Mayor Chris Beutler today invited the public to tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Haymarket Amtrak Station, 277 Pinnacle Arena Drive.
The Exhibit Train showcases the past, present and future of railroad in the U.S., featuring workable signals and horns, virtual sleeping accommodation tours and trivia, and the locomotive control stand. Also included are vintage photos, uniforms, advertising and memorabilia from Amtrak's beginning in 1971 to today's modern sleeping cars and high-speed rail service. Railcars are decorated with historic Amtrak paint schemes. Young train fans will be able to view model trains from the Lincoln Railway Historical Society and enjoy Chuggington Depot, a dedicated children's play and activities area.
Mayor Beutler said the Exhibit Train was not just a celebration of passenger rail, but also brings a focus on the opportunities rail travel provides in the future. "Here in Lincoln, we see passenger rail not as a vestige of the past, but as a key part of our transportation future. People in Lincoln - especially younger generations - want to see faster, more convenient and efficient passenger rail options. We are part of the efforts in our region to do that, and this weekend's event highlights these exciting times."
Also participating in the weekend event will be StarTran; Operation Lifesaver, a rail industry sponsored group educating the public about safety; ProRail Nebraska, an advocacy group favoring improved and increased passenger train service; and the Department of Veterans Affairs with its mobile service unit.
The Exhibit Train locomotive commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and honors those who have served. Amtrak painted the locomotive red, white and blue with a specially designed "America's Railroad Salutes Our Veterans" logo. It is a symbol of an Amtrak commitment that by 2015, one-fourth of new hires will be veterans. Local veterans will be invited to be first to board the Exhibit Train on both days.
More information on Amtrak is available at amtrak.com.