Award-winning actress, writer and philanthropist Rosario Dawson will serve as spokesperson for the 5th Annual National Train Day and share her love of train travel and how it allows her to be involved in the community in a more personal way with rail fans. A celebration of train travel and the ways that trains touch the lives of people across America, National Train Day will take place in Dawson’s native New York City, at train stations in Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles, and in communities nationwide, on Saturday, May 12, 2012. This year’s festivities will highlight the unique perspective passengers enjoy as they take in the beauty and vastness of the American landscape from the comfort of their seats when traveling by rail.
“I am delighted to join Amtrak and train fans everywhere in celebrating National Train Day. I love trains not only because they offer a more intimate way to see the country and experience the communities along the way, but also because they are one of the greenest ways to travel, which is a value that has always been important to me,” says Rosario Dawson.
“So many of my very first memories of travel as a kid in New York City were on the train,” adds Dawson. “I remember riding on Amtrak and jumping up at the first opportunity to visit the café car. It’s great to be able to walk around, hang out and grab a bite at my leisure. I’m always watching the fast changing scenery through the windows which can be as mesmerizing as a film. It always makes the trip so much more vivid.”
“We are thrilled to have Rosario Dawson, someone who is an inspiration both on and off the screen, as our spokesperson for the 5th Annual National Train Day,” says Emmett Fremaux, Amtrak Vice President, Marketing and Product Development. “Like many of our customers, she is passionate about staying connected to her community and is someone who enjoys the journey, not just the destination.”
A multi-faceted talent, Dawson is known to her legions of fans for her work in film, her leading roles with today’s hottest actors and directors, as well as her efforts as a philanthropist in communities across the country. When not starring opposite the likes of Will Smith in Men In Black II and Seven Pounds, Denzel Washington in Unstoppable, and Edward Norton in 25th Hour, Dawson is supporting a variety of community organizations. She is the co-founder of Voto Latino, the country’s leading non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices into the political process to promote positive change, and is an active board member of V-Day, a global organization founded by Eve Ensler committed to ending violence against women and girls. An ardent environmentalist, Dawson works with the Environmental Media Association to promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles and inspire environmentally responsible behavior, and serves as a mentor through its School Garden Program which provides interdisciplinary and student-centered experiences to enrich learning through “living classrooms.” Dawson also lends her time and efforts to the Lower Eastside Girls Club in Manhattan, a group devoted to helping girls grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.
National Train Day will bring the ‘rail way’ to life for attendees, and those participating online and through social media. To join in the celebration, passengers inspired by their train travel experience are encouraged to submit photos, video and stories at NationalTrainDay.com, facebook.com/NationalTrainDay or @natltrainday for a chance to win prizes.
National Train Day Exhibits Signature experiences in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, and Union Station in Chicago and Los Angeles will feature a wide array of activities including:
Train Equipment Displays: In select markets, walk through a privately owned, luxury train. Explore commuter displays, rail passenger services and freight equipment displays showing how “green” locomotives transform the nation’s freight fleet.
Kids Depot: Bring the kids and let them build, explore and compete for surprise giveaways happening all day long at the All Aboard Explorers’ kids zone.
Model Train Displays: Take a closer look at the miniature masterpieces and marvel at the wonder of the model train displays that will be featured on-site at National Train Day.
K-9 Unit Demonstrations: In select markets, interact with Amtrak Security K-9 Units, one of the largest programs in the United States.
Amtrak High Speed Rail Display: Explore the future of high speed rail travel.
Amtrak Culinary Experience: Enjoy live cooking demonstrations by Amtrak celebrity chefs and taste free samples of regional culinary specialties.
See More Store: Take home a print, a t-shirt, and other memorabilia that will remind us to see more, do more, live more from the passenger seat of a train.
National Train Day Exclusive Exhibits
In addition, signature events in New York City and Chicago will include the following exhibits from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2012:
Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train (New York City): The exhibit featured at the 5th Annual National Train Day Celebration at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal will
include a locomotive, Bistro car, and renovated baggage cars displaying historic advertising, uniforms, photos, and memorabilia. A variety of commemorative items will also be available for purchase at the event.
Hill Harper: Scenes from the Southwest Chief (Chicago): Actor Hill Harper, star of CSI: NY will share his personal Amtrak travel experience during the 5th Annual National Train Day Celebration at Chicago’s Union Station. Harper, also a noted author, wrote sections of his latest book The Wealth Cure: Putting Money In It’s Place while traveling aboard Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Chicago in 2010.
Local communities nationwide are encouraged to host their own National Train Day celebrations. More than 200 such celebrations took place in towns across the country in 2011 and the number of events is expected to rise again this year.