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Chicago, IL
Amtrak Station Code: CHI
Located in: Central Time

Chicago Union Station
225 South Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606

 

Chicago Union Station (CUS) is one of the nation's premier rail passenger stations.  Built in 1881 by a consortium headed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the centerpiece is the magnificent Great Hall - featuring a 112-foot-high vaulted ceiling, marble floors, and (some would tell you) an unreplicable atmosphere of a railroad era gone by.  All intercity passenger trains depart from CUS, which is currently owned and operated by Amtrak.  Chicago's Metra commuter rail, which serves many Chicago suburbs, also uses Union Station as a major downtown terminal.  For anyone transferring from a West Coast train to an East Coast one, or vice versa, Chicago Union Station is one heck of a place for a layover.

Visit the Chicago Union Station page on Amtrak's website.

We also have pocket-sized (well, page-sized), printable Adobe Acrobat files for your convenience (thanks to www.texaseagle.com and the Illinois Department of Transportation for the PDF files).
Adobe Acrobat Reader required - if you don't have it., get it for free!
  > station floor map
  > street map of downtown Chicago
  > regional map of Amtrak and Chicago's Metra commuter rail routes

Station Details: Hours | Trains | Checked Baggage | Driving Directions | Parking
Insider's Guide: Station Facilities | Neighborhood | Station History
Local Connections: Rental Cars | Hotels | Food | Local Transit | Visitor Information

Station Hours - last updated 03.01.05
Chicago Union Station is open from 5:00am - 12:30am daily.
The Amtrak ticket office is open from 7:00am - 10:00pm daily.
The Metra commuter rail ticket office is open from:
  7:00am - 11:30pm, Sunday
  6:00am - 11:30pm, Monday - Friday
  6:30am - 11:30pm, Saturday

Amtrak Trains - last updated 03.01.05 | contributed by David Breisch
Chicago Union Station is served by the following Amtrak trains:

  # Name   Station Time Freq. Miles
  329 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 6:00a daily 86
  350 Wolverine to Pontiac, MI dp 7:50a daily 304
  330 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 7:57a daily 86
  303 Ann Rutledge to Kansas City, MO dp 8:25a daily 567
  331 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 8:25a daily 86
49 Lake Shore Limited from New York, NY
Boston, MA
ar 8:43a daily 959
1017

58

City of New Orleans from New Orleans, LA ar 9:00a daily 926
  332 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 9:32a daily 86
  300 State House from St. Louis, MO ar 9:55a daily 284
29 Capitol Limited from Washington, D.C. ar 10:19a daily 764
333 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 10:20a daily 86
  371 Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids, MI ar 10:30a daily 176
  348 Illinois Zephyr from Quincy, IL ar 10:35a daily 258
  51 Cardinal from New York, NY ar 10:40a MoThSa 1146
  365 Blue Water from Port Huron, MI ar 11:10a daily 319
  351 Wolverine from Pontiac, MI ar 11:59a daily 304
334 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 12:22p daily 86
  335 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 1:05p daily 86
  352 Lake Cities to Pontiac, MI dp 1:15p daily 304
7 Empire Builder to Seattle, WA
Portland, OR
dp 2:10p daily 2210
2262
5 California Zephyr to Emeryville, CA dp 2:20p daily 2435
22 Texas Eagle from San Antonio, TX
Los Angeles, CA
ar 2:29p daily
WeFrSu
1306
2728
  336 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 2:32p daily 86
  364 Blue Water to Port Huron, MI dp 3:00p daily 319
3 Southwest Chief to Los Angeles, CA dp 3:15p daily 2256
  337 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 3:15p daily 86
4 Southwest Chief from Los Angeles, CA ar 3:20p daily 2256
21 Texas Eagle to San Antonio, TX
Los Angeles, CA
dp 3:20p daily
SuTuTh
1306
2728
6 California Zephyr from Emeryville, CA ar 3:32p daily 2435
8 Empire Builder from Seattle, WA
Portland, OR
ar 3:45p daily 2210
2262
  353 Lake Cities from Pontiac, MI ar 3:45p daily 304
  391 Illini to Carbondale, IL dp 4:05p daily 310
  338 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 4:32p daily 86
  339 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 5:08p daily 86
  305 State House to St. Louis, MO dp 5:15p daily 284
  370 Pere Marquette to Grand Rapids, MI dp 5:20p daily 176
30 Capitol Limited to Washington, D.C. dp 5:35p daily 764
  347 Illinois Zephyr to Quincy, IL dp 5:55p daily 258
  354 Twilight Limited to Pontiac, MI dp 6:00p daily 304
340 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 7:17p daily 86
48 Lake Shore Limited to New York, NY
Boston, MA
dp 7:35p daily 959
1017
  50 Cardinal to New York, NY dp 7:45p TuThSa 1146
59 City of New Orleans to New Orleans, LA dp 8:00p daily 926
341 Hiawatha to Milwaukee, WI dp 8:05p daily 86
  304 Ann Rutledge from Kansas City, MO ar 8:45p daily 567
  342 Hiawatha from Milwaukee, WI ar 9:02p daily 86
  392 Illini from Carbondale, IL ar 9:35p daily 310
  355 Twilight Limited from Pontiac, MI ar 9:50p daily 304

