Union Station a Hub of Activity Tomorrow…


Saturday May 8th Union Station and environs will be a whirl of transportation activism and fun activities.

At 10 a.m. the Metro Special Board meeting in the Metro Board Room on the upcoming fare change will be held. It should be an interesting spectacle if nothing else as I noted in my previous commentary.

Then starting at 11 a.m. and until late afternoon the 3rd Annual National Train Day will occur all over Union Station.

This includes various transportation-related exhibitors who will be staffing tables on the walkway off the south courtyard near the old Fred Harvey Restaurant facing Alameda.

Participants include:

  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
  • California High Speed Rail Authority
  • California Operation Lifesaver
  • Fillmore & Western Railway
  • Grand Canyon Railway
  • Metro
  • Metrolink
  • Pacific Railroad Society
  • Rail Europe
  • Rail Passenger Association of California (RAILPAC)
  • Santa Barbara Car Free
  • South Coast Railroad Museum
  • Southern California Transit Advocates
  • Train Riders Association of California, Inc. (TRAC)
  • Transit Coalition
  • VIA Rail Canada

There are National Train Day events being held Saturday throughout Southern California — including in Bakersfield, Guadalupe, Los Angeles (at Traveltown in Griffith Park), Oceanside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Barbara. Plus I’ve confirmed refreshments will be provided in the afternoon at the Van Nuys Train Station (7724 Van Nuys Blvd)


I’ll be at the SO.CA.TA table at Union Station from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Given the response last year, I expect a robust turnout and a chance to hear from the public about the issues they care about. I always appreciate a chance to exchange views and perspectives. Overall should be quite a day.

  • Joe

    I’m not one to complain, but…what a miserable experience!!! To many people jammed into various areas of Union Station…Long winding lines with no explanation of what to do or where to go…Crying, unhappy kids & parents wondering why they were there…I left feeling very disappointed…Never again!!!!

  • JRider

    IMO, this was the best National Train Day at LAUS yet. Better exhibits, better performers, better speakers. A more professional production all around. Thoroughly enjoyable. Considerably more people showed than did the last two years.

  • I kind of agree with Joe – there were a lot of lines and a lot of crying children – and frankly weird things like a cooking demonstration(?). Also, the equipment tour forced you to wait in a really long line in order to get the privelege of walking through a normal amtrak train!

    That said, I was really only there to see Huell Howser, and he delivered on his promise of declaring trains part of “California’s Gold”. Dude can just show up anywhere and declare something “California’s Gold” and people will eat it up.

  • I was chained to the booth all day so I didn’t get a chance to go out and about, but did hear reports the line to see the equipment was duanting. And that Metrolink’s new cars could only be looked at. One thing about walking through the Amtrak consist is it gives you a chance to look at the sleeper rooms in case you have been mulling whether to try one on the next long distance Amtak trip. There are online photos you can look at but a chance to stand in one is really more useful to get sense of what they are like.

    I think Amtrak is still learning how to put on this sort of event, which is sort of outside their usual activities. The local Amtrak marketing folks have been sent a link so they can see the comments and criticsms posted here. Hopefully this will result in actions that improve the 2011 event.


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