National Train Day
National Train Day is observed next on Saturday, May 11th, 2024 (156 days from today).
They traversed thousands of miles across countryside around the world, transporting goods and passengers to far-flung places, and bringing the same things back to their starting points.
Two glittering silver lines lie in their path as they move through cities and forests, mountains and plains to bring everything to those who need it, be it goods or people. We're talking trains, of course, powerful machines that have inspired a lot of history and have done incredible things for economies and industries around the world.
National Train Day commemorates these beautiful machines and the role they play in our lives.
History of National Train Day
The history of National Train Day is the history of trains, and that history goes further than you might expect. The railway was actually an evolution from wagons, which was essentially horse-powered railway, and had a history of more than 2000 years.
The first example of what we might call a "train line" appeared near Corinth in ancient Greece around 600 BC. The men and animals would drag boats along trenches in the limestone on a five-mile route to their destination at sea. The Romans did something that was similar to Roman Egypt.
The reason wagons (and of course railways) were born is one of pure fact: you can transport larger loads over longer distances with prepared roads.
The first modern 'roads' weren't even made with metal rails, instead they were made with wooden rails, and on the remote road there were even cut stone rails. With careful preparation, you can increase the amount a horse can transport from one tonne to almost 13 tons! It's a significant improvement in cargo capacity and is a huge boon for those who travel a lot over long distances.
Of course, with wooden rails, they have to be replaced frequently, and so it is common to cover them with a thin sheet of metal to help the wood last.
The Industrial Revolution changed all of that, and metal rails became more prominent. Around 1750, industry began to produce more iron than at any time in the past. New techniques created by metallurgical science and modern engineering facilitated a production boom.
With the supply increasing, the prices of the tracks started to fall. It becomes possible to add them, replacing the problematic and frequently broken wooden versions.
However, there is still a problem: some shipments have the nasty habit of going off the rails - literally! In response, an industrial innovator and company manager named John Curr found that the problem was flat wheels. He realized that you needed some way to keep the wagon on track. His idea was to create an L-shaped cross section for the wheel on the inside that would keep the wheel from slipping off the track.
Of course, none of the early developments mentioned steam locomotives - the first thing people think of when talking about trains. The actual steam engine only appeared in 1769 after James Watt's proof of concept. But even he didn't see the potential. He wanted to use steam to power the wheels in the factory, not necessarily the trains.
It took more than thirty years to create the first steam locomotive with full fully function in 1804 under the direction of Richard Trevithick. Trevithick, however, did not manage to commercialize the idea. While he built a lot of rallies, he didn't have the means to use it effectively. Therefore, the first commercial trains began only in 1812, on a very small scale.
But, of course, we all know what's coming next: the trains take over the world. They gave birth to our useful, modern civilization and transformed ordinary people's lives forever.
Because trains play such an important role in our shared history, it is only a matter of time before someone; somewhere develops the idea of organizing a “train day”. An event like this will be an opportunity for all people around the world who have benefited from locomotives to celebrate their precious role in helping to propel humanity into the future.
In 2008, Amtrak established National Train Day to help celebrate the history of locomotives. The idea was to engage the public more on the subject of trains and their history in the development of the modern world. National Train Day is homage to our ancestors' efforts in building the rail network. It focuses, in particular, on the transcontinental railway. In its heyday, National Train Day was a big event. While Amtrak is the clear leader, museums and other train-related organizations are involved. Even charities get involved, seeing it as a great opportunity to raise funds.
Amtrak decided to hold the events every year, but unfortunately, ran into financial trouble. The company closed its official National Train Day in 2015. However, it was not the end. Enthusiasts loved it so much they celebrated in the years that followed.
Interesting Facts about National Train Day
Amtrak, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Union Station, Washington, operating passenger train services at more than 500 stations. Amtrak provides service to more than 46 states and three Canadian countries with nearly 300 trains operated in service. The name "Amtrak" is originated from American tracking. Thus, the abbreviated form of the American track is called "Amtrak".
A survey estimates that more than 31.3 million passengers have been served by AMTRAK annually with over $2 billion in revenue since 2016. Around 20000 employees deployed in Amtrak serve more than 85000 people daily.
Amtrak facilitates four layers of service. First-class passengers will be provided with some benefits including meals and alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, passengers can access the ACELA club at select stations. The sleeping class forms a private room, including family bedrooms on trains only, and specific passengers are provided with juice, coffee and bottles of water. Business class services are available in some notable trains such as Acela Express, Northeast region, and more and only offer non-alcoholic beverages. Coach class service is facilitated in almost all trains where only limited facilities are available. No freebies are offered to passengers like other sections. Amtrak started offering Wi-Fi service on some trains since 2008.
How to celebrate National Train Day
What if that day had been discontinued, we could even celebrate this day by posting unknown facts about Amtrak using this hashtag #AmericaTrackUnknown on Social Media. Take the train and post your photo with this hashtag #MyTrainjourney. Plan a Train travel with your friends to enjoy this beautiful occasion. Mark your presence in Exhibitions or events conducted on behalf of this day. Also, spread the word to others using this hashtag #TrainDayevents, which gets others involved.
Let us thank the trains on National Train Day. It goes through mountains, rivers and shows us nature and makes our journey wonderful. We would like to thank all the railway staff who worked for us regardless of the day and time, regardless of their family schedules. They sacrifice sleep, barely for their families, and work for us day and night. Use this hashtag to appreciate them. Retell a poem on this day and use this #MyTrainPoem hashtag to post it.
ObservedNational Train Day has been observed the second Saturday in May.
Saturday, May 14th, 2022
Saturday, May 13th, 2023
Saturday, May 11th, 2024
Saturday, May 10th, 2025
Saturday, May 9th, 2026