Lake Shore Limited: A Complete Rider Guide

The Lake Shore Limited is an overnight passenger train operated by Amtrak between Chicago and the Northeastern United States, including New York City and Boston stops. The major part of the route travels along Lake Erie’s southern coast.

The train is a descendant of the New York Central Railroad’s train of the same name, which ran over virtually the same route from 1897 until 1956. Amtrak temporarily restored the service as the Lake Shore from 1971 to 1972 before launching the contemporary Lake Shore Limited in 1975.

The Lake Shore Limited runs east from Chicago, following the historic main route of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway to South Bend, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo. The train continues along the Empire Corridor, passing via Rochester and Syracuse before arriving at Albany-Rensselaer Station in Rensselaer, New York. At the stop, the train splits, with one portion continuing to Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts, and the other continuing down the Empire Corridor to New York City. The nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) journey takes around 21 hours to complete.

Lake Shore Limited transported 351,049 passengers in fiscal year 2023, representing a 10% increase over FY2022.

Planning Your Lake Shore Limited Trip/Journey

Planning Your Lake Shore Limited Trip/Journey

How to Book Tickets and Reservations?

Online Booking: Amtrak offers a convenient online booking system at You can search for specific dates, routes, and fares, and easily make your reservations.

Phone Reservations: Prefer to speak to a representative? Call Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) to book your tickets over the phone.

What to Know About Baggage?

Checked Baggage: Amtrak allows a generous checked baggage allowance, typically varying based on the type of ticket you purchase. Visit the webpage for detailed information on fees and weight restrictions.

Carry-On Restrictions: Passengers are permitted to bring one carry-on bag (maximum dimensions: 28″ x 22″ x 14″) and one personal item (e.g., purse, backpack) onboard the train. Check the Amtrak website for specific size limitations.

Amenities Included in Your Ticket:

Your Lake Shore Limited ticket grants access to various amenities depending on your chosen travel class. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • WiFi: Stay connected throughout your trip with Amtrak’s complimentary WiFi service (availability may vary).
  • Meals: Passengers in Roomettes, Bedrooms, and Family Roomettes enjoy complimentary meals in the dining car. Coach and Business Class passengers can purchase meals from the Cafe Car.


Visit to get the most recent schedules and timetables.

Parking Information: 

Planning to drive to the station? Major stations along the route often offer parking facilities. Amtrak’s website or station information boards typically display parking availability and associated fees.

Your Onboard Experience

Seating Options on the Lake Shore Limited

Coach Class Seat:

Coach class is available on all Lake Shore Limited trains and has wide, reclining seats with plenty of legroom, no middle seat option, at-seat trays, reading lamps, and electric outlets. There are restrooms in each vehicle. Amtrak Guest Rewards customers who travel in Coach get 2 points per dollar spent.

Viewliner Roomette:

Amtrak Lake Shore Limited passengers looking for both privacy and savings in First Class, Roomettes offer:

  • Two comfy chairs by day changed into higher and lower beds at night.
  • Recently renovated bedding, pillows, towels, and linens
  • Access to a bathroom and shower in your vehicle.
  • A dedicated first-class attendant
  • Complimentary Lounge access
  • Priority Boarding
  • Complimentary food.

Once you’ve booked, your room number will be immediately issued. Your ticket will provide your precise vehicle and room number. Upon arrival, your First-class attendant will direct you to your room.

Viewliner Bedroom:

Amtrak Lake Shore Limited Train Offer For clients looking for lots of comfort and space in First Class. 

Bedroom features: 

  • 2 times the space of a roomette
  • Upgraded bedding, pillows, towels, and linens change the couch and chair into higher and lower beds at night.
  • In-room sink, toilet, and shower
  • A dedicated first-class attendant
  • Complimentary Lounge access
  • Priority Boarding
  • Complimentary food. 

Viewliner Bedroom Suite

For clients wanting the greatest First Class experience, Bedroom Suites combine two adjoining bedrooms and include:

  • 2 times the area of a bedroom.
  • The room features enhanced bedding, pillows, towels, and linens, as well as two sofas and chairs during the day that convert to upper and lower beds at night.
  • Two in-room sinks, bathrooms, and showers.
  • A dedicated first-class attendant
  • Complimentary Lounge access
  • Priority Boarding
  • Complimentary food.

Viewliner Accessible Bedroom

For clients wanting the greatest First Class experience, Bedroom Suites combine two adjoining bedrooms and include:

  • 2 times the area of a bedroom.
  • The room features enhanced bedding, pillows, towels, and linens, as well as two sofas and chairs during the day that convert to upper and lower beds at night.
  • Two in-room sinks, bathrooms, and showers.
  • A dedicated first-class attendant
  • Complimentary Lounge access
  • Priority Boarding
  • Complimentary food.

Dining Options:

Flexible Dining: Flexible meal service is an exclusive and complimentary product for private room clients aboard the Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, and Texas Eagle*.

  • A menu of hot, ready-to-serve options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • A large range of wine, beer, and spirits (the first is on us during dinner), as well as unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage
  • Exclusive aboard lounge for dining and socializing.
  • Your attendant provides complimentary room service.
  • Flexible dining hours without the need for reservations.

Cafe Service: Most Amtrak lines provide cafe service, with a selection of meals, snacks, and beverages for sale. Customers of all service levels are welcome to visit the Cafe, which is open from early morning to late night.

Sample Menus

Meals on This Train

Eastbound (48): Breakfast, Lunch
Eastbound (448): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Westbound (49): Dinner, Breakfast
Westbound (449): Lunch

Traveling with Pets

Take your small dog or cat with you on the train. Before you go, find out about the types of pets allowed, pet reservations and fares, approved pet carriers, and other information.

