(Albuquerque, NM – May 5, 2011) - Calling all train enthusiasts – this is your chance to immerse yourself in “everything rail”. The Rio Metro Regional Transit district is hosting the first ever National Train Day event on Saturday, May 7th at the Alvarado Transportation Center in Downtown Albuquerque from 1pm - 5pm.

“This is a good opportunity to celebrate New Mexico’s long history in the rail industry”, says Dewey Cave, Executive Director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments. “Now that we have commuter rail running right through the heart of our state, people have renewed enthusiasm about trains and rail travel”.

National Train Day features all kinds of free activities including tours of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, and tours of rail cars and locomotives from Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains, as well as Amtrak, which is celebrating its 40-year anniversary.

Other National Train Day Activities and Entertainment

      • Displays from three Model Train Clubs                      • The Duke City Stars – Dance Squad   

      • ABQ Ride’s Antique 1927 Bus                                   • La Rondalla de Albuquerque

      • Wheels Museum Tour                                                  • Public Academy for the Performing Arts (PAPA)

      • Train Safety Information with free prizes                   • Valley High School – Ballet Folklorico

      • Free Kid’s Corner (fun arts & crafts)                         • Tierra Adentro School – Flamenco Dance Group

      • Free movies

NM Rail Runner Express Youth Art Contest Entries to be displayed at National Train Day!

Children ages 6-12 were invited to enter their artwork in the New Mexico Rail Runner Express and Xpress Magazine’s cover contest. Artists were encouraged to depict the Rail Runner Express as they see it. The artwork could be a drawing or painting, and use of color was encouraged. The winning entry has a chance of being on the cover of the September Xpress Magazine. Other winning entries will be featured in the same issue. Xpress is a quarterly publication produced and distributed by the Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper featuring articles and information about the Rail Runner.

** To view all of the entries, please visit the Childrens’ Art Gallery at the north end of the event. **

For more information on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, visit www.nmrailrunner.com or call 1-866-795-RAIL.

Contact: Augusta Meyers, Communications Mgr., (505) 239-8612, ameyers@mrcog-nm.gov

About National Train Day

National Train Day is a holiday started by Amtrak in 2008 to spread information to the general public about the advantages of rail travel and the history of trains in the U.S.  It is held each year on the Saturday closest to May 10th.  The largest events usually take place in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.