Am­trak’s so­lar eclipse train sells out in 22 hours

The Commercial Appeal - - Viewpoint -

USA TO­DAY

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.

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