Amtrak Lincoln Service Train: A Complete Rider Guide 

The Lincoln Service is a 284-mile (457-kilometer) higher-speed train service provided by Amtrak between Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. The train is part of the Illinois Service, which the Illinois Department of Transportation partly supports. The train travels along the same path as the long-distance Texas Eagle, which continues to San Antonio and Los Angeles. St. Louis has a link to the Missouri River Runner, which travels to Kansas City.

As of June 2023, the average travel time between Chicago and St. Louis was 4 hours and 59 minutes.

During fiscal year 2023, the Lincoln Service trains transported 523,304 passengers, a 9.9% increase over FY2022.[5] This is a 16.7% decline from the pre-COVID-19 pandemic ridership of 627,599 passengers in FY2019. In FY2015, the service’s total income was $14,266,964, a 1.3% drop from FY2015.

Planning Your Trip

Booking Tickets:

Lincoln Service Train Booking Tickets

Online Booking Process: 

Amtrak offers a user-friendly website ( where you can book your Lincoln Service train tickets. The process is straightforward:

  • Select your origin station (Chicago) and destination (St. Louis) from the provided menus.
  • Choose your travel date and preferred departure time by browsing the available schedules.
  • Select the number of passengers and choose your desired seating class (more on classes below).
  • The system will display available fares and any applicable discounts (explained further down).
  • Proceed to secure your reservation by following the on-screen prompts for payment and confirmation.

Ticketing Options (Classes, Discounts):

Amtrak offers different classes of service on the Lincoln Service trains to cater to your needs and budget. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Coach Class: The most affordable option, offering comfortable seating with ample legroom.
  • Business Class: Provides a more relaxing experience with wider seats, extra legroom, and access to complimentary beverages and snacks.

You might be eligible for discounts on your Lincoln Service tickets. Be sure to check the Amtrak website for available deals, which can include:

  • Senior Discounts: Offered to passengers aged 65 and over.
  • AAA Discounts: These are available to AAA members who present their membership card.
  • Group Discounts: Applicable for groups of 10 or more passengers traveling together.
  • Early Booking Discounts: Sometimes offered for reservations made well in advance.

Mobile App Benefits: 

Download the Amtrak mobile app ( for a convenient way to manage your Lincoln Service trip:

  • Book and manage your reservations on the go.
  • Access and display your e-tickets for easy boarding.
  • View real-time train schedules and track any potential delays.
  • Receive mobile notifications about your trip status and gate assignments.

Schedule Highlights

  • Every day, multiple trains travel along this route.
  • It takes about two hours to travel from St. Louis to Springfield.
  • The travel time between Chicago and Springfield is approximately 3.5 hours.
  • The travel time between Chicago and St. Louis is approximately 5 hours.

Visit to view the most recent schedules and timetables.

Choosing Your Station:

Choosing Your Amtrak Lincoln Service Train Station

Station Amenities (Parking, Lounges, Accessibility) at Chicago and St. Louis Stations:

Both Chicago Union Station and St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center offer a variety of amenities to enhance your travel experience, including:

  • Secure parking facilities (charges may apply).
  • Comfortable waiting areas with seating and restrooms.
  • Accessible elevators and ramps for passengers with disabilities.
  • On-site shops and restaurants for grabbing a bite or browsing souvenirs.
  • Business centers are available for those needing to work before or after their trip (availability may vary).
  • Amtrak lounges (accessibility may differ by membership status) offer a more relaxing pre-boarding space.

Smaller Station Information (Limited Services): 

The Lincoln Service train makes stops at several smaller stations between Chicago and St. Louis. Be aware that these stations may have limited amenities compared to the major hubs. Here’s what to expect:

  • Limited parking availability (plan accordingly).
  • Basic waiting areas with minimal facilities.
  • Reduced accessibility options (check with Amtrak for specific stations).
  • No shops, restaurants, or lounges on-site.

Popular Stops

  • Chicago
  • Springfield
  • St. Louis


Most popular Amtrak Lincoln Service routes

Amtrak Lincoln Service routes

The most popular route for Amtrak Lincoln Service is the train from St. Louis to Normal. Trips from Chicago to Joliet and St. Louis to Springfield are also extremely common.


