Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Sections
Home > Blog > Exhibit Train Blog, 2011-2012 > Chicago, October 1 and 2

Chicago, October 1 and 2

Posted by admin at Oct 06, 2011 11:30 AM |
A celebration of 40 years, model trains and more in the windy city. Come vote for your favorite livery scheme!
Jera Slaughter and Candy Bucyk recognized for 40 years of service
The Kato model trains fascinated many
Chicago's clarion call to the rails

Jera Slaughter and Candy Bucyk recognized for 40 years of service

The Kato model trains fascinated many

Chicago's clarion call to the rails.

Phase I and Phase II liveries displayed together for the first time
Phase I livery model with the real thing
Phase II livery model shown with the real thing

Phase I and Phase III liveries displayed together for the first time

Phase I livery model shown with the real thing. What's your favorite?

Phase III livery model shown with the real thing. What's your favorite?

As Amtrak celebrates 40 years of service, only four employees nationwide can say they’ve been along for the entire journey. The Windy City is home to two of those employees; Jera Slaughter and Candy Bucyk. At Friday’s employee-only sneak peek event, Jera and Candy were presented with their 40 year awards by Assistant Superintendent of Chicago Union Station Sid Birckett as stories of years past were shared.

For our public display, Chuggington Depot and booths with representatives from the National Park Service’s “Trails and Rails,” Amtrak, Soul Train and Kato USA model trains were setup in the breezeway off of the majestic Main Hall of Chicago Union Station. The words “To All Trains,” adorned the entrance to the station led visitors to our Exhibit Train parked on track 2, and the Phase I and Phase III Heritage paint locomotives (#156 and #822) parked on track 4. On Sunday, our Phase IV Heritage locomotive (#184) joined the display, arriving Saturday on the Los Angeles to Chicago Southwest Chief. This was the first time that three of the four Heritage schemes were on public display together. Many cameras captured the occasion, and several folks commented about how fun it has been to track these locomotives as they make their way across the system. What’s your favorite Heritage scheme? Vote here on Facebook!

In addition to having prototype Heritage locomotives on hand, we also had our HO scale preproduction samples of the Phase I, II and III Heritage scheme locomotives on display. There was a lot of excitement for our exclusive 40th Anniversary inspired model trains, as the first cars should be shipping to those who have placed preorders next month. These models are limited in quantity, so be sure to place an order at the Amtrak Online Store if you haven’t already to avoid missing out.

Model trains seemed to be the underlying theme of the weekend. A number of visitors purchased Walthers model Superliner cars aboard our 40th Anniversary Store car, and one lucky boy’s parents bought him an entire Acela Express train set! It brought back good memories of when my parents gave me my first model train set as a kid.

Kato USA had a variety of Amtrak model trains of all eras running around their table in the Main Hall, generating a lot of interest in Amtrak as well as model railroading. Model trains make a fun hobby that allows you to recreate animated scenes from today and/or from the past. You can be extremely realistic or as imaginative as you like; mixing and matching paint schemes and/or generations of equipment.

This event reinforced the notion that trains are fun and exciting to all types of people from all walks of life. Be it sharing tales of riding passenger trains with steam engines in the days before Amtrak or the joy of adding to a model train collection, boys, girls, men and women of all ages had fun joining in the celebration of Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary in Chicago. I look forward to sharing that passion again at our next stop.

Chicago photo opportunity taken
Chicago visitors in good spirits
Proud owners of a new Acela model

Chicago photo opportunity taken

Chicago visitors in good spirits

Proud owners of a new Acela model smile
for the camera

--MD