Checked Baggage
Checked baggage service is available on some Amtrak trains departing Chicago from 8:30am - 8:30pm.  The symbol on the above chart indicates which trains have checked baggage service available; however, checked bag service is not available to all train destinations.  Check your arrival station's page for details on checked baggage availability.  Each passenger may check up to three items, each of which may not exceed 50 pounds.  Each item must have a baggage ID tag attached; free tags are available from Amtrak ticket counters.  Please arrive at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you wish to check baggage.

Metra commuter rail does not offer checked baggage service.  Suitcases may be carried with you on the train provided that they are not oversized and do not block access to aisles or, on crowded trains, take up seat space next to you.

Driving Directions
No driving directions are currently available.

Parking Details - contributed by www.texaseagle.com
Union Station Self Park has 500 short-term and 500 long-term space available in a parking structure across the stree from the station.  Self Park has security on duty 24 hours a day and is connected to the station by an underground walkway.
Phone: 312.786.0111
 

Insider's Guide to Chicago Union Station - contributed by David Breisch

Station Facilities
  Waiting Areas: CUS provides a number of different waiting rooms - and by far the most spectacular, in many peoples' opinions, is the Great Hall.  The Great Hall has a 112-foot-high vaulted ceiling, marble floors, and many wooden benches.  While the benches aren't the most comfortable, some wouldn't pass up the atmosphere for any modern amenity.  There are two separate waiting areas for coach class passengers, one for northbound departures and one for southbound departures.  They are modeled much like an airport departure lounge - for better or worse.  Finally, Union Station features a Metropolitan Lounge for the convenience of customers traveling overnight in a bedroom.  The Lounge features plush chairs, a big-screen TV, private baggage storage area and complimentary refreshments.  Open 8:30am to 9:00pm daily.

Red cap service is available for passengers needing assistance with luggage or children.  Red caps will help you with your luggage to your train.  Small tips are suggested for red cap service.

Restrooms & Other: Union Station has several batches of restrooms for public use.  They are clean and well-maintained.  CUS isn't great about elevators, but there are a bunch of escalators for use between the main concourse and the upstairs food court.  See the floor plan for additional info.  One tricky thing is the single reverse flow escalator which changes direction depending on time of day.  Don't try to go up when it's going down!

Neighborhood  
  Union Station is located very near to downtown Chicago, with many local transportation options.  Chicago is definitely considered a walking city, so I wouldn't be too worried about walking to the Loop (central business district) or nearby attractions.  The CTA, both bus and elevated train, is a good option if you're looking to go further.  Chicago also has a good network of taxis, and there are almost always some available outside Union Station if you're looking for that route.

Station History  
  I don't know too much about the history of Union Station - if you do, I'd be glad to hear about it!  Let me know.

Rental Cars - last updated 03.01.05 | contributed by www.texaseagle.com
The following rental car agencies are available near the station, in order from closest to furthest away.
 
 

 

inside Chicago Union Station
312.928.0539, 1-800-654-3131
9:00a-Noon Sun.; 7:00a-6:00p M-F; 8:00a-2:00p Sat.
Participates in Amtrak Guest Rewards.
 
  555 W. Madison - five blocks northwest
312.906.8300, 1-800-RENT-A-CAR
closed Sun.; 7:00a-6:00p M-F; 9:00a-Noon Sat.
Will pick up with advance notice.
 
  203 N. LaSalle - 0.9 miles northeast
312.236.2581, 1-800-CAR-RENT
9:00a-5:00p Sun.; 7:00a-8:00p M-F; 7:30a-3:30p Sat.
Will reimburse cab fare with receipt.
 
