No More "National" Train Day

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Ryan

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More of a traveling road show like the museum train:

http://amtraktraindays.com

In the past seven years, over 300 communities in all 50 states have celebrated their love of trains on National Train Day. This year, Amtrak is expanding the celebration to better support all communities and evolve it into a traveling, community-centric experience under the new name of Amtrak Train Days.

Amtrak Train Days is kicking off at Chicago Union Station on May 9th, and then we hit the rails, traveling to over 20 locations across the country May through October. While the touring event cant stop in every community, Amtrak invites local stations, state partners, rail industry colleagues and communities to join in the celebration of train travel by hosting their own Amtrak Train Days events, whether on May 9, as part of the kick-off, or during a local event that your community chooses on another date.

We're still in the planning stages, but if you or someone in your community would like to host an event, simply enter your email address below, and we'll send you updates and information as we work to finalize our plans by March 30th.
 

jis

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Oh well.... unless there is something going on in Washington DC, I guess it would be time to cancel my Sleeper reservation to DC and back and reclaim the money to put in the piggy-bank for my trip to Antarctica or something like that. :)
 

AmtrakBlue

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I have a ticket to WAS for the 9th also. I haven't booked my return yet.
 

MikefromCrete

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Is the museum train being put back on a national tour? Sorry to see the Amtrak-sponsored National Train Day activities are going away, although I didn't attend last year since there was really nothing new on the day's activity schedule.
 

bretton88

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I think this is a bad idea. National Train Day was more than just for Amtrak, communities all over the country did exhibits and fun with trains, not just Amtrak. It was like a big holiday.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I think this is a bad idea. National Train Day was more than just for Amtrak, communities all over the country did exhibits and fun with trains, not just Amtrak. It was like a big holiday.
Did you read the first post? They are encouraging communities to have Train Day either on May 9th or other times of the year. This may be better than just one day. We shall see.
 

bretton88

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I think this is a bad idea. National Train Day was more than just for Amtrak, communities all over the country did exhibits and fun with trains, not just Amtrak. It was like a big holiday.
Did you read the first post? They are encouraging communities to have Train Day either on May 9th or other times of the year. This may be better than just one day. We shall see.
I saw that. It just seemed easier to organize when it was a national thing, many communities wanted to be a part of that. Now they might say "forget it"
 

Bob Dylan

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Another Bean Counter bad idea!! This was an excellent program that was highly successful all over the country, not just on the NEC!!

Joe Boardman must have been out of the loop when this decision was made @ 60 Mass by the cut your way to profit crew! He generally supports good ideas like NTD!!
 
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bretton88

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Another Bean Counter bad idea!! This was an excellent program that was highly successful all over the country, not just on the NEC!!

Joe Boardman must have been out of the loop when this decision was made @ 60 Mass by the cut your way to profit crew!
I highly doubt this was financial. In fact, it might be more expensive for Amtrak to take direct control of the events as a traveling road show. What Amtrak is doing is taking the focus off trains in general to focus more specifically on Amtrak.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Another Bean Counter bad idea!! This was an excellent program that was highly successful all over the country, not just on the NEC!!

Joe Boardman must have been out of the loop when this decision was made @ 60 Mass by the cut your way to profit crew! He generally supports good ideas like NTD!!
Was it highly successful in creating more revenue? Or just successful in bringing people to the stations to see the trains since they're unlikely to take train trips even after seeing the trains? I would love to go see the new planes with the "beds" in them at a "plane day", but I'd never spend the money to fly one.
 

Ryan

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I think this is a bad idea. National Train Day was more than just for Amtrak, communities all over the country did exhibits and fun with trains, not just Amtrak. It was like a big holiday.
Did you read the first post? They are encouraging communities to have Train Day either on May 9th or other times of the year. This may be better than just one day. We shall see.
I saw that. It just seemed easier to organize when it was a national thing, many communities wanted to be a part of that. Now they might say "forget it"
They still can:

Amtrak invites local stations, state partners, rail industry colleagues and communities to join in the celebration of train travel by hosting their own Amtrak Train Days events, whether on May 9, as part of the kick-off, or during a local event that your community chooses on another date.
 

jis

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So the question still remains - is the "Amtrak Community" going to organize something in the station that sits under Amtrak HQ, and is operated by Amtrak? If not, who else will?
 

Devil's Advocate

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This was an excellent program that was highly successful all over the country, not just on the NEC!!
Was it highly successful in creating more revenue?
I would assume it's rather difficult to quantify ROI for something like National Train Day. Based on what I've seen it does seem to have quite an impact on children. Of course that implies the payoff could take years or even decades. At which point so much else will have happened that it'll be rather difficult to include or exclude any NTD influences from the results. I doubt most people would tick a box saying that NTD directly influenced their immediate travel decisions, but that wouldn't necessarily rule out an indirect subconscious desire to ride a train in the future. That being said I'm sure it's much easier to quantify the immediate costs in time and money to Amtrak and it's probably much easier to side with saving a well defined cost in organizing the shows over giving up a largely undefined return.

