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La Crosse to Chicago train

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La Crosse - Chicago Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

You can pick from 4 daily train trips between La Crosse and Chicago. The average train journey from La Crosse to Chicago takes 5 hours and 38 minutes, but some Amtrak train trips are as short as 4 hours and 58 minutes.

Distance226 mi (364 km)
Fastest train4h 58m
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 La Crosse to Chicago

(Based on 4 ratings and reviews)

5.0

5.0

William

October 3, 2019- Visiting friends

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: All Great. Departure and arrival 2:15 late. Was not a problem for me. Cons: Is the a way to receive email updates on ETD and ETA? Tips: Go AATRAK.

5.0

Grainne

September 9, 2019- Visiting family

Amtrak Empire Builder

Pros: So convenient to visit my family . My first time on a train & I will do it again . Thank you , Grainne Quillin. Cons: Nothing , everything was just wonderful . Tips: Yes , now that my family have moved to Chicago I will be able to visit .

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

The average price for a train ticket from La Crosse to Chicago is $57.41, By booking your trip at least 17 days in advance, you increase your chances of scoring even cheaper tickets. But if you wait until the day of your trip to book tickets, expect to pay $44.15 more.

Average prices by travel date

$120$80$40JulJul

The average cost of a one-way train trip from La Crosse to Chicago is expected to fluctuate between $40 and $109 in the next 30 days. If you’re planning a train trip to Chicago in the upcoming week, the cheapest price in the next 7 days for a ticket from La Crosse is $51.

Monthly avg. prices

$125$100$75$50$25ASONDJFMAMJJ
You can find the lowest prices on this route during February. This time of year offers the best deals on train tickets from La Crosse to Chicago, with the average price at just $61. Train tickets on this route are most expensive in August, when the average price goes up to $105. You can still score cheap deals below this average price, though, especially if you plan ahead and book your ticket in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

$100$80$60$40$203020100

If you're looking to save on your train trip from La Crosse to Chicago, book online with Wanderu at least 17 days in advance. That way, you’ll save $44.15 compared to booking your ticket last minute.

Which train should you take from La Crosse to Chicago?

2 train services operate from La Crosse to Chicago. 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
Amtrak26h 11m$68.15
Amtrak Empire Builder25h 8m$70.58
  • 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 La Crosse to Chicago every day, as well as 2 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 La Crosse and Chicago is approximately 226 miles, or 364 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 5 hours and 38 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 4 hours and 58 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 departing from La Crosse to Chicago tend to have the most passengers on Sunday. With higher demand ticket prices also tend to be higher on Sunday. If you are trying to snag a cheap train tickets or just want an emptier train you'll have better luck by booking travel departing on Wednesday as the least number of people tend to travel then.

The earliest train departs La Crosse at 11:00am 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.

There are 4 scheduled trains on most days. 3 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 La Crosse.

City Information

La Crosse

La Crosse, WI - LSE-0

Image credit: Unsplash

La Crosse, WI - LSE-1

Image credit: Carl Wycoff

Link to image attribution
La Crosse, WI - LSE-2

Image credit: Unsplash

A busy college town blessed with lush and beautiful green zones, La Crosse is one of the best places to just chill out and unwind. The city's star attraction is the Grandad Bluff, which offers a panoramic view of the entire city and the Mississippi River. Hiking up the hill will certainly be a challenge, but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile. While staying in the city, don't miss out on the chance to go on a cruise aboard the La Crosse Queen, a replica paddle steamer, and unwind while enjoying the sunset. For some family fun, head over to the Children's Museum of La Crosse.

La Crosse does have a pretty reputable food scene, with a strong focus on beers and cheese curds. For an upscale dining experience with the best local dishes, The Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern is a local favorite that has a stellar reputation. Or head to the Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery for a combination of good foods and drinks.

La Crosse is easily accessible by bus or train, and regional flights operate out of the La Crosse Municipal Airport.

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 La Crosse?

601 St Andrew St  - LSEAMT-0

Image credit: Adam Moss

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: 601 St Andrew St

The La Crosse Amtrak Station is located in the city's Lower Northside neighborhood at 601 St Andrew St. The station was built in 1926, and even though it has undergone several renovations, many of the original elements – including the marble surfaces and wooden ticket counters – have been preserved. In fact, the station is on the National Register of Historic Places. The station serves as the only stop in La Crosse for Amtrak's Empire Builder train line. At the station, travelers can find a spacious indoor waiting area, as well as an information desk with brochures and guides for local attractions. In addition, since the station is located in a residential neighborhood, various restaurants and bars are in close proximity.

All train stations in La Crosse:

  • 601 St Andrew St

Where is the train station in Chicago?

Chicago, IL - Union Station - CHIUST-0

Image credit: Jeramey Jannene

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Main arrival station: Chicago (Union Station), Illinois

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:

  • Chicago (Union Station), Illinois

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