Everything You Need to Know About Riding the Hawkeye Express

Fall equals football. And in the Corridor, Fall equals Iowa Hawkeye Football!! Our family bleeds black and gold. And when it’s time to head to Kinnick, we love to ride on the Hawkeye Express Train!! There’s no need to worry about finding or paying for parking, the trip is quick, and it’s a lot of fun!!

I’ll even let you in on a little secret…one of our favorite things to do is take the Hawkeye Express to Kinnick before the game, enjoy the pre-game festivities in the rec building, high-five Herky, get some yummy food on Melrose, then jump back on to head back and watch the game at home or our favorite restaurant!

Hawkeye ExpressIf you’re considering taking the Hawkeye Express to the next Iowa Hawkeye home football game, here are all the details you need to know!!

What is the Hawkeye Express?

The Hawkeye Express train is operated by the Iowa Northern Railway Company. It’s comprised of six bi-level commuter cars and can hold around 1300 people on each trip! There are benches for seating that hold 2-3 people/bench on the lower level with standing room as well. Upstairs there are long benches along the windows, which give you a great view along the ride and is our favorite place to sit!

Where is the Hawkeye Express?

The Hawkeye Express boarding area is located by IHOP and the Comfort Suites in Coralville. The address is 2435 James St, Coralville, IA 52241. There is free parking in lots by the plaza, or you can park by Coral Ridge Mall and walk over. The train leaves from Coralville and stops right by Kinnick, just below Melrose Ave.

How much does it cost to ride the Hawkeye Express?

The cost for a round-trip ticket on the Hawkeye Express is $15/person ages 13 and up.  Kids ages 12 and under are free!! You can purchase tickets in advance at the University of Iowa Athletics Ticket office in Carver Hawkeye Arena from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Mon-Fri, or on game day at the Hawkeye Express Depot located by IHOP. Bring cash if you’re paying at the Depot!

When does the Hawkeye Express run?

For all Hawkeye football games the Hawkeye Express starts running 3 hours before kick-off, regardless of kick-off time. To confirm the schedule, check the Hawkeye Express Facebook page! The train runs every thirty minutes, and the ride is about eight minutes one-way. It gets busier closer to kick-off, but the early runs and last run are not usually full.

The last train to Kinnick leaves Coralville at kick-off time.  No trains run during the game until the start of the 4th quarter, when service resumes. Trains run every 30 minutes from Kinnick to Coralville until 90 minutes after the end of the game. Visit the Iowa Football Gameday website to see where to get on the train at Kinnick and for more details!

What else do I need to know?

The Hawkeye Express is not wheelchair accessible, so if you have a wheelchair, you should plan to park in a reserved space at Kinnick stadium.  You can take a stroller on the Hawkeye Express. I’d plan to take a small umbrella stroller or baby wear if you have a small child. Remember, whatever you take on the train you also have to haul up the stairs to get up to street level once you get to Kinnick!!

The lines get longer the closer you get to kick-off, so plan accordingly! Keep an eye on little ones so they don’t get separated from you! If you plan to head back on the train before kick-off, you can ride any train back.  But remember that the last train leaves Coralville at kick-off and gets to Kinnick eight minutes later. They don’t wait long to leave after getting there, so be sure you’re there ready and waiting to get on as soon as passengers get off! You don’t want to be stuck at Kinnick for three quarters if you don’t want to be! The staff is very friendly and will help you if you need it!

The line can be very long after the game. If you are taking small children, grab some snacks and activities for them to do while you wait! Or consider leaving early to avoid the line.

If you’re planning to tailgate with little ones, check out our Guide to Tailgating with Toddlers!

Wondering what to do when you get there? There are tons of fun things to do just outside of Kinnick stadium before kick-off, including the family-friendly tailgate in the Krause Family Plaza and the Hawkeye Marching Band pregame show that starts 1 hour and 15 minutes before the game in the rec building. Click here for more details on the Hawkeye pregame tailgate and Hawkeye Marching Band pregame show.

Happy traveling and GO HAWKS!!

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