Amtrak, the national passenger rail service in the United States, launches its new celebration of passenger train travel today, May 9th. Amtrak Train Days is a mobile and multiple event that officially kicks off at Chicago Union Station (10 AM Central Time) and includes the Amtrak Exhibit Train, which offers free tours of three display cars featuring Amtrak memorabilia and artifacts. From May to November, the train then travels to select locations across the US.
Amtrak Train Days is an expansion of Amtrak’s previous one-day National Train Day event, which began in 2008. Passenger rail advocates are invited by Amtrak to host their own local Amtrak Train Days event, whether it coincides with the May 9th launch date or another day of their choosing. In the American West, Colorado plays host to a number of Amtrak Train Days events. On the May 9th kick off, the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden and the 2015 Glenwood Rail Fair (Glenwood Springs, CO) mark the event. The state will then host two Fall stops for the Amtrak Exhibit Train in conjunction with Amtrak Train Days. On Saturday, October 3rd, an event will take place at the newly-refurbished and reopened Union Station in Denver. One week later, on October 10th, the train arrives in Grand Junction, in the western part of the state.
One of the goals of the event is to share Amtrak’s Reasons to Ride information about the positive benefits of passenger train travel. On its Travel Green page, Amtrak cites recent US Department of Energy data to relay that Amtrak is 11% more efficient than domestic airline travel & 31% more efficient than automobile travel per-passenger mile. Some 31 million passengers rode Amtrak trains in its fiscal year 2014.
Further official information about the upcoming events & ways that communities can become involved can be found at Amtrak Train Days. The following is an official promo video for the events:
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)