Free tours available during annual Seaboard Festival
WASHINGTON – Powered by a specially-painted locomotive celebrating veterans and showcasing the past, present and future of America’s Railroad®, the Amtrak Exhibit Train will be open for free tours during the 31st annual Seaboard Festival in Hamlet, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The train will be stationed at the Hamlet Depot, 2 Main St., and open for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can view attractions such as workable signals, virtual sleeping accommodation, a locomotive control stand and horns. On display will be photos, uniforms, vintage advertising and memorabilia from the beginning of Amtrak in 1971 to today’s modern sleeping cars and high-speed rail service. The train consists of two locomotives, three renovated baggage cars and one bistro car, all with historic paint schemes.
Exclusive Amtrak collectibles will be available for purchase including Amtrak: An American Story, an illustrated company history written by employees with chapter introductions composed by past and present Amtrak leaders. In addition, a documentary DVD explores the history of Amtrak and its importance to the nation’s transportation network.
The locomotive with the Exhibit Train honors those who have served in America’s Armed Forces. Amtrak painted the locomotive red, white and blue with a specially designed “America’s Railroad Salutes Our Veterans” logo and 50 stars. It is a symbol of an Amtrak commitment of 25 percent of new hires to be veterans by 2015.
The Seaboard Festival honors Hamlet’s history as a “Hub of the Seaboard.” More than 200 vendors will sell food, handmade crafts, gifts, and train themed merchandise on Main Street. Craftsmen will present live demonstrations. Dancers and other entertainers will perform live throughout the day. Visitors will be invited to compete in the Conductor’s Call Contest and the 5K run. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 visitors attend the festival each year. All proceeds from the Seaboard Festival will be donated to local charities.
The Hamlet Depot, which is served by the Silver Star, is the only Victorian Queen Anne style station in North Carolina. It was built in 1900 for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad as both a passenger station and division headquarters. The station has received the Historic Preservation Society of North Carolina’s 2005 Carraway Award for outstanding preservation work by public agencies. The station has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1992.
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.