Posts Tagged ‘Toledo National Train Day’

Toledo National Train Day Set for May 6

April 12, 2017

Toledo still plans to hold a National Train Day this year, although it will not apparently have the headliner external exhibits that it has had in the past.

The event will be held on May 6 at the former Central Union Terminal – now known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza – between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Thus far the only announced railroad exhibit will be Ann Arbor Railroad GP38 No. 3879.

Built in 1969, the locomotive has been painted in a commemorative livery to honor the history of the Ann Arbor, which is now a Watco Companies property.

This year’s event will be the 10th National Train Day celebration in Toledo.

Past events have featured heritage and special livery locomotives of Norfolk Southern as well as an Amtrak exhibit train.

It is not clear yet if either NS or Amtrak will be participating in the event.

The event’s sponsors say on their Facebook page that as in past years the festival will feature vendors, model railroad displays, children’s train rides, a safety workshop oriented to children, food and train watching of the nearby NS Chicago Line from the Amtrak station platforms.

Getting Up Close With Amtrak P42DC No. 156

May 23, 2016
Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Amtrak No. 156, the Phase I heritage locomotive, led a train of a Viewliner baggage car, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car and a Viewliner sleeper.

Until early this month, I had seen Amtrak P42DC just once. That occurred as I was leaving Chicago Union Station aboard the eastbound Capitol Limited and I got a glimpse of the 156 sitting in the coach yard south of the depot.

My memory is that it went out later that night on the point of the eastbound Lake Shore Limited.

I’m one to think that Amtrak’s Phase I livery was its best. In particular, I liked how it looked on the SDP40F locomotives, but the E and F units looked nice in the “pointless arrow” scheme, too.

The Phase I livery did not look so good on GG1 electric motors, but I never saw any of those other than in photographs.

No. 156 has been all over the country, but our paths have never crossed. I’ve seen scores of photographs of it, including some made in Cleveland.

Some guys I know in the Akron Railroad Club have caught No. 156 more than once. I, though, never even had as much as a near miss with the 156.

I didn’t know that it would be in Toledo for this year’s National Train Day event until Friday afternoon before the event when I saw a posting about it on Facebook. Needless to say, that had me quite excited.

My friend Adam and I arrived in Toledo just after 8 a.m. and there was, at long last, the 156.

Yes, I took a lot of photographs of it. To be sure, it was just sitting there, providing hotel power for an Amtrak display train.

But that didn’t matter. It’s nose was open and it looked like it was pulling a train.

Now that I finally have it, the next challenge is to catch it actually leading a train on the road. That might take some time and a little bit of luck as well.

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

Of course I made a roster shot of Amtrak 156.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The nose needs a little touch-up painting to cover some scratches and dings from life on the road.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

The passenger side of the platform with the display train.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the "pointless arrow" is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

If the fuel outlet is where the edge of the “pointless arrow” is supposed to go, no problem. Just paint over it.

Miniature Lake Shore Limited on Display in Toledo

May 8, 2016
Amtrak No. 156 heads a display train at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Amtrak No. 156 heads a display train at Toledo Central Union Terminal.

Toledo1 May 7-x

Toledo3 May 7-x

Toledo, Ohio, held its annual National Train Day festival on Saturday (May 7) and Amtrak sent a miniature version of the Lake Shore Limited to display.

That included a Viewliner sleeper, an Amfleet II coach, an Amfleet cafe car, a Viewliner baggage car, and P42DC Phase I heritage locomotive No. 156.

The passenger cars were open for public viewing and hundreds of visitors walked through the train.

Amtrak said earlier this year that it would no longer be a sponsor of National Train Day but would continue to provide equipment and its 40th anniversary exhibit train to select events.

The Toledo National Train event has traditionally been held a week before the national date for the event in order to enhance the festival’s chances of obtaining Amtrak equipment for display.

Toledo National Train Day Set for May 7

March 30, 2016

It may no longer be called Amtrak National Train Days, but a national train day celebration will continue in Toledo this year and Amtrak might be a part of it.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari declined to confirm an assertion by the organizers of the Toledo event that it will send passenger cars to Toledo for the May 7 event to place on display as it has done in previous years.

Norfolk Southern plans to send its “Honoring First Responders” locomotive, which carried roster number 9-1-1

Amtrak 4The units is painted in a livery of  red, white, and black. Show organizers say they are planning a ceremony to honor the region’s first responders as part of the event.

