Amtrak’s solar eclipse train sells out in 22 hours
Next week’s solar eclipse is delivering some welcome financial news to Amtrak.
The national passenger rail system’s special round-trip train service to and from the best eclipse viewing area in southern Illinois sold out in less than a day, Amtrak told the Associated Press on Saturday.
In Carbondale, the first U.S. solar eclipse since 1979 — and the first to sweep coast-to-coast across the nation in nearly a century — is forecast to have what Amtrak bills as one of the celestial event’s longest durations, roughly 2 minutes, 38 seconds.
The train is scheduled to leave Chicago at 3 a.m. CDT Aug. 21 and pull out of Champaign at 5:05a.m. CDT, early enough to get to Carbondale for the afternoon eclipse.
Seats on the special train cost $153 for an adult making the round-trip journey from Chicago and $90 for an adult who boards in Champaign.
The eclipse train sell-out is good for the bottom line of Amtrak, which is worried about funding. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut $630 million from Amtrak’s long-distance service.