See the Complete Pet Program Guidelines

Popular Stops

  • New York City
  • Boston
  • Albany
  • Syracuse
  • Rochester
  • Buffalo
  • Cleveland
  • Sandusky
  • Toledo
  • South Bend
  • Chicago

Train Stations Served by the Lake Shore Limited

Most popular Amtrak Lake Shore Limited routes

Most popular Amtrak Lake Shore Limited routes

The Rensselaer to Boston route is Amtrak Lake Shore Limited’s most popular. Trips from Springfield to Boston and Boston to Pittsfield are also quite common. 


RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
Rensselaer to Boston1611h 41m$27
Springfield to Boston22h 24m$15
Boston to Pittsfield23h 48m$20
Chicago to Cleveland27h 8m$55
Waterloo to Chicago23h 21m$30
Chicago to New York120h 12m$101
South Bend to Chicago22h 5m$18
Syracuse to Boston28h 46m$45
Chicago to Rochester211h 30m$70

Major Attractions Along the Lake Shore Limited Route

Chicago, IllinoisMillennium Park, Navy Pier, Art Institute of ChicagoImage of Chicago, Illinois
South Bend, Indiana (University of Notre Dame)University of Notre Dame campus, Studebaker National Museum, South Bend Regional Museum of ArtImage of University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Toledo, OhioToledo Museum of Art, Toledo Zoo, Imagination StationImage of Toledo, Ohio
Cleveland, OhioRock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, Progressive FieldImage of Cleveland, Ohio
Erie, PennsylvaniaErie Zoo, Presque Isle State Park, Erie Maritime MuseumImage of Erie, Pennsylvania
Buffalo-Depew Station, NY (Gateway to Niagara Falls)Niagara Falls (accessible via taxi/shuttle/rental car – consider travel time from station)Image of Niagara Falls, New York
Rochester, New YorkStrong National Museum of Play, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Memorial Art GalleryImage of Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New YorkMuseum of the City of Syracuse, Everson Museum of ArtImage of Syracuse, New York
Albany-Rensselaer Station, NYNew York State Museum, Albany Capital Building, Schuyler MansionImage of AlbanyRensselaer Station, NY
Boston, MassachusettsFreedom Trail, Fenway Park, Quincy Market, Boston Harbor Islands National and State ParkImage of Boston, Massachusetts
New York CityEmpire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Broadway Shows, Metropolitan Museum of ArtImage of New York City

Contact Us

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History of the Lake Shore Limited

“Lake Shore” was the nickname given to the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad, which began service between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania in 1852 (source). This railroad combined with others to form the New York Central Railroad. Beginning in 1897, New York Central officially utilized the term Lake Shore Limited for their first luxury train line between Chicago and New York City. Amtrak resurrected the route, known as the Lake Shore, in 1971 and 1972 after service was discontinued in 1956. The line reopened in 1975 and has been operating since then under the name Lake Shore Limited.


Do Amtrak Lake Shore Limited trains have WiFi?

Yes, Amtrak Lake Shore Limited provides WiFi on its trains. Although most Amtrak Lake Shore Limited journeys will have WiFi as stated, certain trains may not have it, and onboard WiFi may lose connectivity in rural regions. We urge that you bring a book or download a movie simply to be safe. Amtrak Lake Shore Limited WiFi is typically best utilized for browsing the web, reading emails, and talking with friends; don’t expect to binge-watch your favorite program.

Are there power outlets or USB plugs on the train?

Yes, there are power outlets aboard Amtrak Lake Shore Limited trains. You can usually find one or two outlets in each row of seats, so be a considerate traveler and check to see if your seatmate wants to charge their electronics as well. The onboard power outlets allow you to charge both a computer and USB devices using a USB power adapter, which is normally included with most phones and tablets.
Because Amtrak Lake Shore Limited may sometimes employ replacement train units, not all journeys are guaranteed to include power ports. We suggest bringing a power bank to charge your phone for any journeys longer than 2 hours, just in case.

What is Amtrak Lake Shore Limited’s schedule?

Amtrak Lake Shore Limited typically has 250 scheduled train runs every day. However, the actual departure and arrival hours vary according to the day and route. To get the precise timetable for your journey, utilize the search function on this page.

Can you pick up will-call tickets at the station?

No, Amtrak Lake Shore Limited does not provide will-call tickets. Purchase your tickets online and ensure that you have everything you need to board before arriving at the station.

Do you need an ID to get on the train?

Yes, Amtrak Lake Shore Limited asks you to submit your ID to a representative before boarding the train. Make sure you have government-issued identification that matches the carrier’s standards. Alternative IDs, such as a college ID, will not work.

Are there bathrooms on Amtrak Lake Shore Limited trains?

Yes, there are restrooms on Amtrak Lake Shore Limited trains. The restrooms are rather basic, with a toilet, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Most restrooms do not have running water. Please exercise caution and hang on to a rail while using a restroom on a moving vehicle.

Are meals or beverages available?

Amtrak Lake Shore Limited delivers refreshments to keep you fed during your journey. Make sure to have a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.

Do you have to print your Amtrak Lake Shore Limited ticket?

The Amtrak Lake Shore Limited does not require a paper ticket to board the train. Instead, when you make your reservation, you will receive an eTicket via email. You can show the ticketing agent this eTicket on your smartphone as you board.

Does Amtrak Lake Shore Limited offer any premium features like extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak Lake Shore Limited goes above and above for its customers by providing premium features.
Do you find yourself squashed on a regular seat, or do you like having more room to spread out? You’re fortunate because Amtrak Lake Shore Limited offers extra legroom seating. Because there is no standard for what extra legroom is, the extra space you receive may differ between train lines, although having extra is usually beneficial.

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