The Toledo event also will feature an open house at Central Union Terminal, which is now named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza.

This will be the ninth train day in Toledo and as in past year there will be operating model railroads along with railroad-themed vendors, safety exhibits, children’s activities and musical entertainment.

Amtrak said earlier this year that it was ending its sponsorship of National Train Day.

Amtrak’s Magliari said that before National Train Day began in 2008 that the passenger carrier would on occasion send an equipment display to various cities for promotional purposes.

“Each event request every year, everywhere, will continue to be considered,” Magliari said.

Amtrak on Display at Toledo National Train Day

May 10, 2015
It can't pull a train anymore, but F40PH No. 406 still looks the part.

It can’t pull a train anymore, but F40PH No. 406 still looks the part.

Sure, seeing the Norfolk Southern GoRail locomotive motivated me to drive to Toledo on May 2 for the National Train Day event.

But what I really wanted to see was Amtrak P42 No. 42. It is dressed in a striking livery that honor’s America’s veterans. It was every bit as classy looking as I expected it be and it was my first time seeing it in person.

And then there was Amtrak No. 406. Built in July 1988 by EMD, this F40PH has since had its traction motors removed and been converted to a NPCU, meaning that it can provide head-end power and be used to control a locomotive, but it can’t pull a train.

Yet for appearances, it looks just like it did when it came out of the EMD factory, complete with a Phase III livery.

Last Saturday it provided HEP for the Amtrak exhibit train and I found myself being transported back a decade or two when the F40 was the king of the Amtrak diesel fleet.

During their heyday, the F40 was the Rodney Dangerfield of locomotives.

A lot of railfans didn’t care for them. They made a lot of noise when standing in the station and they were diminutive in stature compared with their big six-axle freight cousins.

Not too many people are going to say they prefer the look of an F40 over the sleek streamlining of an EMD E or F unit.

I’ve always been partial to the short-lived SDP40Fs that Amtrak purchased in 1973 and 1974, but the F40 proved to be the locomotive that enjoyed the longer life even if it had been designed with corridor service in mind.

So I spent some time looking over the 406 and remembering all of the trips I made behind the F40 fleet until it began to be replaced in the middle 1990s.

It’s funny how something that was so common two decades can seemingly vanish overnight.

In time the same will likely happen with the P42. Will I someday have pangs of nostalgia upon seeing one of those? Probably, yes I will. But that day hasn’t come yet.

What I came to see.

What I came to see.

It's almost highball time for the next Amtrak train to New York at Toledo's Central Union Terminal. If only it were true.

It’s almost highball time for the next Amtrak train to New York at Toledo’s Central Union Terminal. If only it were true.

A father and his daughter spend some quality time in the Sightseer lounge, imagining they are taking a train trip.

A father and his daughter spend some quality time in the Sightseer lounge, imagining they are taking a train trip.

Built in 1950 for Union Pacific, sleeper Pacific Bend has racked up thousands of miles and seen a lot of places in its lifetime. No longer carrying revenue passengers, it is now assigned to the Amtrak exhibit train.

Built in 1950 for Union Pacific, sleeper Pacific Bend has racked up thousands of miles and seen a lot of places in its lifetime. No longer carrying revenue passengers, it is now assigned to the Amtrak exhibit train.

Amtrak's latest slogan on the side of former baggage cars turned exhibit cars.

Amtrak’s latest slogan on the side of former baggage cars turned exhibit cars.

The gray of P42 No. 42 is a throwback of sorts to the days of New York Central vanish sitting on these very same tracks.

The gray of P42 No. 42 is a throwback of sorts to the days of New York Central vanish sitting on these very same tracks.

Toledo07a

Amtrak Exhibit Train to Visit Toledo on May 2

April 9, 2015

Amtrak’s exhibit train will visit Toledo during that city’s National Train Day event on May 2. The Toledo stop will be one of three Midwest visits by the exhibit train through late June. Other sites where the exhibit train will stop include:

  • Railroad Days 2015 in Fullerton, Calif., May 2-3.
  • Amtrak Train Days at Chicago Union Station, May 9.
  • Amtrak Train Days at Salem, Ore., Riverfront Park, May 16.
  • Amtrak Train Days at California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento, June 6 -7.
  • Amtrak Train Days at Dunsmuir, Calif., Railroad Days, June 13.
  • Amtrak Train Days at Galesburg, Ill., Railroad Festival, June 27-28.

For more information, go to www.amtraktraindays.com.