I’ve been fascinated with train travel since I was a child. Back in the late sixties as a 5 year old I was put on a train with my aunt to make the trip from Nebraska to Washington State. Unfortunately, I was sick the entire time so they took me off the train, I believe at the first stop, and sent me back to Omaha.  I understand I finally made that trip via car and I’ve been in Seattle since 1966.

That was sadly the last train trip I’ve ever taken. On the west coast they’re not a part of our everyday routine like they are in many areas in the NE. However, just because I haven’t ridden on one doesn’t mean I’m not fascinated with travel by rail.  I am! When our kids were small, we spent many hours watching trains pass by down at the Seattle Waterfront and at Golden Gardens Park and as adults we don’t miss a chance to check out and take photos with trains of all sizes, shapes, and ages.

White Pass Train  - Skagway AK

Me checking out the White Pass Train - Skagway AK

My husband is a huge fan of trains as well, probably more so than myself, and one of these days the two of us are going to take a trip by rail. Until then, we like to check out railway museums and special events and there’s a big event coming up soon!

National Train Day is happening on May 12, 2012 and select cities will be having great activities for families! If you’re in NYC, LA, Chicago, or Philadelphia you have the chance attend an event with interactive exhibits, live entertainment, kid’s activities, tours of Amtrak train cars – freight, commuter, and private – as well as amazing model train sets, and more.

National Train Day Video

Don’t worry if you’re not in or near these cities – there are hundreds of smaller events around the country for you to check out on the 143rd anniversary of the  creations of the 1st transcontinental railroad. With the placement of one “golden spike” on May 10, 1869,  the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways were tied together.

Sadly we’re not in any of the cities having the large National Train Day celebrations so we’ll check for a local event.  For those of you in the selected cities I’d recommend going and taking the kids – check out these fun activities just for them in the Kid’s Depot!

National Train Day Kid’s Depot Activities


  • Arts & crafts
  • Wii dancing and fitness games
  • Chicago Choir
  • Miss Lori
  • Radio Disney – event MC and kid-friendly programming

Los Angeles

  • Arts and crafts
  • Wii dancing and fitness games
  •  The All American Boys Chorus
  • Aaron Nigel Smith
  • Dora the Explorer  – she’ll entertain and engage with children
  • Ringling Brothers Clown – juggling and audience interaction


New York City

Train & Cruise Ship - Skagway AK

Steve loving the Train & Cruise Ship - Skagway AK

National Train Day – See More on a Train Contest

As part of this great event, upload your photo or video to the National Train Day Gallery – it’s your entry for a chance to win a fabulous Grand Prize of an all-expense paid Amtrak Vacations Rail Package for two!  Some of the suggested vacations are to the Grand Canyon, San Francisco or New Orleans. There are other prizes available as well including an Amtrak ticket or a DSLR camera to record your fabulous vacation.

National Train Day – Social Media Links

Enter to Win!

National Train Day Toy Giveaway

National Train Day Toy Giveaway

Win two fun and educational toys – Stakadoos (create a train with this fun building set!) and Elemenosqueeze – to Celebrate National Train Day! ARV is $60!

Please wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load fully to enter. These fun prizes will be won by one lucky reader.  They were provided by a 3rd party and we were not compensated for hosting this giveaway.


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