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Whistle Down the Tracks

National Train Day: Whistle Down the Tracks

If your lil one is obsessed with trains as mine is, make sure you have plans to celebrate the first annual National Train Day this Saturday.

The event, celebrates the 139th anniversary of the day the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways were joined to create the first transcontinental railroad.

To make the anniversary, and inaugurate a new celebration, Amtrak is hosting events at its four largest stations, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Each location will have different activities for guests, including live musical performances, train simulators, exhibits, VIP appearances and trip giveaways. The Today show’s Al Roker is serving as the event’s national spokesperson and will be at Washington, DC’s Union Station to kick off the festivities.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be located in one of the event cities, Amtrak has provided a number of ideas to help you create your own celebration — to learn about them,


But, don't let geography hold you back from festivities. Why not create your own chuga chuga choo choo party for your child and a few of his closest friends. Amtrak has a number of suggested train-theme activities for your party, our favorites include:

  • Train model building contests
  • Coloring contests – you can find printable train images here
  • Train-themed cake or cookie decorating contests – why not provide them with train shaped cakes they can decorate on their own
  • Train song karaoke – there are a number of train songs you could use, such as Dan Zane’s "Catch That Train," Laurie Berkner’s “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” Gladys Night and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia,” and the O’Jays’ “Love Train”

More activities, and downloadable images of the National Train Day logo in poster and sticker formats can be found on the Host Your Own Event page of the site. So get your engines turning and start planning!

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