Soul/R&B veteran Gladys Knight will share her love of trains and join thousands of rail fans to celebrate the fourth annual National Train Day on May 7, 2011. Knight, who is the national spokesperson for Amtrak, will host the signature event at Washington, D.C.’s acclaimed Union Station where she will open the festivities.
Knights connection to trains was born through her Grammy-winning single, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” which she and the Pips requested the name be changed from the original title “Midnight Plane to Houston.”
“Trains are tightly woven into the history of our country and have definitely played a leading role in my life and career. I’m thrilled to be a part of the National Train Day celebrations, especially this year as Amtrak commemorates its 40th anniversary,” says Knight.
“I’m a big fan of train travel,” adds Knight. “I not only love the comfort and convenience of trains, but also like knowing that I’m doing my part to help the environment every time I choose to travel by rail.”
“Gladys Knight is a natural fit for Amtrak and National Train Day. Just as her music bridges generations by connecting with young and old alike, Amtrak and trains connect people to one another â both onboard and from coast-to-coast,” says David Lim, Chief Marketing Officer, Amtrak.
National Train Day commemorates the 142nd anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s inception by bringing to life the rich history of how trains have transformed America.
In addition to the Washington, D.C. event, Amtrak is hosting National Train Day festivities at other stations across the country â including Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Each free event in the four major markets takes place from 11:00 a.m. â 4:00 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, kids’ activities, model trains and tours of Amtrak equipment, freight and commuter trains, and notable private railroad cars.
Local communities nationwide are encouraged to develop and host their own National Train Day celebrations. More than 185 local celebrations took place in 2010. For more information, visit www.nationaltrainday.com.