Taking Amtrak to Washington D.C. is a popular choice for business commuters and tourists due to the direct and frequent service from major cities on the East Coast. Plus, with all the traffic in the D.C. area, taking the train into the city and transferring to the subway, MARC commuter train or other transit service at the Amtrak station is one way to reduce driving delays and hassles.
In addition to easy commutes from cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia, you can also directly reach Washington D.C. from the Midwest and parts of the Southeast via train, including from Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans. Otherwise, plan to transfer trains in order to reach the capital.
In general, the best way to plan your trip is with Google Maps. A transit feature provides information on Amtrak schedules and routes from your starting location. For more information, explore the Amtrak routes below that have direct service to DC’s Union Station.
DC Amtrak Routes
The following Amtrak routes stop in D.C., with trains providing service to and from most major cities east of the Mississippi:
- Acela Express (East coast)
- Capitol Limited (Midwest)
- Cardinal (Midwest)
- Carolinian (South)
- Crescent (South)
- Northeast Regional (East coast)
- Palmetto (South)
- Silver Meteor (South)
- Silver Star (South)
- Vermonter (Northeast)
Things to Know
- Taxis line up and are waiting at DC’s Amtrak station most of the day
- Need to rent a car at the station? Choose from Alamo, Avis, Budget and Hertz
- Commute time to/from Chicago is about 17.5 hours via Capitol Limited
- Commute time to/from New York City averages to about 3 hours, faster if you choose the Acela Express train over the Northeast Regional — and the scenery is beautiful between DC and Philadelphia
- DC Union Station: TripAdvisor Reviews
- Things to do in Washington D.C.
- Best Amtrak day trips from Washington D.C.