Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Train Day in USA

This Saturday is National Train Day in the USA. I thought I'd mention it now because sometimes you can get some great deals from AMTRAK if you act fast around this date. I've written before about my trips out of the Fairhaven Station in Bellingham, WA several times. It's a great place to travel out of if you live in the Fraser Valley.

AMTRAK has established this website for this year's National Train Day. Last year I traveled on National Train Day and it was a party-like atmosphere at almost every station along the way. Surprisingly they list activities at other Washington State stations, but not Seattle. The Portland, Oregon station has a special event that you can view here.

There are also some great pictures of old and new trains, as well as this article from AMTRAK's ARRIVE Magazine. US Vice President Joe Biden rode the rails up and down the US east coast with an estimate of 7,000 round trips during his career. The Obama administration has been putting considerable stimulus monies into rail as many of you know. It's interesting to note that an AMTRAK employee told me shortly after the election that when the presidential election results were announced, a few former executives at AMTRAK resigned because they knew that under Obama they would actually have to work towards improved passenger rail service.

Living in the Valley I don't even bother to look at Via Rail's website much. Their was a time a couple of years ago that their search engine didn't even show Vancouver to Seattle train service. It's a sad state of affairs for our national rail service and we can only hope that one day money will be invested in it and we can have our National Train Day here in Canada in a real way. Until then I will continue to depart from BEL and give AMTRAK my train fare. For that I get exceptional and friendly service, good food, fresh drinks and a stress-free ride to Seattle or Portland. I would love to do the coast to California one day via AMTRAK. A worthy goal for the future!

Happy National Train Day to you!

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