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Home > Archives > "Discover the Magic!" poster, 1980s.

"Discover the Magic!" poster, 1980s.

Multicolor printed paper poster made to advertise the Amtrak national network; dates to the late 1980s.

"Discover the Magic!" poster, 1980s.

This is one of a set of posters created in the 1980s that employ the "Discover the Magic!" slogan. It in turn was a variation on the popular "There's Something About a Train That's Magic" phrase developed as part of the 1983 "All Aboard America" advertising campaign. The poster features the California Zephyr (Chicago-San Francisco) passing through a snowy mountain landscape near Crescent, Colo.; an inset image shows skiers relaxing after a day on the slopes.

Amtrak, which took over the operation of most of the nation’s intercity passenger rail services on May 1, 1971, soon came to realize the potential marketing possibilities in promoting trains to skiers. The company worked with tour operators and resorts to create special package deals aimed at both families and singles.

In the East, Amtrak promoted the Montrealer and Adirondack for Vermont, upstate New York and Canadian resorts, while out West, ski destinations could be found along the routes of the Empire Builder, North Coast Hiawatha and Pioneer.

From the Ann Owens Collection.