Saturday, May 9, 2009

On This Date...

posted by Armadillo Joe

Saw on Rachel Maddow last night that today, May 9th, is National Train Day.
On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, ceremonially creating the nation′s first transcontinental railroad. And America was transformed.

Suddenly, the country was united in a way it never had been, and train travel sparked imaginations in small towns and big cities, among folk who desired adventure and businessmen who saw fortunes to be made. The sound of a train whistle was the soundtrack of happy reunions and tearful farewells. It heralded the arrival of mail, supplies and change.

The train became more than the go-to mode of transport for people and goods. It was a proud achievement of engineering vision, technical ingenuity and sweat. It was a cultural force that sparked the creative imaginations of storytellers in songs, movies and novels. Railways provided jobs for thousands of Americans. The train station became a focal point of every community, from New York City′s Pennsylvania Station to the tiny stations that dotted rural America.

Now, 140 years after the “golden spike” connected east and west, there’s never been a better time to take the train. Huge crowds and the frustrations that go with them burden our highways and airports. And at a time when we all share the same pressing concerns about environment and energy conservation, trains are a more energy-efficient mode of travel than either autos or airplanes. Riding the rails is not only a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but also a great way to meet interesting people and see breathtaking scenery.

That′s why, in commemoration of the anniversary of the day the "golden spike" was driven, we celebrated the first-ever National Train Day on May 10, 2008. Thousands enjoyed live entertainment, train displays, raffles, prizes and surprises for big and small across the nation.

This year the event will be even better. So mark Saturday, May 9th on your calendar for a coast-to-coast celebration of the way trains connect people and places. There will be major events in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, while other events will occur in smaller markets nationwide. Join us and Discover the Rail Way during any of the National Train Day festivities that are sure to be a treat for all ages.
You guys all know what's next...

Build me some SUPERTRAINS!

1 comment:

Broadway Carl said...

Hmmm... National Train Day... is it bad that my wife drove me into work this morning?