Which Amtrak station is closest to Dulles airport?

Dulles International Airport is one of Washington D.C.’s major airports. There are three Amtrak stations that are 30 to 40 minutes away by car: Manassas, Burke Centre (in Fairfax, Virginia) and Rockville (in Maryland). See what you need to know about each option below, and why you might want to use D.C.’s Union Station although it isn’t one of the closest stations to the airport.

Manassas

The Masassas Amtrak station is on the Northeast Regional, Crescent and Cardinal routes. All three routes connect with New York City, and the Cardinal and Crescent are long-distance routes, meaning that trains might be less on time than than the Northeast Regional. Uber, Lyft or taxi is recommended to reach Dulles from the train station; drive time is about 30 minutes without traffic (try to avoid a car trip during weekday rush hour).

When to use the Manassas Station

  • You are traveling on the Crescent or Cardinal route
  • You are traveling northbound on the Northeast Regional (you’ll reach Manassas before Burke Center)

Burke Centre

The Burke Centre Amtrak station is in Fairfax, Virginia, and the only trains that stop here are on the Northeast Regional route. Drive time is also about 30 minutes without traffic, and Uber, Lyft and taxi are again your best options to continue your trip. There are some additional driving routes that might help you avoid some traffic if you are commuting during rush hour, but best to reach the airport/book a flight when less people are on the road. Note that D.C. weekday rush hours are typically 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

When to use the Burke Centre Station

  • You are traveling on the Northeast Regional route, especially southbound from cities including Boston, New York City or Philly
  • You are traveling during rush hour

Rockville

The Rockville Station is a little further away from Dulles than the other two, and only one long-distance Amtrak train stops at Rockville each day, the Capitol Limited. There can be heavy traffic on the drive to Dulles depending on time of day, as I-495 is part of the driving route. Eastbound trains heading toward D.C. typically arrive at Rockville between 2 and 3 p.m., so get a Lyft, Uber or taxi right away to avoid rush hour. If you are departing Union Station in D.C., trains arrive in Rockville around 4:30 p.m., so not a great time to avoid traffic unless it is the weekend.

When to use the Rockville Station

  • You are traveling by train from Pittsburgh or Cumberland (Maryland)
  • You are traveling on the weekend from D.C. Union Station

DC Union Station

If getting a Lyft, Uber or taxi is too expensive, or you want to avoid a car trip, then book Washington D.C.’s Union Station as your final destination. From there, you can connect directly to WMATA subway trains on the red line. You’ll have to transfer from the red line to another rail line, then connect with a bus, but at least you will have options. The shortest bus ride is 10 minutes if you travel to the end of the silver line.

The shortest overall trip time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes, so it is a much longer trip to Dulles, but you’ll also avoid traffic for the most part. Note that you can use Google Maps with the transit option to view all your transit routes based on desired arrival time at Dulles airport. Just select the train icon to view transit directions instead of driving directions.

When to use DC Union Station

  • You prefer to ride transit
  • You are trying to save money
  • You are traveling during rush hour
  • You have luggage/bags that you can easily pull or carry with you as you connect to different trains and buses

More Information

DC Union Station Guide
How to use Google Maps for Amtrak Directions

Advertisements
Posted in FAQ