Or just successful in bringing people to the stations to see the trains since they're unlikely to take train trips even after seeing the trains? I would love to go see the new planes with the "beds" in them at a "plane day", but I'd never spend the money to fly one.
The primary cause of my diminished enthusiasm for NTD is that unlike airline seats and suites the basic Amtrak product rarely ever changes. What we saw at the very first NTD is more or less the exact same product you're going to see today or tomorrow or even ten years from now. Except maybe a little more worn and grimy. Even the brand new Viewliner cars are based on speeds and designs straight from the 1980's. Hard to get truly excited about something that wasn't revolutionary thirty years ago. And yet people kept coming back to the displays year after year over and over again.
 
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NE933

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What we saw at the very first NTD is more or less the exact same product you're going to see today or tomorrow or even ten years from now. Except maybe a little more worn and grimy. Even the brand new Viewliner cars are based on speeds and designs straight from the 1980's. Hard to get truly excited about something that wasn't revolutionary thirty years ago. And yet people kept coming back to the displays year after year over and over again.
That means we gotta get some more new stuff, with designs from 2015. Yeah, I know, money
 
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Oh, darn. Now that I have joined this forum, I was looking forward to meeting some of you on National Train Day. I will put the trip money back in the travel jar and look forward to the Gathering later this year.

I can see both sides of this: Having it spread out instead of on one day allows people to enjoy it for longer or maybe go to more than one place. But having it on the same day is less confusing.

I agree that there isn't much that is new for Amtrak to highlight right now, so maybe that played a part in the decision.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Oh, darn. Now that I have joined this forum, I was looking forward to meeting some of you on National Train Day. I will put the trip money back in the travel jar and look forward to the Gathering later this year.

I can see both sides of this: Having it spread out instead of on one day allows people to enjoy it for longer or maybe go to more than one place. But having it on the same day is less confusing.

I agree that there isn't much that is new for Amtrak to highlight right now, so maybe that played a part in the decision.
We'll have to check out the schedule when it comes out. I suspect Philly & maybe Wilm will have something.
 

roadman3313

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And people thought I was kidding (or crazy) when I said as long as they don't call it Amtrak Train Day(s) in another post a few weeks back!

I don't know my exact thoughts on this but I suppose that will depend on how it is implemented. I think it will be nice to have a touring event, however I also liked the notion of National Train Day itself. It is nice that communities are still encouraged to do something geared toward trains on the Kick-Off day of May 9th. I just hope that communities still push through it with the same enthusiasm as they have in years past.

It may be different but I am sure there will still be events on May 9th as there have been in years past and that the traveling event will still be a nice added addition to how we celebrate trains.
 

NorthShore

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I wonder how much business some of the private railcar owners or services like Pullman are able to trump up through these events. I would presume that little will change at CUS, assuming there is still some sort of budget for the event.
 

Railroad Bill

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Looks like Toledo is going to continue its tradition of having National Train Day a week ahead on May 2, 2015. They usually have a nice display of trains, a train show in the depot along with displays and usually NS and W&LE send equipment to the station for display. Whether Amtrak will continue to send their equipment as they have in the past in still in question. They also have a Friday Night At The Tracks program where people can come over to the depot and watch trains in the evening. Amtrak 30 comes by around 11:30pm.

Perhaps a mini-gathering in TOL is in order :p
 

andersone

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I really enjoyed going to Toledo last year even though it was a four hour drive. It was well organized, informative and fun. Thought of going to Huntington this year if they have one
 

iggy

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Guess to many of you are jaded. I'd think anyone who advocates for passenger rail service would think that any event promoting and educating masses on the subject would be a positive thing. With name change - private car owners and others will be less likely to want to participate. At last years St Louis event - Amtrak was a very small portion of what was on display. Event was mostly freight, private cars & Norfolk Southern exhibit car. It was very well attend at Union Station. MetroLink offered free tour of their facilities for 200 people. I have video of that tour on my site.
 
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JSmith

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We will be connecting at NYP on May 9th. Does Penn Station traditionally do anything for National Train Day? Might be a fun way to kill some time while we wait for our departure train.
 

Thirdrail7

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Guess to many of you are jaded. I'd think anyone who advocates for passenger rail service would think that any event promoting and educating masses on the subject would be a positive thing. With name change - private car owners and others will be less likely to want to participate. At last years St Louis event - Amtrak was a very small portion of what was on display. Event was mostly freight, private cars & Norfolk Southern exhibit car. It was very well attend at Union Station. MetroLink offered free tour of their facilities for 200 people. I have video of that tour on my site.
What you stated is one of the major reasons for trying something different this year. Amtrak is often a small part of the program so they are trying to get back to the basics.

We will be connecting at NYP on May 9th. Does Penn Station traditionally do anything for National Train Day? Might be a fun way to kill some time while we wait for our departure train.
NYP doesn't really do much. On a good year, they put out some literature and the K-9 units may strut their stuff.
 
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