Amtrak RoutesCardinal

Amtrak Cardinal Route Guide

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The Amtrak Cardinal will take you from New York to Chicago. This particular route offers unforgettable views of the stunning beauty in this area. You’ll see gently rolling horse country, the Blue Ridge, Allegheny Mountains, and Shenandoah Valley as well as the white water rivers of West Virginia.

The Cardinal will take you from New York to Chicago via Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Alexandria, Charleston, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

Train Info

Observation Car No
Dining CarYes
Distance1,146 Miles
Time28 Hours

Ticket Options

On the Cardinal you can purchase tickets in these categories:

  • Coach ($200)
  • Viewliner Roomette ($628)
  • Viewliner Bedroom ($1,191)

Scenic Views

The Cardinal train route offers spectacular views depending on the time of the year you ride. If you go during autumn, you will be treated to a delightful view of fall colors. You will also enjoy the Ohio River, Shenandoah Valley, the New River Gorge and views of the big cities of Chicago and New York. Don’t miss the rolling hills, historic small towns, rivers and mountains that sit in plain sight between two of America’s largest cities.

New York City

Major Stations

The Amtrak Cardinal visits the major stations of New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Alexandria, Charleston, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago.

States Visited

The Amtrak Cardinal travels through several states starting in New York, then on to New Jersey, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Station Reviews

The Cardinal has terminus stations of New York City on one end and Chicago on the other. Chicago Union Station and Moynihan Train Hall are both tourist attractions as well as very busy inter modal stations. You will want to arrive a bit early to tour the stations. There are plenty of options for food and shops if you need anything while you are waiting. Both stations also have very nice Metropolitan Lounges as well as free baggage check.

Penn Station – Moynihan Train Hall

You will board your Amtrak train in Moynihan Train Hall in New York. It’s a gorgeous hall with 92 ft high skylights and modern amenities. It is a world class station. You will find restaurants as well as convenience stores.

There are lots of options for hotels near this station. The closest option is the Fairfield Inn & Suites Penn Station.

Chicago Union Station

Union Station in Chicago is perhaps the finest Amtrak station in the country. It offers easy access in the heart of Downtown Chicago and features the best Metropolitan Lounge you will find. There are plenty of fast food restaurants within the station where you can get food to bring back to the new 2 level Metropolitan Lounge. The entire station has a nice decor that makes you feel like you are about to take a special trip.

Union Station In 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.

Trip Planning

The Cardinal can be paired with several other trains for a longer vacation. You can jump on any train leaving New York City, of which our favorite is the Lake Shore Limited. From Chicago you could go west on the Empire Builder to Seattle or adventure to California on the Texas Eagle or California Zephyr.

Booking Tickets

Tickets for Amtrak can be booked at or by using their app on your phone. Reservations can also be made by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Allie Marmion
Allie is married to Rob and has been traveling with him across the world for the last two years. She is an accomplished personal trainer, speaker and author.