10 May 2008
National Train Day
“A train is one of the most beautiful ways to see America as you move around the country.”
-Al Roker, spokesman for National Train Day and weatherman
May 10th marks the first ever National Train Day in the States and also marks the date of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. I am pleased, however there are no events scheduled in the Go for this day. (The closest is Rugby, ND. Not even the home of the Empire Builder, St.Paul, could muster up enough to celebrate.) For a city [the Go that is] that owes its existence to trains, I am a bit dismayed. 2 historical stations still exist in town. One designed by Cass Gilbert. But I guess this burgh is looking to the future. But shouldn't the future include trains? Will there be another great era for train travel?
With gas prices on the rise, Amtrak ridership is up. I must admit I like the idea of train travel, however a few of our forbears of previous generations seemed to have dismantled the possibility of greater coverage of the passenger train system. Granted we are not Europe or Japan. We are massive. But are we not being bit in the buttocks by the gasoline powered automobile right now? Do we even have an infrastructure in place to deal with the possibility of abandonment of the automobile so quickly?
Well, my celebrations will probably involve looking for trains and taking their pictures. There are plenty of them a just up the street. Nearly a 100 a day come through.