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All Aboard National Train Day

Grab your train whistle and conductor hat and get ready for a Saturday full of locomotive fun! Commemorating the vehicle that helped build America, May 12 has been declared National Train Day. With a rich history of railroads, there’s no better place to celebrate than Reno Tahoe.

Ride the Mckeen Motorcar- Nevada State Railroad Museum

4295783033_0ebc408a9f_zTake a step back in time and celebrate National Train Day with a ride on the vintage McKeen motorcar at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. From 1910 to 1945, the McKeen took passengers between Carson City and Minden on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. This treasured piece of Nevada history was donated to Nevada State Rail Road Museum where it underwent a decade of serious restoration. In 2010, the 70 ft. gas powered motorcar returned to the railroad and now takes a new generation of passengers on a limited number of rides each year.  Don’t miss your chance to climb aboard the only operating McKeen motorcar in the world for an unforgettable ride through Carson City!

Rides run from 10 am to 4 pm. $10 for adults (12 years and up), $5 for children (4 to 11 years) and FREE for children 3 years and younger.

Reno Sparks Railroad Days – Reno Amtrak Station

A fun-filled day for families and rail fans alike, Reno Sparks Railroad Days is a celebration of America’s love of locomotives. The Galena Jazz Band and New Chorale Singers kick off the festivities with a lively welcome as the California Zephyr #5W rolls into the station. The revelry continues with exhibits from the Union Pacific Railroad, Nevada Railroad Museum and Virginia & Truckee Railroad, as well as model train displays, refreshments and music. Join the excitement from 8 am to 4 pm and show your passion for one of the nation’s first forms of transportation. Admission is FREE!

For more information on National Train Day and other exciting adventures in Reno Tahoe, visit our events calendar at VisitRenoTahoe.com.

All Aboard for the 11th Annual Amtrak-Lionel Kid’s Essay

V& T Railraod With the goal of sparking children’s interest in trains and train travel, Amtrak and Lionel are partnering this summer for the 11th Annual Amtrak-Lionel Kid’s Essay Contest to give children age 12 and under a chance to win a Lionel toy train set by describing what they like most about riding Amtrak.  Entries may be submitted through August 31, 2010

Entry forms are available onboard 11 of Amtrak’s western trains including the California Zephyr, Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight, Capitol Corridor, Empire Builder, Heartland Flyer, Southwest Chief, Pacific Surfliner, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, and the Texas Eagle

One grand prize winner will be awarded the Rio Grande Ski Train and 14 first place winners will be given the Polar Express G-Gauge train.  Each essay will be judged on content and originality.   Winners will be announced in October 2010.

About Lionel

Lionel LLC is one of the world’s leading marketers of model trains and accessories. Established in 1900, the Lionel name is the most widely recognized brand in the toy train industry and one of the most recognized brands in America.

 

About Amtrak

As the nation’s intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer, greener and healthier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2009), the railroad carried 27.2 million passengers, making it the second-best year in the company’s history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the partner of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for several commuter rail agencies. Visit Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information.

Video: Get on board the Fun Train to Reno

Our own Jill Stockton went for a ride aboard Amtrak’s Fun Train for a scenic ride from Sacramento to Reno. But this was no tame sightseeing tour …

There may be no easier way to get to Reno-Tahoe than aboard the Weekend Fun Train or Midweek Snow Train. There is no other train like it in America. The Fun Train is ideal for anyone looking to have a good time while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Donner Pass route – one of the most historic and scenic rail lines in America.

From departure to arrival, traveling on the Fun Train was, well, fun! I boarded the train in Sacramento and was greeted by ‘Fun Rick,’ a member of the Fun Train team. Fun Rick helped me feel welcome aboard and made finding my seat a breeze.  After boarding the train, which was decorated with a Western theme, we promptly departed for Reno. The ride through the Sacramento valley and along Donner Pass was simply spectacular. The views were amazing and fresh snow was falling, making this ride to Reno extra special.

The entertainment on board was outstanding. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Dozens of people dancing to the live music of the “FunAntics” while winding through the mountains headed for Reno. This is surely something that you’d never experience in a car or airplane!

If listening, not dancing, to live music is more your style, then the Piano Lounge Car is for you. With live entertainment in the Piano Car you can meet new friends, enjoy a drink from the cocktail bar and relax. The Fun Train also has strolling minstrels, musicians, and magicians to entertain you – if the beautiful scenery is not enough.

When we arrived in Reno, the good times just got better. After exiting the train, passengers were greeted by a jazz band directing them to their chartered bus which would take them to their designated hotel. The simplicity and ease of this trip was truly amazing.

The trip includes a roundtrip rail ticket from Emeryville, Martinez, Suisun, Sacramento or Roseville to Reno with reserved seat, two nights hotel accommodations, a Winner’s Book – good for discounted meals, 50 percent off the show at Harrah’s and more. For more information on packages and pricing information visit Key Holidays online or call (800) 783-0783.