Train Washington, DC - Chicago, IL prices from $110.85

06/21/2024
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Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train

The journey from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train is 594.99 mi and takes 19 hr 37 min. There are 1 connections per day, with the first departure at 4:05 PM and the last at 10:00 PM. It is possible to travel from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train for as little as $110.85 or as much as $882.04. The best price for this journey is $110.85.

Lowest Price$110.85
Journey Duration19 hr 37 min
Connection per Day1
Lowest Price$110.85
Highest Price$882.04
First Departure4:05 PM
Last Departure10:00 PM
Distance594.99 mi
DepartureWashington, DC
ArrivalChicago, IL
CarriersAmtrak

Washington, DC to Chicago, IL Train Times

Departure date
Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Traveling by train from Washington, DC, to Chicago, IL

The train ride from Washington, DC, to Chicago, NY, lasts on average 19 hr 37 min. Around 1 trains depart a day between Washington and Chicago, the average price is $255.74 and the lowest ticket pricing starts at around $110.85.

Amtrak, the largest passenger railroad service in the U.S., operates the train from Washington to Chicago. Amtrak Cardinal and Capitol Limited are connecting the two cities directly. They are in the same price range, but the Cardinal is slower as it serves more stations and only operates a week thrice. Another difference is that the Cardinal is a Viewliner train, and the Capitol Limited is a double-decker Superliner. Superliner and Viewliner trains are two different types of rail cars used by Amtrak. The Superliner is a double-decker, bi-level train that carries passengers, baggage, food service, and lounge cars. It has larger windows, wider aisles, and rooms with more amenities than the single-level Viewliner. 

Another option would be to change trains in New York and add a couple of more hours to your journey, 

The Cardinal is named after the state bird of all six states it passes through: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and New York. It only operates three times a week and typically leaves New York City in the early afternoon and arrives in Chicago the following morning after approximately 26 hours and 36 stops. The train passes through scenic areas, such as the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio River Valley, offering passengers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It operates three times a week.

The Capitol Limited is one of Amtrak's most popular long-distance trains between Chicago and Washington, DC. It offers a comfortable ride with reclining seats, power outlets, bicycle storage, and Wi-Fi access. The train also provides spectacular views of picturesque landscapes along the way. It operates once a day and usually leaves Washington in the afternoon, reaching Chicago in approximately 17 hours. The Capitol Limited includes a dining car, sleeping cars, and a very special observation lounge car. You can observe the dramatic scenery unfold while having a snack from the cafe on the lower deck. 

Amtrak offers four sleeping options on their trains.

  1. The Roomette is, at first glance, a tiny room, but it is very well-used. Different innovative storage options will surprise you at every step. They start with two comfortable recliner seats, which turn into a bed, and a second bunk bed that you pull from the ceiling, making enough space for two people to sleep and have a great view. The older Viewliner cars have a toilet and a sink in the room (one of the surprises under the steps to the upper bunk), which can be tricky if there are two people. The newer cars have toilets and bathrooms in the hallway.
  2. The Bedroom is twice as big, with a big comfy queen bed and a bathroom in the room (separated by a door). It has all the amenities of the Roomette with more space and a higher price. 
  3. The Two-Room Suite on a train offers twice the space of a regular Bedroom accommodation. During the day, the suite features two sofas and separate chairs for seating; at night, these furnishings convert into upper and lower beds, providing comfortable sleeping arrangements. It includes two in-room sinks, restrooms, and showers.
  4. The Family room is only available on the Superliner trains. It provides comfortable accommodations for up to four people, with full-sized beds and fold-down bunks. Passengers can access hot showers, extra storage space, a sink, and an enclosed lavatory. 

If you opt for the sleeping car, remember to book the entire unit, alone or with someone. Also, the coach has comfortable reclining seats, perfect for getting some shut-eye, so give it a chance.

The Café car is available for all passengers during the day, while the Sleepers Lounge is open only for sleeping passengers. Both offer meals, snacks, and beverages, and the sleepers have all three meals included in the ticket price.

You will start at Washington's Union Station, just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building. Amtrak, MARC, VRE trains, and several bus lines stop there. The station is accessible by Metro Rail (Red Line) and several bus routes. Housing dozens of stores ranging from exclusive luxury brands like Burberry to high-street favorites such as H&M and Pottery Barn, alongside a range of food outlets catering to every taste and budget, offers everyone options.

Chicago Union Station is a bustling one of the biggest U.S. transportation hubs, ranking as the third busiest train station in the United States. It serves as a gateway to 15 Amtrak train lines, connecting travelers to destinations nationwide. Additionally, Union Station provides access to bus carriers such as Greyhound, Indian Trails, and Jefferson Lines and connections to Metra commuter lines. Conveniently located in downtown Chicago and adjacent to the Chicago Loop, Union Station is within walking distance to the nearest Chicago L lines. It offers numerous amenities and services, including phone charging stations, shops, and various food and drink options.

