Getting to Illinois College by Air or Train

Illinois College is located in the heartland of the United States, in the center of the State of Illinois, with access to public transportation — air and train service — in nearby Springfield, Illinois. Reaching IC by air and/or train means getting to Springfield (SPI) and then using shuttles arranged by Illinois College.
Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport (SPI) in Springfield is the closest commercial airport; St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) is a larger hub 90 miles to the south; and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), about 200 miles to the north, connects to airports around the globe.

For new students coming to campus for the first time, we recommend booking flight connections all the way to Springfield, Illinois (SPI). This is definitely easiest with luggage. After students are familiar with the area, they often make flight arrangements only to/from Chicago (ORD) or St. Louis (STL), and then rely on the train. (See below for specifics.) If you have a connecting flight through Canada, it is possible that all border crossing procedures take place there before you board your flight to the U.S.

Arriving from abroad: Note that in the U.S., you must clear Immigration and Customs at your port of entry, i.e., at the first place where you arrive in the country. This could be Chicago, New York, Seattle, or anywhere else. Even if your luggage is checked through to Springfield, Illinois (SPI), you must pick up your luggage before clearing Customs, then re-check your bags, and only then continue your flight.

Springfield Capital Airport (SPI) is small enough that you cannot get lost. From there, shuttles will get you to the Illinois College campus.

Springfield, located on one of the major Amtrak lines of the country, currently offers five runs daily of the “Lincoln Service” and “Texas Eagle” in each direction between Springfield (SPI) and Chicago Union Station (CHI) or St. Louis Amtrak Station (STL). Beyond that, Amtrak busses connect to additional train routes across the country, including the East Coast, the West Coast, and the South. Click here for a map of Amtrak routes in Illinois. To find a schedule overview in downloadable PDF format click here.

In Chicago and St. Louis, local rail service conveniently links the Amtrak stations with the airports.
Note: Current construction for high-speed rail service between Chicago and St. Louis will at times require schedule adjustments. For the most up-to-date information on Amtrak routes, schedules, and reservations, visit the Amtrak website.

The Springfield Amtrak station is open and staffed every day 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The station and waiting lounge are small enough that you cannot get lost. From there, shuttles will get you to the Illinois College campus.

The long-distance Greyhound bus line has its Springfield, Illinois bus station at a business on the north end of the city: Shaner's Tires, 2815 N. Dirksen Parkway, phone 217.744.3611 (across from Walmart, open 24 hours).  Except in the middle of the night, when the business is closed, the station is staffed and offers an indoor waiting area. Nearby businesses are open 24 hours.


IC Rides provides shuttle transportation between the airport and train station in Springfield, Illinois (SPI) and the campus at the beginning and end of the semester, and at the time of breaks. Every effort has been made to offer a suitable schedule for the year. Please plan your travel accordingly. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance in order to assure pickup.
 New incoming students: Note that International Student Orientation, Registration Days and Welcome Week take place before the semester and hence are not included in the regular IC Rides schedule. For pickup in Springfield, please contact your admissions counselor and provide your full travel information (date, times, flight numbers or trains for all air and ground travel) for your shuttle arrangements.


Generally when making travel arrangements, allow enough time for connections between flights at different airport terminals, or for the transit between airport and train station: 
   :: For connecting flights in Chicago, allow two hours of layover between domestic flights; three 
      hours between an incoming international flight and the flight into Springfield. 
   :: If you fly into Chicago and then plan to take the train to Springfield, allow three hours between 
      the scheduled arrival of a domestic flight (i.e., originating in the U.S.) and departure of the train;
      four hours between the scheduled arrival of an international flight and departure of the train. 
   :: If you fly into St. Louis and then plan to take the train to Springfield, allow two hours between
      the scheduled arrival of the flight and departure of the train. 
   :: Note that the last train of the day from Chicago to Springfield departs at 7 p.m., the last train
      from St. Louis to Springfield departs at 5:30 p.m.
   Specific Chicago airport/train information.
  Specific St. Louis airport/train information.
  Information specifically for international students.

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