National Train Day in Portland, OR, May 8

fitz Apr 26, 2010

  1. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I just find it amazing that Trimet wouldn't use this opportunity.

    I think BNSF and UP would need to be asked by someone to participate. They wouldn't do it on their own unless as a part of the steam program.
     
  2. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    You should look up Fitz when you get there and get involved! :tb-wink:
     
  3. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nationwide Train Day Ceremonies?

    There is a function tomorrow that is "Train Day" in San Antonio. Isn't this a USA-type celebration? I know that I will be at Sunset Station tomorrow with a small layout. I was under the impression that it was primarily an Amtrak sponsored display. Isn't it nation wide?
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    http://www.nationaltrainday.com/

    In theory, yes it's nation wide. However, considering how many places have lost their rails in past decades and those small numbers of communities with passenger service today, plus how poorly educated the public is concerning railroads in general, with a few exceptions it will likely pass mostly unnoticed.

    :tb-sad:

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh I don't know, the events have been really well attended in the past few years. When you think about it. Chicago, NY, DC and LA all have big well attended plans that will get news coverage.

    Those places alone will cover a huge portion of the population. And the rest of the major cities are having events as well.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm not talking about "the events." I am talking about coverage. Outside of a few major metro areas, there is still a huge percentage of US population not exposed. Even in places where you'd like to think something might happen. Just look what is missed in your area- The State Capitol is not listed. Just across the River to your north there are a few, but the major metro areas are apparently doing nothing?

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Errr, you are aware of the National Train Day event taking place in Portland at Union Station, right? As the most major metro area on the whole coast between Seattle/Tacoma and the Bay Area, I think that covers our state's metro area.

    As far as Salem, I would imagine several railfans from there will be coming here. It's only 45 minutes away.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes. I know about Portland and Eugene. But with people talking of an eventual corridor from Canada to California, Salem is quiet? In reality, a State Capitol should be a hotbed of vocal support activity.

    Yes. I am sure there will be a few railfans heading to US. I can probably name some... But the general population? I'd doubt many, if any, commute more than a few quick miles. Otherwise they'll occupy their Saturday with other pursuits. Their absence won't aid in the drive for railroad awareness or increasing passenger (heavy) rail programs.

    Meanwhile, nothing happening north of Olympia means that a couple of million Puget Sound region people will be elsewhere.

    Boxcab E50
     
  9. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    http://www.nationaltrainday.com/events/host-an-event/

    It's up to the citizens of those parts to bring the event to them. I think Amtrak and the National Train Day organizers have done an incredible job coordinating a grand scale national event. Lack of support for certain regions can only be blamed on lack of support from its residents.

    Maybe next year those who will have missed out on this years festivities will come together to host the event in their hometowns. :)
     
  10. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think this is an important part to remember. We should be applauding those volunteers that have put together these events, not faulting those who live in areas with no celebration.:thumbs_up:
     
  11. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, I can't speak to Seattle and Washington's rail travel issues, but I would disagree with your assertion that a state capital SHOULD have SOMETHING going on. Being a State Capital isn't the same as being a big city.
    And when Portland is so close and a legitimately large city it makes even less sense. Any activities in Salem would only serve to dilute activities in Portland. The same would be true for Vancouver Wa. The People of Salem make day trips to Portland all the time for far less than a special event. 4449 is going to be there. That will draw non-fans from all over.
    And in Looking further, Olympia seems to be having a rather large gathering with a number of displays. While I agree the station in Seattle would be a better place to hold this event, it sounds like Olympia is creating an event of appropriate size for the region. I'm sure it will get news coverage.

    And again as was discussed earlier in this thread, Amtrak is only providing a very small amount of the entertainment for this day. They have an understandably limited budget. The goal is to encourage local groups to take the concept and run with it.

    Apparently, Seattle dropped the ball. That's not Amtrak's fault.

    But even so, the Events in LA, Sacramento, Portland and all over the coastal west certainly hit the vast majority of the west coast population.
     
  12. fitz

    fitz TrainBoard Member

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    The celebration in Olympia should be well organized, because my friend Karen, NRHS and Amtrak volunteer extraordinaire, is running things up there. Also Jill and Rails NW will be there. Heck, Portland almost didn't happen because no one from "the sponsor organization" got things moving. It doesn't take much to get the volunteers out at Portland when a rail event is announced. Portland makes sense because 4449 and 700 "live" there, Union Station is a magnificent structure, there is a lot of Amtrak, UP and BNSF traffic. I think a lot depends on a) the economy and b) the weather. Last year about 10 times the estimated number of people showed up at Portland, most definitely not railfans. They were interested in a close-to-home, FREE, outdoor event, and everything came together. It will be interesting to see how many attend this year. Personally I'm looking forward to it. :tb-biggrin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2010
  13. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    If nothing else, Everyone at Saturday Market or wandering the Pearl will wonder what all the commotion is.

