Amtrak has now launched its first national on-board magazine, appropriately titled The National. With the tagline of “See Where the Train Can Take You”, the free magazine will be available across Amtrak’s passenger rail network in seatbacks (the back support of a seat directly in front of a traveler). Amtrak trains serve over 500 stations across 46 US states, and reach into Canada at three different points. A digital site for The National can also be accessed across a variety of electronic, mobile, and social media platforms.
The first issue of The National showcases a variety of writing and images. Included in the magazine’s debut are reflections on being the grandson of a passenger train conductor, an interview with Gloria Steinem, photography from Amtrak’s Empire Builder route, poetry from Young People’s Poet Laureate, Jacqueline Woodson, and newly-discovered writings from Beat icon Jack Kerouac.
There will be a number of sections & themes that will be recurring in The National. They include: Rail Life (vignettes of people, places & experiences across the US), Made in America (profiles of US companies), Next Stop (features on efforts to preserve or highlight aspects of American culture or history), Photography Highlight (featured fine art images), and Train of Thought (personal essays related to train travel).
The glossy magazine is produced by travel publisher, Ink, and replaces the regional magazine, Arrive, previously available to Amtrak riders in the Northeast Corridor. Ink describes The National as a celebration of “America and the experience of travel”, which will allow passengers “to savor the personalities, culture and destinations that can be found across the vast nationwide Amtrak network”. This writer will be travelling via Amtrak to Denver, Colorado, in mid-October for the annual convention of the National Association of Railroad Passengers and looks forward to reading this first issue along the way.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)