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Home > Archives > Equipment display at Detroit Amtrak Family Days, 1980.

Equipment display at Detroit Amtrak Family Days, 1980.

Black and white photograph from the August 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

Equipment display at Detroit Amtrak Family Days, 1980.

Starting with Washington, D.C. in February 1979, Amtrak held a series of “Family Days” celebrations in cities across the country. The events quickly blossomed into opportunities to invite the public to learn about the company and show off new equipment. A celebration that took place at Detroit's Michigan Central Station on the weekend of August 2-3, 1980, attracted more than 30,000 participants.

Attendees especially enjoyed the equipment display, which included new Superliner coaches and a diner; the latest head-end-powered cars from the Beech Grove, Ind. shops; an SPV-2000 self-propelled coach; Amfleet cars; Turboliner; and P30CH and F40PH locomotives.

The spirit of Family Days lived on in a new Amtrak tradition: National Train Day. Inaugurated in 2008 and celebrated each May, National Train Day marked the way that trains—intercity passenger, commuter and freight—drive the nation’s economy and connect us to one another. Attendees enjoyed displays of historic and modern equipment, live entertainment, fun kids’ activities and train rides.