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On Saturday, May 11, 2013, Fort Worth will join cities across America to celebrate the 6th annual National Train Day, the annual event that celebrates the importance of trains as a vital transportation option and engine of economic development and employment.
The free, family-friendly event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center, located at 1000 Jones Street in downtown Fort Worth. Highlights for 2013 include guided tours of the 100-year-old InterUrban Trolley, the unveiling of the brand-new BNSF Railway locomotive that is fresh off the assembly line at General Electric (GE) Transportation’s new Fort Worth Locomotive Plant, a Chuggington Kids Depot with train-themed kids’ activities based on the popular children’s animated television series on Disney, prize drawings for free Amtrak train travel, and more.
“This year’s National Train Day celebration will showcase, that, in addition to simply moving people and freight, trains are powerful catalysts for local and national economic growth,” said Peter LeCody, president of Texas Rail Advocates. “They are also an instrumental part of the American story, connecting towns and cities, employing thousands, and supporting local businesses and communities nationwide. In 2012, Amtrak welcomed 31.2 million riders, employed 20,000 people and produced $2 billion in sales. National Train Day is a way to celebrate this positive impact by inviting current and future passengers to tour equipment, enjoy family-friendly activities, and hear from local dignitaries.”
Specific activities taking place at this year’s National Train Day celebration in Fort Worth include:
Guided tours of the 100-year-old InterUrban Trolley car that ran the rails between Dallas and Fort Worth from 1913-1934;
The Chuggington Kids Depot, featuring a variety of educational and entertaining “stations” such as safety, arts and crafts, photo opportunities, train play tables, a library and more;
An up-close-and-personal look at the new BNSF Railway locomotive, fresh off the assembly line from General Electric (GE) Transportation’s new Fort Worth Locomotive Plant;
Representatives from Union Pacific to discuss freight train travel, “green” initiatives, and give tours of their new low-emission Genset locomotive;
Tours of a stationery Amtrak train, allowing visitors to climb aboard and inspect;
Tours of a stationary Trinity Railway Express (TRE) train, owned and operated by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), allowing visitors to come aboard and inspect;
Prize giveaways from Amtrak®, the Green Education Foundation, and more;
Representatives from TxDOT to discuss the Texas-Oklahoma Passenger Rail Study on future service between South Texas and Oklahoma City;
Representative from the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) with information on TEX Rail commuter rail line scheduled to open in 2016;
Information on Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s (DART) extensive network of its DART Rail and Denton County Transportation Authority’s (DCTA) A-train, which provides regional rail service connecting Denton County passengers to Dallas and Tarrant Counties;
Representatives from the North Texas T-Trax Modular Railroad Club and Lone Star Hi-Railers Model Train Association to discuss and showcase an operating model railroad;
Representatives from the North Texas Historic Transportation (NTHT) to discuss preserving historic transportation in the North Texas area;
Tour and watch the daily Trinity Railway Express, Heartland Flyer, Texas Eagle passenger trains arrive and depart between 12:30 – 2 p.m.;
Representatives from the North Texas Central Council of Governments to discuss Rail North Texas, the plan for commuter rail service for our region;
Representatives from Operation Lifesaver to discuss how to stay safe around railroad crossings and trains;
Representatives from the Museum of the American Railroad to discuss their new home in Frisco, Texas, and also exhibit artifacts and archival material from the railroad industry;
Representatives from Texas Rail Advocates to educate, inform and discuss the benefits of both freight and passenger rail issues in Texas and the Southwest;
Enjoy food, refreshments, carnival games, a magician, a face painter, balloonist, and live music.
The Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) is home to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority’s (The T) commuter rail station, The T’s largest bus transfer center, and Molly the Trolley service. It also provides access to taxi, rental car, and regional and national Amtrak Passenger Train and Greyhound Bus services.
For more information, visit www.NationalTrainDay.com.