On May 1, 2011, Amtrak will celebrate 40 years as America’s Railroad providing vital intercity and high-speed passenger rail service to the nation and offering a critical transportation choice for both urban and rural communities. Preparations are now underway for several activities to commemorate the occasion according to a prepared release.
The first sign of celebration occurred on January 30 in Chicago when the first of four P-42 diesel-electric locomotives with one of four historic paint schemes entered regular revenue service. All four locomotives will be in service by the end of April and operate on trains across the Amtrak national network. As each becomes available for service, Amtrak will issue a Twitter message at twitter.com/Amtrak and post a photo in the Photos tab on its Facebook page at facebook.com/Amtrak. A photo of the first locomotive is now posted.
Among other commemorative activities is a book entitled Amtrak: An American Story. Written with the help of former presidents of Amtrak and current employees among others, the book discusses the railroad’s history and its plans for the future, and contains an employee-generated photo essay of 24-hours in the life of the railroad. In addition, a documentary DVD illustrating the history of Amtrak and its importance to the country is being produced.
Also, a special 40th anniversary “exhibit train” will make its debut at the National Train Day event in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2011, and then travel across the country for a one-year period. It will have two locomotives with historic paint schemes and use renovated baggage cars to display educational exhibits focusing on each decade of the railroad’s existence with vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, period uniforms, photographs, and other items of memorabilia. There will be no charge for the public to tour the exhibit train. Dates and locations of when and where it will travel will be announced soon.
In addition, a special anniversary web site will be launched this spring with historical information about Amtrak, a schedule of celebration activities, a photo archive and video library, and a virtual tour of the exhibit train with a map that will track its journey across the country.
Furthermore, the book and documentary DVD will be available for purchase this spring along with other anniversary merchandise in the retail center aboard the exhibit train and at the Amtrak online store, among other locations.