AmtrakCapitol Limited

Amtrak Capitol Limited: 11 Things You Need To Know Before Riding

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The Capitol Limited is the best way to get from Chicago to Washington D.C. on Amtrak.

Does the Capitol Limited have a dining car

The Capitol Limited does have a dining car. The dining car on the Capitol Limited serves the flexible dining menu. Dining car meals are included in the ticket price of sleeping coach passengers and will be available for purchase to coach passengers in late 2022.

There is also a cafe on board the Capitol Limited, which is located on the lower level of the observation car. The cafe is open to all passengers to purchase hot and cold food throughout the day.

What is a Capitol Limited Roomette Like

The roomette rooms on the California Zephyr will be Superliner Roomettes. They feature two chairs that face each other during the day. At night the two chairs slide together to form a lower bed and the upper berth folds down from the ceiling. There are no bathrooms or showers in the superliner roomettes. Bathrooms are located down the hall and there is a shower on the lower level for roomette passengers.

Doors on superliner roomettes will lock from the inside, but not the outside when you are out of your room. Access to the car is limited to sleeping coach passengers.

There is only one power outlet in the superliner roomette, so be sure to bring an adapter or portable charging station, as we’ve talked about in our 20 must have items for an Amtrak trip.

Capitol Limited
Capitol Limited Roomette at night

What Is A Capitol Limited Bedroom Like

Bedrooms on the Capitol Limited will be Superliner Bedrooms and are more spacious than a roomette. During the day a bedroom will have a couch on one side and a chair that faces it on the other. At night the couch folds down like a futon to form the lower bed and the upper berth folds down from the ceiling. Superliner Bedrooms have a private bathroom with an all in one shower and toilet area. Next to the couch there is a sink and counter area.

All bedrooms are on the upper level of the train, except the accessible bedroom and family bedroom, which are on the lower level.

Capitol Limited
Capitol Limited Bedroom

What days does the Capitol Limited run

The Amtrak Capitol Limited runs every day in both east and west directions. There is one daily departure from Chicago at 6:40pm and one daily departure from Washington D.C. at 4:05pm on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Capitol Limited is not a hop on hop off train, you’ll need a ticket each time you get off and get back on the next day.

Where Should You Stay In Washington D.C. and Chicago

If you’d like to stay close to Union Station before or after your visit, we recommend the Hyatt Place Chicago Downtown – The Loop, which is about a 5 minute walk from the station. We have also stayed at the La Quinta near the station and loved it.

In Washington D.C. our favorite hotel near Union Station is the Phoenix Park Hotel. We’ve stayed there many times and it is the closest hotel to the station.

Does the Capitol Limited have WiFi

The Amtrak Capitol Limited does not have WiFi. While many Amtrak trains have WiFi connections on board, the California Zephyr as well as most of the cross country train routes do not as there are many areas where they would lose service. In some parts of the route you will not have cell service either.

How long are the stops on the Capitol Limited

Most stops on the Amtrak Capitol Limited are 3 minutes. Every few hours there is a fresh air break stop, which lasts 10-15 minutes, and a few times on the trip there will be a crew change stop which will last around 30 minutes. You are allowed to get off the train during a fresh air break or a crew change stop but not the shorter stops. You should never leave the platform and you should be ready to board when all aboard is called.

How long does the Capitol Limited take

The Capitol Limited takes 18 hours from Washington D.C. to Chicago. You’ll be on the train for one night.

Is the Capitol Limited a Superliner train

The Capitol Limited is a Superliner train. It will carry both Superliner I and Superliner II sleeping cars. There is very little difference between the Superliner I and Superliner II sleeping cars. Most notably the public restrooms in the Superliner I cars are bigger than those of the Superliner II. If you are in a sleeper car you will not get a choice of which type of car you will be in.

California Zephyr bathroom
Larger Superliner I bathroom

Is the Capitol Limited Worth It

The Capitol Limited is a comfortable way to get from Chicago to Washington D.C. and is worth the money. Taking only one night, it is an easy ride, and you’ll be able to take in many sights along the way that you normally wouldn’t see when driving or flying.

Where does the Capitol Limited stop

Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 5 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 1 million images in the last 20 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.