All Aboard for National Train Day!

Friends of Tampa Union Station is pleased to announce that the Historic Tampa Union Station will be the site of events for National Train Day, on Saturday, May 8, 2010. The event runs from 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM. Admission is free.

National Train Day in Tampa will feature:
– Railroad equipment displays
– Operating model trains
– Live Music
– Special Guests
– History and railroading exhibits featuring items from the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library/ Burgert Brothers Photograph Collection, Tampa Bay History Center, Florida Railroad Museum, the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers, City of Tampa Historic Preservation and Urban Design, National Association of Railroad Passengers, the Atlantic Coast Line & Seaboard Air Line Railroads Historical Society, Florida historical groups, Friends of Tampa Union Station, and others.

National Train Day celebrates America‘s love for trains with events across the country. This year marks the third annual celebration with large-scale, family-friendly events that provide opportunities to explore interactive, educational exhibits that bring to life the rich narrative of how trains have transformed America and will continue to do so in the future.

National Train Day marks 141 years of connecting travelers coast to coast and commemorates the day the first transcontinental railroad was created. On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the golden spike was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, transforming America by creating the nation‘s first transcontinental railroad.

This event at Tampa Union Station is one of many which are happening simultaneously around the country. More than 140 local celebrations took place in 2009 and Amtrak expects even more in 2010.

National Train Day in Tampa is sponsored by the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers, Friends of Tampa Union Station, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, the City of Tampa, and Amtrak. More information on National Train Day 2010 can be found at the www.nationaltrainday.com website and the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers website: www.fcrprail.org.

Friends of Tampa Union Station is an all-volunteer organization which advocates for the preservation of historic Tampa Union Station as both a landmark and transportation asset. The organization was founded in 2008 by a group of citizens eager to preserve Tampa Union Station‘s colorful past and to assure its future. Friends of Tampa Union Station, on the web at www.tampaunionstation.com, was founded in cooperation with the City of Tampa‘s Growth Management & Development Services Department—which administers Tampa‘s historic preservation program and owns and operates Tampa Union Station—and the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers.

Friends of Tampa Union Station has established a permanent endowment fund for the ongoing restoration of Tampa Union Station at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and raises funds for it through an engraved brick program and other initiatives. To date, over $31,000 has been raised for the endowment, helping to ensure that Historic Tampa Union Station is preserved for future generations to use and enjoy.

Friends of Tampa Union Station


Friends of Tampa Union Station was founded in the Fall of 2008 by a group of citizens eager to preserve Tampa Union Station’s colorful past and to assure its future. The organization was founded in cooperation with the City of Tampa’s Growth Management & Development Services Department, which administers Tampa’s historic preservation program and owns and operates historic Tampa Union Station, along with the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers.

Friends of Tampa Union Station has been very active since its founding. Late last year, Friends of Tampa Union Station established the Tampa Union Station Preservation Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, a permanent endowment for the care, upkeep, and improvement of Tampa Union Station, which was built in 1912. Income from the endowment goes to the City of Tampa to assist with the ongoing restoration of this historic landmark. The fund’s balance stands at over $23,000, with the promise of a $12,500 challenge grant from the Community Foundation when the level of donations reaches $37,500.

On May 9, 2009, the Friends co-hosted National Train Day at Tampa Union Station, an event which brought out over 1,200 people. The Tampa celebration was one of several large events held that day around the country to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the laying in 1869 of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, which completed America’s first transcontinental railroad.

Visitors to Tampa Union Station were treated to an Amtrak equipment display, exhibits from the Tampa Bay History Center, TBARTA, the City of Tampa’s Office of Historic Preservation and Urban Design, HART, Pinellas County Heritage Village, a Radio Disney remote broadcast, and the Tampa Bay Lightning Girls, among other features. Tampa Poet Laureate James Tokely was also on hand to do a dramatic reading of his poem, “The Epic of Tampa Union Station”.

There are many ways to participate in the ongoing preservation of Tampa Union Station, which is Tampa’s Amtrak station. Friends of Tampa Union Station, on the web at www.tampaunionstation.com, is also now on Facebook and Twitter. Details on how individuals can donate to the Tampa Union Station Preservation Fund at the Community Foundation are detailed on the website.

Upcoming plans are exciting. In the near future, Friends of Tampa Union Station will launch a redesigned website at www.tampaunionstation.com which will include a detailed history of the station, will unveil a new logo, and hopes to start a “buy a brick” engraved donor brick program at the station. Preservationists of all ages are invited to participate!