The Louisiana Association of Railroad Passengers will celebrate National Train Day in May of 2015. Check back for details of where Amtrak will be holding events. Amtrak will be doing a rolling National Train Day this year and LARP has asked Amtrak to make New Orleans one of its stops. We would like to see a robust celebration of train travel here in New Orleans this year!
What is National Train Day, and why is it?
This is the 6th year that it has been celebrated. Its purpose is to show how trains impact our lives on a daily basis, both those driver detested freight trains and the passenger trains, that bring us our food and all the products we use in our daily lives and give us a very green friendly way to travel.
Rail use has been a very important part of our lives and the growth of this country for over a hundred years. So May 11th. has been set aside as the day to recognize that importance.
Here in New Orleans we celebrated this day at the Union Passenger Terminal New Orleans. This is our local train station that serves Amtrak and three of their trains.
The event was presented by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). They are the ones that have run U.S. passenger trains since 1970.
Our group was there with the purpose of letting folks know about us and our work.
Many other groups concerned other rail issues were represented, including Operation Lifesaver- a group dedicated to safety around trains.
One of the most important programs to this writer is rail crossing safety. After all f these years of co-existance of vehicles (cars and trucks) way too many drivers still think they can beat a train. The same goes for people on foot.
National Park Service was here with information on their Rails and Trails Program. With this program they have volunteer guides on the trains leaving out of New Orleans and those arriving on the history of the route and places along the way. Your s truly has signed up to be a volunteer with this program.
Amtrak had a number of exhibits set up also, helping people plan a train trip, hints on traveling on the train and what to expect.
Did you know that you can get to over 500 different cities and towns in the U.S. and into Canada? Yep! that you can. One day I will have to count how many of them I have visited or passed through.
After showing you how easy it is to make travel plans, get reservations, buy your tickets Amtrak had one of their train sets for you to go aboard and see the amount of comfort space there is , the size of the seats, and space between them. A easy walk from either your sleeper or coach seat to the restrooms, cafe car, and then wonders of wonders a dinning car where you can sit down to a hot meal, and drinks served by friendly car attendants. Depending on your trip you may get to enjoy the dinning car experience three times. Breakfast , lunch , and dinner are served.
It was a train set up and ready to roll out of the station. I think it may have been the actual “City of New Orleans” , ready for her passengers and the over night trip to Chicago.
To start the day off there were many n the station waiting to board the “Sunset Limited” leaving at 9am. for Los Angeles.
Of course to me and a major highlight every year is the area for my favorite people , The children’s area, with their favorite cartoon character “Chuggington” the train engine. Not to sure of what this guys role is, I have no young kids to have too keep up with these important things. What I love most about the kids and trains is the wonder, excitement and attention on their faces the whole time.
There was a very good size crowd checking everything out . If you were there thank you for attending , if not please be sure to check out the event next year.
When you attend next year be sure to look us up at our table , sit and chat with us a while. We would love to chat with you. And who knows, you may just decide to join and help us on our projects. Maybe you will take a train trip in the mean time.
The future of rail travel is important to us all.