Monday, April 25, 2011

Toccoa celebrates National Train Day

The City of Toccoa will join with Amtrak in celebrating the 2011 National Train Day on May 7, 2011 with a special event at the historic train depot in downtown Toccoa. Mayor Janice English, city officials, and citizens will welcome the train as it stops in Toccoa on its way to Atlanta at 6:15 a.m. AM630 WNEG Radio will broadcast live. A drawing for several prizes will be held at the event. Enter to win at these locations: Ionosphere Travel, WNEG Radio, and the Chamber of Commerce.

New this year to the celebration will be a special train display in the Mitchell Allen room of the Currahee Military Museum. Dess Oliver, from the Railroad Museum in Rabun Gap will display his collection of "trains throughout the decades." The display will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

The City of Toccoa has had a long history with the railroad industry. In fact, the city originated in 1873, and can be traced back to the development of a coaling station for the Atlanta to Charlotte Railroad after the Civil War. Over the years, due to access to the railroad, industry came to Toccoa as well as a college and a United States military training camp. The city has also benefited for the past thirty years from Amtrak’s Crescent Line being one of only three stops in Georgia. In 2008, more than 3,000 people came through the historic downtown via Amtrak and the number increases every year.

"Not only does the National Train Day celebration help focus on the importance of the railroad to our community, it highlights the opportunities it presents today. We continue to promote Amtrak travel as a relaxing way to visit Toccoa," states Sharon Crosby, Special Events Coordinator.

The Crescent Line travels through more states – including the District of Columbia – than any other Amtrak route. Offering daily service, the 1,377 - mile route travels from New York’s Penn Station to the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in 30 hours, stopping in 33 communities along the way.