CBS Local — Amtrak says a special train ride taking passengers along the route of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse sold out in less than a day. The 409-seat passenger train will be traveling from Union Station in downtown Chicago to Carbondale, in far southern Illinois.
The special eclipse train will also pick up passengers in Champaign before arriving in Carbondale, where the historic event can been seen for more than 2 and a half minutes. Amtrak is handing out eclipse-viewing glasses to each of the passengers who paid up to $153 for a seat on the round-trip journey on Aug. 21.
Riders will be waking up early to catch their train that Monday. The Amtrak train will be leaving Chicago around 3 a.m. and Champaign at 5:05 a.m. before departing for Carbondale. The early start will give riders plenty of time to get ready to view the eclipse in Carbondale, which starts coming into view around 11:52 a.m. local time that morning. The solar eclipse won’t reach totality, the point where the moon almost completely covers the sun, until 1:20 p.m., local time.
The path of totality covers a 70-mile-wide lane that will cut across 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina. There are an estimated 12 million people, coast-to-coast, in the eclipse’s path. It will be the country’s first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in 99 years.