Here is a quick roundup of the interesting options taking place around the state.
The free event, which takes place from 11-5, will feature displays of Amtrak railcars, a Chuggington Kids Depot with train-themed kids’ activities based on the children’s animated television series, an HO scale operating model train and other family-friendly activities and train-themed displays.
In Bald Knob, The Arkansas Traveler Hobbies, which hosts over 60,000 items of interest to the model railroad collector, will have an event in conjunction with the Bald Knob Homefest. The special event will be at the 1915 Train Depot ( 400 Market Street) and is from 11-6.
In Springdale, the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad (A&M) kicks off National Train Day with the annual 5 a.m. Sunrise Tour-Spring Fling. The hours have been listed as 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the location is at the Springdale depot at 306 E. Emma.
In Hope, the celebration will take place on May 18 at the Hope Station at 101 E. Division Street. National Train Day is taking place coincidentally as the town celebrates and dedicates their new Amtrak platform. Events will begin that day with a train equipment display, a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m., an antique car show in the afternoon, music on the “train” stage from 9-4 and more.
As to details on the new service, the westbound Texas Eagle, Train 21, departs Hope at 5:09 every morning, with arrivals that morning in Dallas, that afternoon in Fort Worth and that evening in Austin and San Antonio. The eastbound Texas Eagle, Train 22, departs Hope at 9:18 every evening, with arrivals in Little Rock that night, St. Louis the following morning and Chicago that afternoon. Connections from that schedule can be made in Fort Worth, San Antonio, St. Louis and Chicago to Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and more than 500 other locations in the Amtrak network. Anyone interested in traveling in or out of Hope on Amtrak can book a trip at their website here.
Overall, more than 200 communities across the nation are expected to host events to celebrate National Train Day at local train stations, railroad museums and other locations commemorating this year’s theme: “Trains Matter.”
Details on National Train Day events and information on how to host an event are available at NationalTrainDay.com. Also, rail passengers and enthusiasts are invited to share why trains matter to them via Facebook or @natltrainday.