Amtrak Downeaster trip turns into eclipse viewing party

Downeaster riders view eclipse from train

WELLS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Millions of people viewed today’s eclipse, but a few had a really unique vantage point.

They were on board the Amtrak’s Downeaster as it made its way through New Hampshire and Maine. They were able to view the eclipse while sitting in the train’s Great Dome rail car, which has large windows all around it. 

“So it was like, oh my word, we’re going to be on the train the entire time the eclipse is going on, so I thought I was going to miss it. So this ends up actually being pretty cool”, said passenger Scott LaJoie.

Even though LaJoie thought he was going to miss the eclipse, he was still prepared as the moon began covering up the sun.

“I built this little pin hole camera that i’ve been carrying around in my wallet all weekend”, he said.

Like LaJoie, most of the passengers on board the Downeaster had to view the eclipse the old fashioned way, with homemade devices, through pin holes. Benjamin Pavlik made a viewing box using the train’s food containers.

“So I was trying to remember how that worked. We got two food trays, put them together, made the pin hole. It was working a little bit”, he said.

He was thrilled just having the opportunity to experience the eclipse while traveling.  

“It’s very cool. There probably aren’t many people doing this, it’s a different way of doing it”, he said.

When Sidnee Goddard booked the trip, she wasn’t aware it was during the same time as the eclipse. When she found out the train had the Dome Car, she headed right up the stairs.

“This is awesome. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to see it because I was going to be on the train, but I brought my glasses with me”, she said.

The Dome Car just launched for the season on Saturday. It will run as part of the Downeaster Boston to Brunswick service through September 24th.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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