WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chances are if you have a little boy, you have a big rail fan in your house. That is certainly the case with us. When he attended a day care in Franconia, we used to drive past two rail lines and the Blue Line Metro in southern Alexandria daily and an appearance of any train made for a very happy event.
This year’s National Train Day was this past Saturday at Union Station. My sister-in-law acquired tickets for us to tour several trains that were made available, so my son and wife met up with her, my brother and niece at the event. We toured the Acela train which looks to be a highly civilized way to travel up and down the Northeast Corridor. At one point, an Amtrak employee allowed children to announce over the intercom “ALL ABOARD!” Our son, with a little cajoling, made the announcement.
After walking the length of the Acela, we moved onto the Auto Train which travels between Lorton, Va. and Sanford, Fla. east of Orlando. It was interesting touring the various cars and rooms available to passengers making the overnight trip. Following that, we spent a few minutes on a private train that had toured the Pacific Northwest, as well as the “exhibition train” that celebrated 40 years of Amtrak with a car dedicated to each decade. We could have done more, but the kids were getting a little tired and we all had places we needed to be on a busy Saturday. There were also activities for kids and handouts like cardboard conductor hats and wooden train whistles. All in all, National Train Day is great family fun and I expect we’ll be back again.
COMING TOMORROW: Day Out With Thomas