May 15, 2014

National Train Day at King Street Station

Saturday May 10th was National Train Day. Amtrak and  other community groups hosted events at Amtrak Stations nationwide. Seattle's at King Street Station was no exception. Amtrak had a grant event at the newly restored King Street Station, where Amtrak's Rob Eaton, Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, WSDOT's Ron Pate and Kirk Fredrickson, and retired Amtrak President and USDOT secretary Alan Boyd were in attendance and spoke. There were also other Amtrak staff, Volunteers, and an event staffing firm helping run the show.

Amtrak's National Train Day at King Street Station in Seattle. More below the jump.

All Aboard Washington had a table near the ticket office and next to Talgo, where many people throughout the day came up to talk to our members about All Aboard Washington, and who we are and what we do. Our Executive Director and Several board members came from around the area to staff the table and give information. We even setup our own arrivals and departures board, courtesy of one of our members for the assistance of the travelling public (Many consider King Street Station to be nowhere near finished. It has a major lack of signage for Amtrak including the staple arrivals and departures board. New electronic models have been installed around the county at large and small Stations, however there is still nothing at King Street Station. There is also a lack of travelers services at the station, Many major train stations around the country (and nearly all airports) have at the very least a newsstand, and many have a full shopping mall with many food options. Seattle's King Street Station, a major terminal station for two long distance trains, corridor service, and commuter rail has only two somewhat finicky vending machines gracing its halls).

In Addition to All Aboard Washington and Talgo, San Francisco Travel had a display (and a wrapped Superliner coach on the display train), Mt Rainier N-Scale had their model railroad on display, and Rails to Trails had a display outside. On the Jackson Street Level WSDOT, Sound Transit, J. Craig Thorpe were there, and Chuggington Station had a small kids play area. Amtrak also had a mini Coast Starlight on display, consisting of the wrapped Superliner coach for San Francisco Travel, a Diner (although they were not serving breakfast or any food, but did have some on display), a Pacific Parlor Lounge car, and finally a Sleeper. Also as an added treat to the rail fans, the Rocky Mountaineer came down to Seattle from Vancouver and Calgary on their now regularly scheduled tours that start in the Emerald City.

Amtrak put on a large and good event at King Street Station, that was professionally produced and managed. All Aboard Washington was proud to be part of it and looks forward to participating next year.