Amtrak Discounts Rates on Travel to View Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Good news for astronomy fans.  Amtrak has a special deal for passengers traveling to southern Illinois to get a few minutes’ glimpse at the total solar eclipse 2017.

For the first time in 99 years, a coast-to-coast total solar eclipse will occur in the United States on August 21.

According to, the far southern part of Illinois, not Chicago or Champaign, is the place to view totality.  Carbondale is right smack in the path of totality and there’s an Amtrak station right there in Carbondale. But don’t wait too long to get your ticket to Carbondale!

The city of Carbondale has planned an extraordinary Eclipse event. The entire city is getting ready and has tons of information including where to stay and eat during your visit. READ MORE HERE for information about the Carbondale Eclipse event.

Carbondale Eclipse Event

A total eclipse of the sun will last the longest in the Carbondale area.  The Carbondale Eclipse event is expecting thousands of people to attend this unique experience.  The amount of total darkness is less than three minutes in duration.

Passengers who want to ride Amtrak to Carbondale for the big event can board either the Illini or Saluki trains between Aug. 16 and Aug. 22.  Amtrak is offering up to a 30% discount of tickets.

Schedule for Amtrak

The two trains with the discount are the Saluki and Illini trains.  Both originate at Chicago’s Union Station and terminate in Carbondale.  Both trains would require an arrival on at least August 20, for the August 21  two minute and 38-second of totality that begins at 1:20pm.

The Saluki departs Chicago every day at 8:15am and arrives into Carbondale at 1:45pm.

The Illini departs Chicago every day at 4:05pm and arrives into Carbondale at 6:15pm.

Traveling coach to the event? Here are my suggestions for the best Amtrak coach travel experience.

Amtrak is a sponsor of the Carbondale Eclipse event.

Where else can you view the eclipse in totality? has tons of great information on what cities (and even what specific parts of each city) will have the best viewing of the total eclipse. You can even order special solar eclipse viewing glasses (I did!).

This looks like a spectacular (no pun intended!) experience.  And with an up to 30% discount on Amtrak to get to Carbondale, it’s the perfect way to spend a couple of days in southern Illinois.

Have fun and remember to wear special eye protection made only for viewing a solar eclipse.

Can’t make it to one of the many solar eclipse viewing spots across the country?  You can follow the sun’s path of darkness on NASA’s website.

Maps by Xavier Jubier of

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