It’s National Train Day! For the 7th year in a row, train enthusiasts and supporters will be celebrating trains all over the country, with an event held at the St. Louis Station today where there will be live entertainment as guests explore trains, sleeping cars, and try foods that were at the 1904 World Fair. What better way to celebrate after the festivities than with beautiful art of a train in the form of a puzzle?
We may think that trains don’t hold as much significance in our lives now that so many people have personal cars and that planes dominate the skies to take us from place to place, but we would be wrong! Train ridership has grown 55% since 1997, meaning that it’s the fastest growing travel mode.
So today we’re going to pick some of our favorites train jigsaw puzzles, share them with you, and let you know some great facts we’ve learned about locomotives for National Train Day.
You might say that it’s the golden age of trains… because for every plane ride between the major cities of New York City and Washington DC, there are three times as many train rides.
Amtrak carries 31.6 million people every year… and Amtrak just has passenger cars. That doesn’t add up all the trains that run every day to deliver goods to communities in a timely, efficient manner!
Trains are also more environmentally friendly, keeping the world bright and beautiful. For every passenger that rides, Amtrak trains are 16% more efficient than planes and 34% more efficient than cars.
Trains bring us close to nature! Amtrak delivers people to 237 National Parks, historic sites, and monuments, meaning people can pack their hiking gear and leave the car keys at home.
With so many trains and stations to operate, Amtrak creates a lot of jobs for local communities. In fact, it employs more than 20,000 people across the nation, which is roughly equivalent to every single student at New York University.
There are many types of trains. There’s Maglev trains, monorail trains, suspended monorail trains, bullet, commuter, and super trains, and they each have their strengths. For instance, the Maglev is the fastest land-based transport. It has no wheels and hovers only on magnets, and it can whiz past on those tracks at speeds of about 323 miles per hour (430 kilometers per hour).
The invention of trains came over a hundred years ago in 1804. A man named Richard Trevithick invented the first steam powered train. It’s first run included over ten loads of material, with about 70 people and some wagon and iron materials. It wasn’t very fast–it took over two hours to travel nine miles–but it was blazing in comparison to riding a wagon.
It wasn’t until 1925 that there came a company that was dedicated from transporting people across the country in the steam powered machine. This was around the time of the Ford Model T, when cars could travel about 40-45 mph tops. Trains at this time only went 9 mph, but they could carry hundreds of passengers at a once and, just like today, riding a train has advantages for traveling long distances with beautiful scenery and more comfortable seats.
In fact, some people love riding trains so much it’s not even about getting somewhere. Recently Amtrak announced it would be offering free residencies for up to 24 writers, who love the calm, serene rides so much and find them to be a good place for productivity. But forget the destination, because this is about the journey. Writers will travel roundtrip, but only to enjoy the ride and get writing done in their sleeper cabin.