Makes first Midwestern stop for America’s Railroad®
CHICAGO – Amtrak, the City of Hope, Ark. and the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance Organization (TEMPO) will formally celebrate the commencement of Amtrak Texas Eagle service with a celebration this Saturday, May 18. Starting with a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. CT at the Amtrak station, the festivities are the capstone for a series of more than 250 National Train Day events that spread across all 50 states.
Amtrak has moved its new Exhibit Train to Hope for the day, opening for free tours from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Multiple prizes – including Amtrak tickets – free hot dogs for kids, bounce houses, a tailgating competition with a $1000 prize and live music are also part of the celebration.
“The City of Hope and Amtrak worked closely over the years to bring service to this historic city in Southwest Arkansas, overcoming financial and design issues to make service a reality last month,” said Tom Connolly, General Superintendent of the Chicago-based Central Division and largely responsible the Texas Eagle service. “A celebration with the city is wellearned with our partners at TEMPO.”
“This celebration is a culmination of a long dream for the City of Hope,” said Catherine Cook, City Manager. “While it has taken some time to complete, all of the citizens of Hope and the surrounding area are tremendously excited and proud to have Amtrak here in Hope, Arkansas.”
“The City of Hope understood that passenger train service would be a transportation and tourism asset for their city,” said Dr. Bill Pollard, TEMPO co-chair. “This celebration recognizes the determination and tenacity that brought their vision to reality.”
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.
A community of more than 10,000, Hope is also the location of former President Bill Clinton’s birthplace, now an historic site under the National Park Service. It is also the hometown of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and where Paul Klipsch founded an audio company that bears his name today, which is recognized in a museum next to the Amtrak station. Famous for watermelon production in the region, Hope’s slogan “A Slice of the Good Life” is stamped and painted on the Amtrak platform at the Hope station, 100 East Division Street, 71801.
The westbound Texas Eagle (Train 21) is scheduled to depart 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) is scheduled to depart Hope at 9:18 every evening, with arrivals in Little Rock that night, St. Louis the following morning and Chicago that afternoon.
Ticketing and reservations can be done using Amtrak eTicketing and boarding documents can be self-printed, as the Hope station is unstaffed. Passengers using a smartphone or another mobile device can present the eTicket to the conductor by opening a document in their e-mail.
TEMPO was created by Amtrak in 1997 at the request of the Texas Eagle Mayors’ Coalition to establish a mechanism for local input to Amtrak. TEMPO members include representatives and elected officials from cities along the route, rail advocacy groups in Texas and Arkansas, Amtrak’s Marketing Department, and employees (both management and union).TEMPO offers input to Amtrak on a variety of matters, in addition to marketing efforts.
About the Amtrak Exhibit Train
The refreshed and updated Exhibit Train follows the popular 40th anniversary version that celebrated Amtrak history with a tour in 2011-2012. The Exhibit Train features new displays including workable signals, virtual sleeping accommodation tours and trivia with returning favorite displays including the locomotive stand and horns. In addition, it features photos, uniforms, vintage advertising and memorabilia from Amtrak’s beginning in 1971 to today’s modern-sleeping cars and high-speed rail service. Exclusive Amtrak merchandise is also available for purchase. The updated Exhibit Train includes two locomotives, three renovated baggage cars and one bistro car, all with historic paint schemes.