National Train Day

National Train Day is a holiday that honors the history of the train in the U.S. and promotes rail travel for all Americans. It is observed annually on the Saturday closest to May 10th every year and is an opportunity for everyone to learn about how trains have revolutionized civilization and united a country at the same time. Now, let’s take a moment to do a deeper dive into not only the history of this holiday but also the history of trains as well.

The History of National Train Day

National Train Day was created in May of 2008 by Amtrak. They wanted a way to promote rail travel, to spread information about trains to the public, and to reiterate the history of trains, so they created this holiday. In 2011, Amtrak used the holiday as part of its 40th-anniversary celebration. Amtrak discontinued National Train Day in 2015 to replace it with Amtrak Train Days, but people all over the world continue to celebrate this holiday as it was originally imagined.

A Very Brief History of Trains

As promised, we not only wanted to cover the history of National Train Day, but we also wanted to cover the history of trains, so we created this section to do just that. The first steam train was built at the beginning of the 19th century in 1804 by Richard Trevithick. At the time, people were scared that the train’s speed would make it hard for riders to breathe or that the vibration of the trips would shake passengers unconscious.

Fortunately, the train continued on despite these myths, and by the mid-19th century, passengers were traveling on trains that could move as fast as 50 miles per hour or, in some cases, even faster. Since rail travel was inexpensive, more people could travel, and people felt like cities weren’t so far apart after all. Along the train’s route, towns sprung up to accommodate the needs of passengers.

Facts About Trains

We’ve discovered some interesting facts about trains during our research on National Train Day, and we would like to share some of those facts with anyone reading this article right now.

  • Trains helped the North defeat the South during the U.S. Civil War.
  • There’s an abandoned train subway station under City Hall in New York.
  • The movie ‘Skyfall’s’ fight scene was filmed on an actual moving train.
  • Irish and Chinese laborers working on the Central Pacific Railway laid 10 miles of tracks a day.

Celebrating National Train Day

National Train Day can be celebrated by taking a ride on a train, visiting a train exhibit at a local museum, or even reading a book on the history of the locomotive. People can also use the hashtag #NationalTrainDay on social media to let everyone know they are celebrating this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 11 Saturday
Next year (2025)
May 10 Saturday
Last year (2023)
May 13 Saturday
Products & Technology