National Train Day – Are you going to be there?

If you are a railfan, most likely you’ve heard about the upcoming National Train Day festivities – provided you aren’t living under a rock or something. In the past, I admit that I’ve made a few cracks about this somewhat recently-established “holiday.” Amtrak declaring a particular day National Train Day almost seems to me as silly as Hallmark declaring a “send your loved-one a card or you don’t really love them” day (which in some circles may also be known as Valentine’s Day). Thankfully, the National Train Day celebration does in fact coincide with a bit of history – namely the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the US on May 10th (and as everybody knows, the railroads built this country). But with events to be held in Grand Central Terminal this year, I’m thinking National Train Day is really going to be an awesome event, and certainly worth attending.

In addition to seeing some pretty cool trains (and I’ve heard some interesting rumors…), all the foamers can also foam at Rosario Dawson, whom the Twitterverse has reminded me is totally relevant because she was in some movie about trains (I guess Denzel Washington was already booked, and marginally less foam-worthy). So be sure to mark your calendars for May 12, the Saturday date for National Train Day’s celebration this year. Events will begin at 11 AM and carry on until 4PM. In addition to Ms. Dawson, Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary exhibit train will be making an appearance – chock full of historical memorabilia.

As I know many of you, my devoted readers, will certainly be attending this event, I thought perhaps a get-together should be in order. Anybody want to meet up, grab a meal afterwards, or something of that nature? Drop me a comment, or send me an email at [email protected].

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Squash in Grand Central

Hope everybody out there is enjoying this snowy Wednesday… Actually, who am I kidding? I’m sick of the snow, and I think most train riders will agree with me on that one. Let’s take your mind off of that with some photos from the squash tournament in Grand Central. The whole idea of constructing a glass cube for the purpose of playing squash in a railroad station is a bit amusing to me. But at the same time it feels like an appropriate nod to history. The tournament is sponsored by J.P. Morgan, a modern banking company originally named for John Pierpont Morgan. Morgan was a banker, as well as a financier of railroads.

 
  
  
  
 

The Tournament of Champions is held yearly in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall. Although tickets are sold for seats, there is standing room for visitors or commuters waiting for their trains to watch as well.

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Photos in New Milford, and Christmas Events in CT

On my childhood journeys over the river and through the woods to get to my grandmother’s house, I always passed by the train station in New Milford. I never thought about stopping until more recently, where I snapped a few photos. This Housatonic Railroad station doesn’t get much action, though there have been thoughts to extend the Danbury Branch the three more miles up to New Milford. Then again there have also been suggestions of eliminating the Danbury Branch altogether. Oh wait, never mind.

 
  
 
  
 
  
 

Today the station serves as the New Milford Chamber of Commerce, which hosts various events. The day I was there, there was a book signing and tons of people, so I didn’t go in to take any photos. An upcoming event that may be of interest, however, is the 23rd Annual Hands On Train Display, which will be in the station from December 18th to December 31st, 12 pm to 4 pm daily. The event is free, but is closed on Christmas day.
For more information about the event, click here.

 
Photo Credits: Danbury Railway Museum Newsletter

The Danbury Railway Museum always hosts holiday events, and Christmastime is no exception. Santa’s Railway rides will be running Saturdays December 11 and 18, starting at noon, and Sundays December 5, 12, and 19, starting at 12:30. Trains are every half hour, and run until 3:30. Reserving your tickets in advance is suggested. Admission is $8, which includes the ride, a gift, and of course, a visit with the big man himself, Santa Claus.
For more information, or to reserve tickets, click here.

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