Saturday, May 16, 2009

National Train Day

Last weekend, Amtrak hosted "National Train Day" at Union Station. I assumed it was an event targeted towards the bazillion train obsessed children out there (much like my own 3 year old), but people who didn't have children actually came to this thing as well. Of course, they didn't wait in the line to get a balloon sculpture or get a Thomas the Train tattoo, but they did wait in line to go through several different trains. Because the theme of the weekend was Supermom, I did not disappoint my crew. I reserved tickets for the train tour, which meant NO waiting in line. Awesome. Especially awesome when a woman commented to me about "the line" and I could smile as the person in charge told me that if I had reservations I could go right in after she checked my tickets.

We went through "the fast train" and a sleeper train, and possibly the third. Honestly, I don't remember because to me, if you've seen one train, you've seen them all.

During the tour of the sleeping train, Connor and Helen both enjoyed taking a pretend nap, and Connor assured me that if we went on a train trip he would sleep. Yeah, right.

The event was fun, but I have to say, I cannot believe the opportunity that Amtrak passed up with this event. Here we were, trapped on a train with thousands of our closest friends, walking right throught the cafe car, and though there was food set out to show people what they had available, it was not for sale. They could have made a fortune from those of us with kids who would've loved to score a bag of chips or a pack of M&Ms. Poor planning, I tell you.


  1. Why not get a real taste of rail travel and score that bag of Ms on the Capitol Ltd, the overnight to Chicago.
    You'll enjoy scenery (especially the beautiful leg to Cumberland, Md.), the kids are safe to explore the train, the passengers and crew are child friendly and if you ride the sleeper (oh, do!) your meals are covered.
    You'll see the real deal of train travel in the US, warts and all, and pehaps join the many of us who love to get around on steel wheels and want to see the experience improved.
    But you're right about one thng. Amtrak never misses the opportunity to miss an opportunity. They should have given out those Ms for free. In the observation lounge rather than a cafe car!

  2. Ditto! A) I was totally surprised by the amount of non-kid-toting adults and B) why were they not selling food everywhere?