Posts Tagged ‘National Train Day’

Toledo National Train Day Set for May 6

April 12, 2017

Toledo still plans to hold a National Train Day this year, although it will not apparently have the headliner external exhibits that it has had in the past.

The event will be held on May 6 at the former Central Union Terminal – now known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza – between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Thus far the only announced railroad exhibit will be Ann Arbor Railroad GP38 No. 3879.

Built in 1969, the locomotive has been painted in a commemorative livery to honor the history of the Ann Arbor, which is now a Watco Companies property.

This year’s event will be the 10th National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

Past events have featured heritage and special livery locomotives of Norfolk Southern as well as an Amtrak exhibit train.

It is not clear yet if either NS or Amtrak will be participating in the event.

The event’s sponsors say on their Facebook page that as in past years the festival will feature vendors, model railroad displays, children’s train rides, a safety workshop oriented to children, food and train watching of the nearby NS Chicago Line from the Amtrak station platforms.


Amtrak Display Train, NS 9-1-1 to Headline 9th Toledo National Train Day Celebration on May 7

May 2, 2016

National Train Day

A display of Amtrak equipment will join the Norfolk Southern first responders’ tribute locomotive at the National Train Day event in Toledo on Saturday, May 7.

Amtrak has agreed to send a P42 locomotive, a new CAF Baggage Car, a Viewliner sleeper, a dining car and an Amfleet II coach.

Also on display will be NS SD60E No. 9-1-1 and a Watco GP38-2 painted in Ann Arbor heritage colors .

The free event will be held at Toledo Central Union Terminal, now known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The plaza is located at 415 Emerald Ave. Free parking will be available at the Port Lawrence garage next to Huntington Center. A shuttle will take event attendees to and from the train station.

An opening ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. in Children’s Park, which is across the street from the entrance to the station.

It will be the ninth National Train Day in Toledo. Other attractions will include model train layouts, handcars and speeders, a train trip drawing, displays, vendors, food, music, an Operation Lifesaver kids rail safety event, a Chuggington play area and a kids zone featuring a Children’s train ride

On Friday (May 6), the Friday Night by the Tracks event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on the third floor of the grand lobby of the station.

The event will feature a tour of the NS 9-1-1 locomotive and the Amtrak display train along with hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks, a cash bar and live entertainment by The Villains

Dress is business casual and attendees must be at least age 21. Ticket are $30 per person or $50 per couple.

All proceeds will go to the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association and the Toledo Design Center.

For information visit:

Toledo Still Holding National Train Day

March 30, 2016

It may no longer be called Amtrak National Train Days, but a national train day celebration will continue in Toledo this year and Amtrak might be a part of it.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari declined to confirm an assertion by the organizers of the Toledo event that it will send passenger cars to Toledo for the May 7 event to place on display as it has done in previous years.

Norfolk Southern plans to send its “Honoring First Responders” locomotive, which carried roster number 9-1-1

Amtrak 4The units is painted in a livery of  red, white, and black. Show organizers say they are planning a ceremony to honor the region’s first responders as part of the event.

The Toledo event also will feature an open house at Central Union Terminal, which is now named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.

This will be the ninth train day in Toledo and as in past year there will be operating model railroads along with railroad-themed vendors, safety exhibits, children’s activities and musical entertainment.

Amtrak said earlier this year that it was ending its sponsorship of National Train Day.

Amtrak’s Magliari said that before National Train Day began in 2008 that the passenger carrier would on occasion send an equipment display to various cities for promotional purposes.

“Each event request every year, everywhere, will continue to be considered,” Magliari said.

Amtrak Ending National Train Day

March 8, 2016

Amtrak is doing away with its annual National Train Day celebration, citing financial reasons.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the Amtrak Exhibit Train tour this year would continue.

Amtrak logoNational Train Day began in 2008 as a way to celebrate the history of railroads as well as tout the advantage of travel by train.

It has traditionally been held on the Saturday closest to the May 10 anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad in 1869.

Events have been held at Amtrak stations, tourist railroads and railroad museums. Some of the larger events have featured equipment.

Between 2008 and 2012 the event would feature an official celebrity spokesperson appearing at a single event.

Last year, Amtrak retooled the event and began calling it Amtrak Train Days with a format of a series of events held in multiple cities throughout the year except during the winter.

One of the larger celebrations in Ohio has taken place at Toledo Union Terminal. The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society has also held a National Train Day.

Cleveland’s first National Train Day event was held in 2015 at the Amtrak station and feature locomotives from Norfolk Southern and the Cleveland Commercial Railroad along with exhibits inside the depot.

It is not clear what will happen to the various local train day events, but the Toledo event will continue as scheduled on May 7 and feature the 9-1-1 first responders tribute locomotive.

Northeast Ohio Train Day Activities Set for May 9

April 30, 2015

A full slate of activities, including equipment displays, art displays and model railroad layouts, will highlight the May 9 Northeast Ohio Train Day.

Carrying the theme “a day of celebrating railroads past, present and future,” the activities will be spread over venues in Cleveland, Sebring and Alliance.

The event is part of the Amtrak Train Days national event being celebrated across the country.

At the Cleveland Amtrak Station (200 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway), there will be displays of railroad freight equipment from CSX, Norfolk Southern and the Cleveland Harbor Belt.

Displays inside the station will include Amtrak travel information and timetables along with book authors and other displays of railroadiana.

