National Train Day is May 11

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

All aboard! Enjoy a free family fun day and celebrate with the City of Kewanee during their first ever National Train Day event.  City officials, in partnership with the Henry County Tourism Bureau and the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, know that this is the start of something big. The train fun begins Saturday, May 11 at 8 a.m. and lasts until 11:30 a.m. at the Kewanee Amtrak Station located at 224 West Third Street. 

Train enthusiasts will be able to see railroad memorabilia on display inside the Kewanee Amtrak Station.   Retired rail engineers and train collectors will share how trains touched people’s lives and will answer questions about railroading.  Hear tales of Abraham Lincoln riding the rails told by his law partner Billie Herndon who will be portrayed by storyteller and author Brian ‘Fox’ Ellis. Lincoln and Herndon’s major clients included the railroad barons. 

Activities for the day include:

Kewanee Farmers Market selling locally grown produce

Area craft vendors

Area attractions and event demonstrators will showcase their talent

Free “kiddie” train rides on a ½ scale model train

Kewanee Historical Museum will be open to view original Kewanee depot memorabilia

Children and guests may have a picture taken with ‘Walldog’ the Pup and ‘Buddie’ the Pig

The Stationhouse Restaurant, PL Damron’s, and Cerno’s will be offering railroad breakfasts. A “Cheers to National Train Day” Kewanee, Illinois, button will be given away when you visit the event and can be used when you dine in participating downtown restaurants and receive a free non-alcholic drink with a purchase of a meal.  Visit Heartfelt and receive a free piece of fudge on Saturday only. 

This free event is open to the public. T-shirts, train whistles, and Amtrak conductor hats will be given to the first 100-children who attend.

Trains take us where we need and want to go. They remind us of what other lives seen only out the window look like. Trains bring passengers with a few extra dollars to spend into local coffee shops, draw activity our downtown.  Trains take us to school, to work, to visit a friend in need. They connect our towns together and connect us to each other. Trains tell the American story. Trains matter to us all. Rail enthusiasts are invited to share why trains matter to them via Facebook or @ For more information; or call 877-436-7926.

About National Train Day

National Train Day is a holiday started by Amtrak in 2008 to spread information to the general public about the advantages of rail travel and the history of trains in the U.S. It is held each year on the Saturday closest to May 10th, the anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike for the first transcontinental railroad in 1869.