    I'm serious though, If I'm not satisfied by the participation of trimet, BNSF and UP, I may have to get involved... Not that I know anyone or anything.
     
  14. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sometimes it just takes a dedicated person to make contact and introduce the idea, not be too pushy, but then be ready to act when someone decides to commit.

    A lot of things in Portland are accomplished by the small percentage of folks who show up to the meetings, respond to the phone calls and emails, and set aside an hour or so per week to make contacts and push things forward. Most of these people are behind-the-scenes folks and most of them started out not knowing what they were doing, either. It's a good place to tap into a "scene" since most of those involved are glad to have new people and things are not generally so entrenched as to be inflexible.
     
  15. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    It didn't occur to me until today how little Amtrak and the transit agencies had to do in Organizing the event.

    It never occured to me that Trimet and Amtrak wouldn't do everything or anything they could to be involved and would be part of the overall planning. Especially with Trimet's WES campaign.

    I was also surprised that Beaverton Modular wasn't participating. But then, it would be an unpaid event, so I'm guessing it would have taken a lot more convincing to do it.
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You'll note that at no time did I mention or allude to Amtrak. I am well aware of the citizen organization part, and actually know a bit about these things.

    What I am commenting on is where there should be interest and activity, yet there is none. It is quite surprising. You hear area residents chatter madly about congestion, pollution and so on, the year around and when it comes time for featuring a viable alternative, silence.

    :tb-wacky:

    Boxcab E50
     
  17. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    John,

    I am not aware of model railroad clubs being part of the event. I was just thinking about it earlier.

    As far as "paid events," what are they? Usually, if there is some sort of honorarium at a show it's about $50. Not to complain, but that's not a way for any club to make money. We spend more than that in gas, in parking fees, and in kind of nasty old hot dogs for lunch, not to mention all the time we put in, for it to really be considered a major factor in deciding to to an event.

    In the Portland area, I find that the biggest problem is that there's really almost no outreach between groups. This is, in part, why the N Scale Collector convention took place in Portland last year with no involvement from Portland Area N-Trak. By the time anyone at our club knew anything about it and contacted them they had already planned the whole thing without us.

    Perhaps you will be the layout coordinator for next year's Train Day event? They need a place to put layouts with power that has some cover.

    Adam
     
  18. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Boxcab, I'm not sure I understand the overall point you're making.

    You first lamented the overall lack of interest and participation, but as was pointed out, There are activities in Major metro areas across the country. A look at the website tells me that there are events in easy commuting distance for pretty much all of Urban America. Seattle Might be conspicuous by it's absence.

    Furthermore, it was pointed out that these events have drawn huge crowds in the bast couple years. Huge crowds of non-rail fans. So your assertion that it will be sparsely attended doesn't seem to be based on any kind of evidence.

    Salem isn't participating, because the people in Salem that would get involved are probably going to be in Portland where a rather famous Steam engine is going to steal the show.

    Seattle has nothing, but the Olympia events are looking very well put together and I think it's safe to say they will be well attended.

    So the issue seems to be that Seattle is dropping the ball.

    Perhaps other places lack sufficient interest in organizing by the fan community. That's too bad, but I don't think your pessimism is warranted based on the past couple year's festivities.
     
  19. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    OK, I was just unsure from my initial reading. :)

    However I do agree with John about the aspect of near attractions being a factor to some of the spots having no event. 4449 being present in Portland is a big attraction, and had I been given the choice to celebrate NTD at home, or travel roughly 50 miles to see 4449 under steam, I would make the trip hands down. So I'm sure the interest was there, but it was more focused on traveling to Portland to celebrate.
     
  20. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    If that needs doing, I'll do it.

    I did notice there seems to be a bit of not animosity, but at least rivalry amongst clubs. It shouldn't be hard to create some sort of Email list to Secretaries of the major modular or mobile clubs in the area. Combined with some judicious flyers.
    It would be inappropriate for me to commit to anything without getting to know people better, but I would have no problems playing that role.
     

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