Posts Tagged ‘Early Amtrak promotions’

Silver Star Meet in Alexandria

December 30, 2020

It is July 7, 1973, in Alexandria, Virginia. Amtrak’s southbound Silver Star is dead on the main due to locomotive trouble.

In the foreground is its northbound counterpart, No. 82. This is still the rainbow era so some of the motive power wears Amtrak markings and some still has the liveries of a former owner.

No. 82 has E8A 238 (former Seaboard Coast Line, ex-Atlantic Coast Line), E8B 373 (former Union Pacific) and E8A 247 (former SCL, ex-Seaboard Air Line).

On No. 81 is E8A 234 (former SCL, ex-ACL), SCL E7A 557, E8A 218 (former Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac) and E9A 412 (former Union Pacific).

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Is One of These Hiding in Your Drawer?

September 12, 2016


If you were around during Amtrak’s early years you might have one of these buttons buried in a drawer somewhere. I have two of them including one that I received when I made my first Amtrak trip in 1972.

I don’t remember how I got it. Maybe the ticket agent gave it to me. Maybe a crew member gave me one. Maybe they were sitting out for the taking.

I have a recollection that conductors and trainmen wore these buttons for a time. Yet I don’t recall seeing this slogan used in timetables or other promotional products.

Chances are that today only die hard Amtrak enthusiasts remember this slogan.

It is easy to forget just what it was like when Amtrak began. There was a widespread belief that passenger train travel wasn’t worthwhile. To be fair, there were still some trains with excellent service. But they tended to be in the West.

Even in the early 1970s, I thought this slogan was a bit strange. It wasn’t like tracks had ever gone away. The slogan used in advertisements and timetables of “we’re making the trains worth traveling again,” was a better summation of what Amtrak was about or supposed to be about even if it might not have been true everywhere.

Amtrak has had many slogans and advertising punchlines over the years. If you could rank order them, this one might not make the top 10 or maybe even the top 25 or 50.

Yet it is a reminder of where Amtrak has been and how I can look back on those early years with a certain amount of fondness.