Chicago is one of the cradles of American culture, home of Jazz, deep-dish pizza, and the famous Second City comedy theater. The Willis Tower's Skydeck provides unbeatable views of the city and Lake Michigan, making it a tourist must-visit destination. At over 1,300 feet, the observation deck is the highest in the U.S. Another popular spot for visitors is Millennium Park, where they can snap the iconic selfie with the Bean sculpture before exploring the many museums in nearby Grant Park. Navy Pier is a bustling tourist attraction with parks, restaurants, and various entertainment options situated on the picturesque Lake Michigan. Wrigleyville is a haven for baseball enthusiasts, as it's home to the iconic Wrigley Field and numerous sports bars.

So if you plan to travel by train from Washington to Chicago, let us help you plan it. We check thousands of rail, bus, and flight destinations to help you find the best price. Check out our handy price calendar below, where you can see the best prices across all modes of transport between Washington and Chicago.

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Compare prices and tickets from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL

Cheap train tickets from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL
Looking for the best deal on a train ticket for your trip? Here are 4 ways to get cheap train tickets from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL.

Book in advance and save

If you're looking for the best deal for your trip from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL, booking train tickets in advance is a great way to save money, but keep in mind that advance tickets are usually not available until 3 months before your travel date.

Stay flexible with your travel time and explore off-peak journeys

Planning your trips around off-peak travel times not only means that you'll be able to avoid the crowds, but can also end up saving you money. Being flexible with your schedule and considering alternative routes or times will significantly impact the amount of money you spend on getting from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL.

Always check special offers

Checking on the latest deals can help save a lot of money, making it worth taking the time to browse and compare prices. So make sure you get the best deal on your ticket and take advantage of special fares for children, youth and seniors as well as discounts for groups.

Unlock the potential of slower trains or connecting trains

If you're planning a trip with some flexible time, why not opt for the scenic route? Taking slower trains or connecting trains that make more stops may save you money on your ticket – definitely worth considering if it fits in your schedule.

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Best time to book Washington, DC to Chicago, IL travel

Virail Pro Tip ✌: Booking 10 days in advance save 10% on average

Price as departure date approaches

Train companies may charge higher ticket prices as the date of departure approaches. Prices in the next days can range from around $136.50 to $303.41 but may be subject to change. Our advice is to book as early as possible to potentially save up to 55% on your trip!

Best time to book cheap train tickets from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL

The cheapest Washington, DC - Chicago, IL train tickets can be found for as low as $97.45 if you’re lucky, or $193.75 on average. The most expensive ticket can cost as much as $305.60.

Find the best day to travel to Chicago, IL by train

When travelling to Chicago, IL by train, if you want to avoid crowds you can check how frequently our customers are travelling in the next 30-days using the graph below. On average, the peak hours to travel are between 6:30am and 9am in the morning, or between 4pm and 7pm in the evening. Please keep this in mind when travelling to your point of departure as you may need some extra time to arrive, particularly in big cities!

Services on board Amtrak from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL
Compare services on board when travelling from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train.
Facilities Amtrak
quiet_zone Quiet zone check
wifi WiFi check
power_sockets Power sockets check
luggage Luggage check
accessibility Accessibility check
food_and_drink Food and drink check
air_con Air conditioning check
bicycle Bicycle check
sleeper_couchette Sleeper check

Washington, DC to Chicago, IL CO2 Emissions by Train

Ecology
Train
67.03kg
Bus
71.82kg
Flight
191.51kg
Car
153.21kg
What are the CO2 emissions from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train? The CO2 emissions from taking the train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL are 67.03kg.
How much CO2 do I save by taking the train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL? By taking the train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL you will save 124.48kg CO2 emissions compared to a flight, 4.79kg compared to a bus and 86.18kg compared to a car.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a train ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL?
A train ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL is $255.74. However the price varies depending on how early you buy, and if it's peak time to travel. Occasionally you can find them for as cheap as $110.85.
What's the cheapest train ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL?
The cheapest ticket you can get from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL is $110.85. We recommend booking as early as possible and off-peak hours to get the cheapest ticket possible. Off-peak times are usually from 09:30 to 16:00, and after 19:00.
What's the distance between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL by train?
Washington, DC to Chicago, IL is 594.99 mi.
How long does the train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL take?
Washington, DC to Chicago, IL is on average 19 hr 37 min. However the fastest option will get you there in 17 hr 40 min.
How many train connections per day go from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL?
Washington, DC to Chicago, IL has 1 connection(s) per day on average.
What time does the first train from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL leave?
The earliest train from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL departs at 4:05 PM. However be sure to check with us the schedule on the day you want to leave as the time may differ.
What time does the last train from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL depart?
The latest train from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL departs at 10:00 PM. However be sure to check with us the schedule on the day you want to leave as the time may differ.
Should I book my ticket from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL in advance?
If you can, we recommend booking your ticket as early as possible to ensure you get better savings. The cheapest train ticket we have found is $110.85 but this may be subject to change depending on the day of travel, hour you wish to depart and how far in advance you book.
How many direct connections depart from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL?
There are on average 1 direct connection(s) from Washington, DC to go to Chicago, IL.
What's the fastest journey time between Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train?
The fastest journey time by train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL is 17 hr 40 min.
Is there a direct train from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL?
Yes, there is a direct train between Washington, DC and Chicago, IL.
What are the CO2 emissions for Washington, DC to Chicago, IL by train?
The train journey from Washington, DC to Chicago, IL creates 67.03kg of CO2 emissions.

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