Also having displays will be All Aboard Ohio, the National Association of Railroad Passengers and the Midwest High Speed Rail Association.

At the former Cleveland Union Terminal, now known as Tower City Center, there will be activities for children, tours of the onetime train station and views from the observation deck ($5).

The Midwest Railway Preservation Society will host a night photo session on Saturday (May 9) at the former Baltimore & Ohio roundhouse at 2800 W. Third St. in Cleveland.

The photo session will be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.

The Sebring Model Railroad Club, 135 E. Vermont, will have an open house at its layout housed in the former Pennsylvania Railroad station.

Train watching and other activities are planned for the Alliance Amtrak Station at 820 E. Main St.

For additional info contact David Mangold at or at A website devoted to Northeast Ohio Train Day has been established at

To find out about other train day events, visit the Amtrak Trains Days website at:

Amtrak Tweaks Plans for National Train Day

February 14, 2015

Amtrak plans to tweak its annual National Train Day observance by making it a series of events held throughout the year.

Previously, Amtrak conducted a National Train Day on the second Saturday in May, although some communities held their own celebrations a week earlier.

Now Amtrak says it will expand from multiple events on a single day to individual events over the course of spring, summer and fall.

To be called Amtrak Train Days, the events are designed to celebrate with local communities why trains matter and reasons to ride.

Events will focus on reaching current and new audiences across America to reinforce the importance, benefits and value of passenger train travel.

The program will begin on May 9 in Chicago and include more than 20 events through the end of October. Locations and dates have yet to be announced.

Amtrak said events will feature a combination of outreach tools, including the Amtrak Exhibit Train in select markets, interactive displays at events sponsored by community organizations, Amtrak employee guest speakers, media and event promotions, and a toolkit to support local community activities.

Communities from across the nation are invited to join in the celebration of passenger train travel by hosting their own Amtrak Train Days events during 2015.

The National Association of Railroad Passengers commented that although the additional focus on local events will be welcome—and will help organizers better allocate limited resources—it remains to be seen whether a dispersed series of events can generate the same level of excitement as a national event.

Additional information is available online at



Toledo Train Day Event Called Success

May 16, 2013

Officials with the sixth annual National Train Day in Toledo on May 4 said thousands of participants attended the event, including Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. Toledo holds its National Train Day event a week before the national date to ensure display equipment from Amtrak.

Amtrak showed off a three-car Superliner set that included a coach, sleeper and dining car. Leading the consist was P42 No. 142 and on the rear were two private cars owned by Charter Steel. Those were not open for tours.

Norfolk Southern brought GP38-2 No. 5337 and the TRANSCAER hazmat training cars. The Wheeling & Lake Erie brought GP40-3 No. 305.

One NS heritage unit, SD70ACe No. 1073 in Penn Central paint, led an eastbound crude oil train passed the depot while the festivities were being held.

There Will be a Toledo National Train Day Event

March 1, 2013

Turns out there will be a National Train Day celebration in Toledo this year, but it won’t be the same day as the date set by Amtrak.

The Toledo National Train Day will be observed on Saturday, May 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Toledo Amtrak station. Most National Train Day events will be held on May 11.

Further details about displays and events will, presumably, be announced later.


2013 National Train Day Set for May 11

March 1, 2013

Amtrak has announced that its sixth National Train Day will be held on May 11 this year and thus far just one Ohio city has signed on to have activities.

The National Train Day website hosted by Amtrak lists only Cincinnati as planning events. In previous years, Toledo has hosted National Train Day celebrations. The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society has also hosted National Train Day events.

The nearest 2013 National Train Day events to Northeast Ohio will be held in Michigan at Amtrak stations in Ann Arbor, Flint, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, East Lansing and Niles.

No details about activities in those cities or in Cincinnati have been released.

Amtrak launched National Train Day in 2008 to educate the public about rail travel and railroad history.

The event is held each year on the Saturday closest to the May 10 anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike that signified the completion of America’s first transcontinental railroad in 1869.

National Train Day celebrations typically feature passenger cars and other equipment displays as well as information table sponsored by railroad-related organizations. Events are held at Amtrak stations as well as railroad museums.

Inside Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary Train

May 14, 2012

Some Amtrak F40PH locomotives have had their prime movers removed and been converted to a control unit. No. 406 often faced west on the Amtrak 40th display train during its national tour.

The day started out overcast, but I made my way to Toledo all the same to attend the National Train Day event there on May 5.

After being distracted by a Wheeling & Lake Erie freight train around Norwalk, I arrived at the Toledo station shortly after 1 p.m. The Amtrak 40th Anniversary special was on display and there was a huge crowd.

Aside from the Amtrak display train, there was a train show inside the station where fellow Akron Railroad Club member Ron McElrath had a table.

The crowd was much larger than I had imagined, which is a good thing, I hope, for the next generation of railfans.

The train tour was free but involved about an hour’s wait. I wandered around taking pictures. The line went down some—still a 30 to 40 minute wait—but it was worth it.

Three baggage cars featured displays of the various eras of Amtrak. The displays started with the “rainbow era” then progressed to Amfleet, Superliners, Acela and some future concepts that were very interesting.

Upon leaving, I explored the former Pennsylvania Railroad Carrothers branch to Tiffin. Now a short line, it uses a couple of GP9s, one of which is still painted for Central Kansas Railway.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Large crowds congregated inside Toledo’s Central Union Terminal for a train show that was part of the National Train Day event there on May 5.