RouteDaily TripsDurationPrice
St Louis to Normal32h 34m$16
Chicago to Joliet30h 52m$7
St Louis to Springfield31h 41m$14
Joliet to St Louis34h 3m$26
Alton to Chicago34h 16m$24
Chicago to Springfield33h 2m$20
Chicago to Normal32h 3m$13
Chicago to St Louis34h 56m$27
Normal to Joliet31h 19m$8

Onboard Experience

Seating options:

Coach Class Seat

Coach class is available on all Amtrak trains, including Lincoln Service, and has wide, reclining seats with considerable legroom, no middle seat option, and at-seat trays, reading lights, and power outlets. There are restrooms in each car. Amtrak Guest Rewards customers who travel in Coach earn 2 points per dollar spent.

Business Class Seat

Enjoy the exclusive benefits of traveling in Business Class, a premium, enhanced experience available on most corridor trains throughout the Amtrak system. Specific characteristics vary per route, but Business Class provides increased legroom, a wide and comfy seat, and a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage (not available in Acela Business Class). Seat selection is available on several routes in the Northeast, making boarding easier and eliminating the guesswork of selecting a seat. Additionally, Business Class travelers earn a 25% bonus on Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

Amenities onboard:

Cafe Service 

Amtrak Lincoln Service Train has a 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.

WiFi Onboard

This free WiFi connection allows for typical online browsing activities. Due to limited bandwidth onboard the trains, their WiFi does not handle high-bandwidth activities such as music streaming, video streaming, or large file downloads.

Tips for a Smooth Ride

  • Pack light: Carry-on or backpack for easy storage.
  • Dress comfy: Layers for temperature changes.
  • Bring essentials: Water bottle, snacks, sanitizer, meds.
  • Download entertainment: Movies, audiobooks, podcasts (with headphones!).
  • Arrive early: Avoid last-minute stress.
  • Stay safe & secure:
    • Be aware of your surroundings & valuables.
    • Know emergency exits & procedures.
    • Secure luggage in overhead compartments.
    • Report suspicious activity to Amtrak crew.
  • Travel etiquette:
    • Be respectful of noise levels (headphones!).
    • Manage personal space (seats and belongings).
    • Clean up after yourself (use trash bins).
    • Be courteous to Amtrak staff.

Contact information for Amtrak 

Amtrak website:

Amtrak phone number: 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)

Resources for further information on Chicago and St. Louis tourism

Here are some resources for further information on Chicago and St. Louis tourism:


St. Louis:

FAQs For Amtrak Lincoln Service Train

Do Amtrak Lincoln Service trains have WiFi?

Yes, Amtrak Lincoln Service provides Wi-Fi on its trains. Although most Amtrak Lincoln Service excursions will have WiFi as stated, certain trains may not have WiFi, and onboard WiFi may lose connectivity in remote locations. To be safe, we suggest bringing a book or downloading a movie. Amtrak Lincoln service WiFi is best used for browsing the web, reading emails, and talking with friends; don’t rely on it to binge-watch your favorite program.

Are there power outlets or USB plugs on the train?

Yes, there are power outlets aboard the Amtrak Lincoln Service 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 Lincoln Service may sometimes employ replacement train cars, not all journeys are guaranteed to include power outlets. We suggest bringing a power bank to charge your phone for any journeys longer than 2 hours, just in case.

What is Amtrak Lincoln Service’s schedule?

On a normal day, Amtrak Lincoln Service operates 108 train journeys. 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 Lincoln Service 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 Lincoln Service 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 Lincoln Service trains?

Yes, there are restrooms aboard Amtrak Lincoln Service trains. The restrooms are rather basic, with a toilet, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Most restrooms do not have running water. Please exercise care and hang on to a rail when using a restroom in a moving vehicle.

Are meals or beverages available?

Amtrak Lincoln Service offers food to keep you satisfied throughout your journey. Make sure to have a credit card and some cash in case you get hungry.

Do you have to print your Amtrak Lincoln Service ticket?

Amtrak Lincoln Service does not need a paper ticket to board the train. Instead, when you make your reservation, you will get an eTicket via email. You may show the ticketing agent this eTicket on your smartphone as you board.

Does Amtrak Lincoln Service offer any premium features like extra legroom or movies?

Amtrak Lincoln Service goes above and above for its customers by providing premium extras.
Do you find yourself squashed on a standard seat, or do you like having more space to spread out? You’re in luck, since Amtrak Lincoln Service has extra legroom seats. Because there is no standard for what additional legroom is, the extra space you get may differ across train lines, although having more is usually beneficial.

Leave a Comment