Capitol Limited vs Lake Shore Limited

Capitol Limited train crossing the Potomac River

The Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore Limited are two long-distance Amtrak routes that travel between Chicago and the East Coast. Trains stop at the same stations in Northern Indiana and Ohio, but outside of the Midwest the routes diverge. The Capitol Limited trains travel to and from Washington D.C. via West Virginia while Lake Shore Limited trains travel near the Great Lakes and along the Hudson River.

WiFi and train height are two other major differences. Only the Lake Shore Limited trains have WiFi (Capitol Limited trains do not) and Capitol Limited trains have lower and upper levels. Otherwise, both have roomettes and bedrooms if you prefer privacy, a bed and free meals on your trip.

See the table below to learn more about these two Amtrak routes. Note that the Lake Shore Limited trains merge and separate in Albany, New York. One segment travels to/from New York City and the other to/from Boston.

Lake Shore LimitedCapitol Limited
Route LengthAround 1,000 miles764 miles
Number of Stops20 (NYC segment)
22 (Boston segment)
Type of TrainViewlinerSuperliner
Sleeper CarYesYes
Sightseer LoungeNoNo
Dining OptionsCafé and free meals for
sleeper car passengers
Café and free meals for sleeper car passengers
States on the RouteIL, IN, OH, PA, NY, MAIL, IN, OH, PA, WV, MD
End-of-the Line StationsChicago, New York City, BostonChicago and Washington D.C.
Popular StopsChicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, Boston, New York CityChicago, South Bend, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Harpers Ferry, DC
LandscapesMidwest farmland, Lake Erie, Erie Canal, Hudson River ValleyMidwest farmland, Appalachian Mountains, Potomac River
Top Attractions-Niagara Falls (via Buffalo)
-Finger Lakes (via Rochester)
-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
-Boston & New York Sights
-Appalachian Trail (via Cumberland)
-Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
-DC Museums & Monuments

More Information

Top photo credit: Mr.TinMD/ (Capitol Limited train crossing the Potomac River)