The Cardinal Amtrak route travels between New York and Chicago (through DC) three times each week. It has some of the best scenery in the eastern United States as the train travels through the New River Gorge, Alleghany Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. On board, private Viewliner roomettes and bedrooms are available at an extra cost, flexible dining service is an option for sleeper car passengers, and a cafe is open to all passengers.


You can view current schedules via Google Maps or when booking your tickets. If you know your start and end stations, you can also use the Amtrak website to create a custom timetable.

Things to know:

  • Trains depart early from New York’s Penn Station (around 6 a.m.)
  • At the other end of the line, Chicago departures are 5:45 p.m.
  • Chicago is in Central Time Zone, one hour earlier than the other cities on the route.
  • The Cardinal is popular in the fall with the autumn colors, so be sure to book roomettes or bedrooms in advance if that’s your preferred accommodation type.
  • The Capitol Limited train also travels between Washington D.C. and Chicago and is about 300 miles shorter as another option.

Major Stops

  • Chicago
  • Indianapolis
  • Cincinnati
  • Charleston, WV
  • Washington DC
  • Baltimore
  • Philadelphia
  • New York City


Sights and Landmarks

  • Chicago Loop
  • Willis Tower
  • Purdue University
  • Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Indiana Convention Center
  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Ohio River
  • Maysville, KY (settled by Daniel Boone)
  • New River Gorge
  • Hinton Historic District
  • The Greenbrier (golf resort with casino)
  • Allegheny Mountains
  • Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Shenandoah Valley
  • C&O Railroad Heritage Center
  • Staunton, VA (birthplace of Woodrow Wilson)
  • University of Virginia
  • Alexandria/Old Town
  • U.S. Capitol Building
  • Washington D.C. museums
  • Delaware History Museum
  • Delaware Children’s Museum
  • The Delaware Contemporary Art Gallery
  • Wilmington Rowing Center
  • Drexel University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Manhattan
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Empire State Building

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