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City of New Orleans


Chicago - Memphis - New Orleans

The City of New Orleans service by Amtrak takes you on a musical journey from Chicago to New Orleans. Explore the heartland of America as the train passes through vibrant cities, small towns, and picturesque countryside. Experience the rhythm and soul of the South, immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage and music scene.

Relax in comfortable seating or private sleeping accommodations and indulge in amenities like a dining car serving delectable meals and a lounge where you can socialize and enjoy live performances. With the City of New Orleans service, Amtrak provides an unforgettable travel experience that combines the joy of train travel with the vibrant spirit of the South.

19 hours

Trip Time

934 mi (1,503 km)

Trip Length



Route Highlights

Chicago, Illinois: The journey begins in Chicago, a city known for its stunning architecture, world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, and famous deep-dish pizza. Don't miss exploring Millennium Park and its iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as "The Bean."

Illinois Countryside: As the train departs Chicago, it moves through Illinois' fertile farmlands and small, historic towns. Passengers can watch the changing landscapes and imagine the rich agricultural history of the region.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois: Home to the University of Illinois, this twin city offers an exciting blend of educational vigor and Midwestern charm. From its beautiful parks to the Krannert Art Museum, it reflects a community rich in cultural attractions.

Effingham, Illinois: Known for its crossroads location, Effingham is famous for the world's third-largest cross, standing at 198 feet. The city offers a look into the spiritual and cultural lives of small-town America.

Mississippi River Crossing: The train's passage across the mighty Mississippi River is a highlight, offering stunning views of the river's vast expanse. The crossing, often near St. Louis' Gateway Arch, symbolizes a transition from the Midwest to the South.

Memphis, Tennessee: Home to the blues and Elvis Presley's Graceland, Memphis offers a rich musical heritage. Explore Beale Street for live music, or visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel for a historical perspective.

Mississippi Delta: The route through the Mississippi Delta offers views of sprawling cotton fields and swampy landscapes, representing the deep agricultural and cultural roots of the region. This area has profoundly influenced American music, particularly the blues.

Jackson, Mississippi: The state capital offers attractions like the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Jackson Zoological Park. The city's mix of history, art, and Southern charm makes it a noteworthy stop.

Cajun Country, Louisiana: As the train moves into Louisiana, the unique Cajun culture emerges. The region is known for its vibrant music, flavorful cuisine, and unique French Creole heritage.

Lake Pontchartrain: Crossing the long stretch over Lake Pontchartrain offers expansive views of this massive lake. It's a serene and beautiful part of the journey, reflecting Louisiana's intricate relationship with water.

New Orleans, Louisiana: The journey ends in the festive city of New Orleans, famous for Mardi Gras, jazz, and Creole cuisine. Explore the French Quarter, take a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi, or indulge in beignets at Café du Monde.


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