  214 N. Clark St. - 1.0 miles northeast
312.782.8701, 1-800-831-AVIS
7:00a-9:30p Sun.; 6:30a-9:30p M-F; 7:00a-6:00p Sat.
 
  65 E. Lake St. - 1.3 miles northeast
773.686.6800, 1-800-527-0700
Will pick up with advance notice.
 

Hotels - last updated 03.01.05 | contributed by www.texaseagle.com
A listing of the ten hotels nearest to the station.  Click on the address or hotel logo for a link to the specific hotel listed.  Pricing Guide: provided for comparison purposes only; more $ symbols means that it's more expensive.
Range: $100 - $160 for one adult, one room, one night.

 
City Center
172 W. Adams St. - 0.5 miles southeast
Price: $$$
312.332.1200, 1-888-625-5144
Participates in Amtrak Guest Rewards.
 
 
Downtown
506 W. Harrison - 0.5 miles southwest
Price: $
312.957.9100, 1-800-HOLIDAY
 
 
Palmer House
17 E. Monroe St. - 0.8 miles east
Price: $$
312.726.7500, 1-800-HILTONS
Participates in Amtrak Guest Rewards.
 
 
River North
320 N. Dearborn St. - 1.1 miles northeast
Price: $$$
312.744.1900, 1-800-937-8461
Participates in Amtrak Guest Rewards.
 
 
Congress Plaza
520 S. Michigan Ave. - 1.2 miles east
Price: $$
312.427.3800, 1-800-635-1666
 
  71 E. Wacker Drive - 1.2 miles northeast
Price: $$$
312.346.7100, 1-800-621-4005
 
 
Hotel Monaco
225 N. Wabash - 1.2 miles northeast
Price: $$$
312.346.6585, 1-866-610-0081
Formerly Oxford House.
 
  151 E. Wacker Drive - 1.4 miles northeast
Price: $$
312.565.1234, 1-800-233-1234
 
 
Embassy Suites
600 N. State Street - 1.5 miles northeast
Price: $$$
312.943.3800, 1-800-EMBASSY
Participates in Amtrak Guest Rewards.
 
  323 E. Wacker Drive - 1.5 miles northeast
Price: $$$
312.565.0565, 1-800-63-SWISS
 

Food - last updated 03.01.05 | contributed by David Breisch
Union Station features a full-service food court inside the building, with lots of tables and chairs for eating or lounging.  Some vendors include:

Snuggery's includes bar, saloon & sit-down dining room.
Burrito Beach food court fast-food
Robinson Ribs food court fast-food
65 Chinese food court fast-food
Gold Coast Dogs food court fast-food
Kelly's Cajun Grill food court fast-food
Krispy Krepe food court fast-food
Nino Panino's Sandwiches sandwich shop with separate sit-down eating area
Corner Bakery sandwich shop with separate sit-down eating area
Nuts on Clark specialty vendor
Jamba Juice specialty vendor
McDonalds fast-food with separate sit-down eating area

Local Transportation - last updated 03.01.05 | contributed by www.texaseagle.com
Click on the links in the chart to outside transit agencies.

  Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach provided by Van Galder Bus
1-800-747-0994
Connecting service from Union Station to Rockford, IL; Beloit, WI; Janesville, WI; and Madison, WI
 
  Light Rail Chicago Transit Authority (the 'el')
312.836.7000
Cost: $1.75

The CTA Blue Line, Clinton stop, is two blocks south and provides direct service to Chicago O'hare International Airport.  Frequent trips 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The CTA Orange Line, Quincy stop, is three blocks east and provides direct service to Chicago Midway Airport.  Frequent trips approx. 4:30a-Midnight M-F; 5:00a-1:30a Sat.; 6:00a-1:30a Sun.

All CTA lines are accessible by free transfer from the Blue or Orange lines.
 

  Commuter
Rail
Metra Commuter Rail
312.836.7000 for all lines from Chicago.
VIsit the Metra website for details on individual lines and stations.

Metra - Union Pacific lines to north, northwest, and west Illinois.
Ogilvie Transportation Center - two blocks north.

Metra - Milwaukee District, BNSF, Heritage Corridor, Southwest and North Central service to north, northwest, west, and southwest Illinois.
Departs from Chicago Union Station.

Metra - Rock Island District with service south.
Departs from LaSalle Street Station - seven blocks east.

Metra - Electric Line with service south.
Departs from Randolph Street Station - ten blocks northeast.

South Shore Line - service to northern Indiana.
Call Metra for information.
Departs from Randolph Street Station - ten blocks northeast.
 

