National Train Day is observed every year on the Saturday closest to May 10, and this year it falls on May 13. The holiday was first celebrated in the year 2008 and continues to be celebrated to this day. The celebrations were conceptualized by Amtrak as a way to spread awareness about the history of railway networks in the U.S. and why more people should use this mode of transport. Railways are one of the most eco-friendly ways to go from one place to another. Amtrak offers railroad service in countless cities in the U.S. and three cities in Canada. Railways don’t just transport people from one place to another but are also involved in the transportation of goods and certain services.
History of National Train Day
Modern trains have developed rapidly since their invention some 200 years ago. Trains can be classified as one of the most important inventions of modern history. Train transport has drastically changed business, exploration, and the way we travel daily.
In the 1800s, the steam train made its way to the railways of industrial England. Today, we have bullet trains that carry passengers at incredible speeds, with a distance of thousands of miles in no time. There are also freight trains that are used to transport goods, including food, post, and fuel. Distant lands have become almost instantly reachable. Long distances can be covered in a matter of hours. The industrial revolution was hastened by the arrival of trains, which made the transport of raw materials and outgoing transport of finished goods an easy task. Even with the arrival of airplanes, trains still continue to do a fair haul of public and commercial transport around the world. Trains are used in a variety of ways – from trams, subway electric trains, distance trains, and specialized tourist trains to freight trains and high-speed bullet trains that can go up to 275 miles an hour.
National Train Day marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah, at the Promontory summit. The day also observes the first anniversary of the rail route system in the United States. Events such as exhibitions of railroad layouts are organized on the day to celebrate the event.
National Train Day timeline
Wagonways, crude carriages pulled on tracks by horses in Germany, are documented as being the first method of modern railway transportation.
James Watt patents steam-powered train engines.
The first train in India runs from Bori Bunder to Thane.
The first high-speed trains run between Tokyo to Osaka in Japan.
National Train Day FAQs
When did Amtrak go into service?
This train company started on May 1, 1971. Last year, it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
In which year did National Train Day start?
The first National train day was in 2008, on May 10. The largest events took place in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Does Amtrak still sponsor National Train Day?
National Train Day was canceled after 2015 due to budget cuts within Amtrak, although other rail organizations continue to observe the holiday.
How to Observe National Train Day
Travel by train
Celebrate National Train Day by boarding a train to work or taking a small vacation. You can ride a tram, cable car, or a long-distance train.
Post photos of trains
If you can’t travel on National Train Day — don’t lose heart. Post photos of your train travel and reminisce about the good times.
Thank a railway employee
Thank a railway employee for their services on National Train Day. They work tirelessly to ensure that we have a smooth journey.
5 Facts About Trains That Will Blow Your Mind
The longest train ride in the world
This train trip, from Portugal to Vietnam, is 10,056 miles long and takes approximately 12 days to complete.
The fastest train in the world
Japan holds the fastest commercial magnetic-levitation train in the world — with a speed of 374 mph.
In Japan, trains are usually on time — if a delay lasts more than five minutes, the staff personally apologizes to each passenger.
Four kinds of train propulsion
Trains can run on four kinds of power sources, namely horse-drawn, steam, diesel, and electricity.
Hogwarts Express train
This steam engine from the popular movie franchise “Harry Potter”, takes passengers on a beautiful ride through Scotland.
Why National Train Day is Important
We have fond memories of trains
Trains are a popular form of transport, and they make us nostalgic. They remind us of happy times spent in the company of our loved ones, usually during a vacation.
They are eco-friendly
With an increased urgency to go green, trains have become an eco-friendly way to travel long distances. The emissions are minimal, and thousands of people can be ferried across long distances in a matter of hours.
A celebration of human achievement
Trains also remind us of the incredible progress that human beings have made in a matter of a few centuries. Trains have ushered in an era of increased mobility, and National Train Day celebrates just that.
National Train Day dates