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Home > Archives > Equipment display at Los Angeles Family Days, 1980.

Equipment display at Los Angeles Family Days, 1980.

Black and white photograph from the September-October 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

Equipment display at Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles Union Station on the weekend of September 13-14, 1980, attracted more than 45,000 participants.

In addition to old and new rail equipment, visitors to Los Angeles Family Days could also see a variety of historic and modern buses, such as a double deck 1929 Gray Lines sight-seeing bus, a Grumman flexible transit bus and a Los Angeles Regional Transit District bus.

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.

Photo by Susan Dole and Kevin Martin for Amtrak.