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May 04 2011

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National Train Day approaching

On 7 May Longview will be among cities nationwide celebrating 142 years of transcontinental rail service.  It is also AMTRAK’s 40th anniversary.
Local Train Day activities will be held 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Saturday the seventh at the AMTRAK Passenger Rail Station at 905 Pacific Avenue. These festivities will be in conjunction with the comings and goings of AMTRAK’s Texas Eagle and motorcoach service between Houston and Shreveport.
There will be no admissions charges, and the Lobo Jazz Band will provide entertainment.  There will be a working model train display, Loblolly O-Gauge Model Railroad, a childrens’ railroad storytelling session by the Longview Public Library, World of Wonder activities, equipment exhibits, Operation Lifesaver demonstrations, U.S. Flag display by the local Rotary Club, and assorted additional attractions.
AMTRAK and Longview Transit are collaborating to permit 54 passengers to travel from Longview to Marshal just so they can savor the experience of railroad travel.  After arriving in Marshall these travelers will return to Longview courtesy of Lone Star Coaches.  Those wishing to sign up for this trip may do so on a first-come-first-serve basis May 7 at the Longview Transit Office at 903 Pacific Avenue.  Purchases are limited to four tickets per family, and children 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
There will be on-site parking for permit holders and AMTRAK passengers. National Train Day attendees are invited to park in the lot at the corner of Cotton and Fredonia Streets.  Longview Transit and the East Texas Council of Governments will provide shuttle service to the train station beginning at 3:45 p.m.
The City of Longview, Longview Transit, AMTRAK, the Mayor’s Task Force for Passenger Rail Facilities, Union Pacific Railroad, East Texas Council of Governments, and Sobol Welding Supply are all sponsoring the event.
“Longview exists as we know it because of the development of the railroad in the 1800s,” said Longview Mayor Jay Dean.  “With this celebration and the restoration project at the depot we’re recognizing how important trains are to our past and our future.”
Last summer the city used grant money to commence restoring the historic Longview Junction Rail Depot, current home of the AMTRAK Passenger Rail Station.  The restoration is ongoing, and still in the design stage.
For more information contact the Longview Metropolitan Planning Organization at 903-237-1008 or visit www.NationalTrainDay.com or LongviewTexas.gov.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.easttexasreview.com/national-train-day-approaching/

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