Depot in St. Paul. Cons: The pull down tray for my use was covered in sticky red juice. Made me wonder about the cleaning, I did not dare use the bathroom. Tips: If you want decent food choices, get a sleeper car and a dining car reservation. Or take your own snacks.



December 6, 2019- Visiting friends

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: I loved the spacious seats and that there was a vegan burger option in the cafe. I also loved that there was a viewing car with seats facing outside. Cons: The bathrooms could have been cleaner. The train car that I was in (coach) didn’t smell very good. Not sure if it was the car itself, the passengers, or a combination of both. There was also some candy and debris on the floor. Tips: There wasn’t any WiFi, so keep that in mind. Bring a pillow and blanket.

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

Over the past month, a train ticket between Saint Paul and Columbus cost $31.00, on average. This is a great bargain given the length of the route. Booking your trip at least 29 days in advance can help you secure tickets at the best price. For same-day bookings, you’ll likely have to pay around $55.40 more.

Monthly avg. prices

Ticket prices for the train from St Paul to Columbus often fluctuate based on the time of year. For the best prices on this route, book in October when the average ticket price is only $42. If you're thinking of traveling from St Paul to Columbus during August, keep in mind that train ticket prices may be higher than usual, with an average price of $94 during this time of year. The best way to score a cheap deal, even in August, is to book your trip well in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches


If you're looking to save on your train trip from Saint Paul to Columbus, book online with Wanderu at least 29 days in advance. That way, you’ll save $55.40 compared to booking your ticket last minute.

Which train should you take from St Paul to Columbus?

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

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak14h 37m$60.48
Amtrak Empire Builder24h 57m$61.96
  • 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 Saint Paul to Columbus every day, as well as 1 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $31.

  • The Amtrak Empire Builder is a long-distance passenger rail service that has been in operation since 1929. The full 2,200-mile route takes 45 hours to connect Chicago with the Pacific Northwest. Don’t let the length of the trip intimidate you; the Empire Builder is one of Amtrak’s most popular services, and often rated as the most scenic train route in the country. The sightseer lounge, home to enormous windows, is the perfect place to drink in the incredible views of the Mississippi River, the North Dakota Plains, Glacier National Park, and the Columbia River Gorge. Overnight trips on the Empire Builder include the option to book sleeper cabins, for a more comfortable journey and included meals. All passengers can purchase meals or snacks in the cafe car.

Frequently Asked Questions

The distance between St Paul and Columbus is approximately 231 miles, or 371 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 4 hours and 50 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 4 hours and 36 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 St Paul to Columbus are the most crowded on Friday. 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 Wednesday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

The earliest train departs St Paul at 8:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 11:00am. 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 3 daily scheduled trains, all of which are direct trains that take you the entire way from St Paul to Columbus.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Columbus to St Paul.

City Information

St Paul

St. Paul, MN - STP-0

Image credit: Unsplash

St. Paul, MN - STP-1

Image credit: Unsplash

St. Paul, MN - STP-2

Image credit: Unsplash

Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota, and is one of the Twin Cities, along with its neighbor across the Mississippi River, Minneapolis. As the seat of Minnesota's government, Saint Paul offers historic and cultural attractions which represent both the state and the American Midwest as a whole.

For a comprehensive introduction to the region's history, start your trip at the Minnesota History Center, just down the street from the grounds of the State Capitol building. There are museums in Saint Paul for all types of interests, including the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Schubert Club Musical Instrument Museum. For an extra dash of Saint Paul history, take a stroll down Summit Avenue, a stylish street of drool-worthy Victorian houses and mansions, including the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

If you're brave enough to visit Saint Paul during the freezing winters, you'll be rewarded with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, a yearly event where you can explore ice palaces, watch live ice sculpting, and compete in city-wide scavenger hunts. Saint Paul is also one of the country's best cities for craft beer, so save time to taste some local ales or even brew your own beer at Vine Park Brewing Co.

Saint Paul is a hub for travel in the Midwest thanks in part to Amtrak's Empire Builder train service which stops at Saint Paul Union Depot. Bus service from stations throughout town and nearby Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport make it easy to travel to and from this saintly city.

Station Information

Where is the train station in St Paul?

Union Depot - STPAMT2-0

Image credit: David Wilson

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: Union Depot

Located right on the banks of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, Union Depot has a remarkable history dating back to 1881. It remains the major transport hub of Saint Paul, as well as the designated station for Amtrak service in the Twin Cities. Besides the long-haul Empire Builder train, the station serves Jefferson Lines and Greyhound intercity buses and connects to local public transit. Within the Union Depot complex, you’ll find a coffee shop, restaurant, bike shop, rental car agency, and can even join a public tour to admire the architecture and learn about the station’s storied past.

All train stations in St Paul:

  • Union Depot

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

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