  Local Bus Chicago Transit Authority
312.836.7000
Cost: $1.75
 
  Intercity Bus Greyhound
630 Harrison St.
312.408.5980
 
  Airport Chicago Midway Airport (MDW)
5700 S. Cicero - 12 miles southwest of station.
773.838.0600
CTA Orange Line provides direct service.  See 'Light Rail' for more info.

Chicago O'hare International Airport (ORD)
10000 W. O'Hare - 17 miles northwest of station.
1-800-832-6352

Fares: taxi $25.00; limousine $13.75.
Airport Express Bus Limo is $15 one-way, $26 round trip and will pick up or drop off at Union Station on request from 6:00a-11:30p.
CTA Blue Line provides direct service.  See 'Light Rail' for more info.
 

  Taxi Chicago City Taxi
773.980.0909

Mayflower Care Cabs - for passengers with special mobility requirements.
1-800-233-0806

Yellow Cab
312.829.4222
 

Visitor Information - last updated 03.02.05 | contributed by www.texaseagle.com
If you're stuck in Chicago with nothing to do (hardly likely), then these links just might be for you.  Here are quick links to Chicago tourism bureaus that can help point you in the right direction.

 

 

Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau
2301 Lake Shore Drive
1-800-2CONNECT
 
  Chicago Office of Tourism
 

Also check out some of these popular points of interest.  Click on the name or address for a link to the website.
Pricing Guide: provided for comparison purposes only; more $ symbols means more expensive.
Range: $10 - $30, excluding free locations; does not include special exhibits at museums and such.

  Sears Tower
Skydeck
233 S. Wacker Drive - two blocks east
Price: $ | 312.875.9696
The tallest building in the world!  At least, it used to be.  Now, just the tallest building in the United States.  Observation Skydeck is on the 103rd floor - on a clear day, you can see four different states!  (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana.)
 
  Harold
Washington
Library
400 S. State Street - 0.8 miles east
Price: free! | 312.733-LIBRARY
Nation's largest municipal public library.  Open every day.
 
  Cultural Center 77 E. Randolph Street - 1.1 miles northeast
Price: free! | 312.744.6630
Extensive information on what you can see and do around the city.  Open every day.
 
  Art Institute
of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue - 1.2 miles east
Price: $$ | 312.443.3600
Open daily.
 
  Museum of
Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Avenue - 1.5 miles northeast
Price: $ | 312.280.2660
 
  Magnificent Mile 625 N. Michigan Avenue - 1.7 miles northeast
Price: depends on how much you shop | 312.642.3570
Chicago's premier shopping and dining district.
 
  Adler Planetarium 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive - 2.1 miles southeast
Price: $$ | 312.922.STAR
IMAX theatre and dome-theatre feature many fun shows each.  Open daily.
 
  Field Museum of
Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive - 2.2 miles southeast
Price: $$$ | 312.922.9410
Come visit SUE, the world's largest and most-complete T-rex skeleton!  Also has many other fun exhibits for your viewing pleasure.  Open daily.
 
  Shedd Aquarium 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive - 2.2 miles southeast
Price: $$$ | 312.939.2438
Aquarium and Oceanarium; has many sea life shows.  Open daily.
 
  Navy Pier 700 E. Grand Avenue - 2.4 miles northeast
Price: free to walk around; shows and attractions are extra | 312.595.7437
Great shopping, and also origin point for many Chicago River and shoreline boat tours.  Has an IMAX theatre, Shakespeare theatre, and a diverse fast-food court as well.  Large ferris wheel provides great views of the lake and skyline.  Open daily.
 
  Wrigley Field 1060 W. Addison Street - 6.1 miles north (CTA Red Line from CUS to Addison station)
Price: $$$ | 773.404.CUBS
Built in 1904, Wrigley Field is the second oldest surviving ballpark in the major league.  Tours available selected Saturdays in the summer.
 
  Museum of
Science and
Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive - 8.0 miles south
Price: $ | 773.684.1414
Includes a brand-new model railroad exhibit, modeling Amtrak's Empire Builder route from Chicago to Seattle!  Has many trains running simultaneously, as well, including Metra commuter trains and BNSF freights.  Oh, and some other science and industry things, too.
 
  Millennium Park Northwest corner of Grant Park.  (CTA bus 151 direct from CUS or CTA Green Line)
Price: free to walk around
Brand new public space with some spectacular architectural features.  BR Bridge, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Harris Theatre, Lurie Garden, Crown Fountain.
 

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