Monday, May 10, 2010

Celebrating National Train Day in Toccoa

By Sharon Crosby

For those who love trains, 6:15 a.m. is not too early to come to a celebration of trains! On May 8 close to 100 train enthusiasts attended Toccoa’s 2nd annual National Train Day at the historic train depot. The crowd cheered as the Amtrak train pulled into the station surprising the conductor and the riders at such a hearty welcome so early in the morning.

Mayor Bob Troup and his wife Betty as well as Sharon Crosby, Special Events Coordinator boarded the train to Gainesville and handed out information packets about Toccoa to those on the train.
Drawings were held for free round-trip tickets to Atlanta (donated by Amtrak and won by Knox Holcomb) and a $500 Amtrak voucher (donated by AM 630 WNEG and won by Kevin Avrett).
A framed commemorative Crescent poster (won by Chris Freshour) and a special Amtrak tote bag (won by Annette Boswell) were also given away as part of the event.

Mayor Bob Troup said, “The turn out was fantastic! This is a great event for Toccoa.”

One of this year’s guests was a WWII veteran, Jessie Sisk, who drove from Royston to participate in the event. During the war he would take the train from Toccoa to New Orleans, then transfer, continuing thru Texas on to California, transfer again and finally end up in San Francisco. He had many fond memories of his train trips.

"We want to thank Amtrak, Ionosphere Travel Agency, and AM 630 WNEG Radio for their event sponsorship," said Special Events Coordinator Sharon Crosby. "And we also want to thank every one who came out to help welcome the train. We are already looking forward to next year’s event."

To view a video of the event, go to
Amtrak tickets can be purchased online or locally by visiting Ionosphere Travel Agency in Historic Downtown Toccoa (706.886.9471).